108 the book
The number 108, a potent symbol to Buddhism, Hinduism, and other Eastern spiritual traditions, has inspired the work of Catherine Eaton Skinner since 2004. Best known for her encaustic paintings incorporating natural imagery, Skinner’s Gya Gye (Tibetan for 108) and related series represent dramatic experimentation in form, process, and viewer engagement. Informed by extensive travels in Bhutan, India, Japan, and elsewhere—along with her corresponding research into languages and philosophical systems—she expanded her mediums to include rope, fabric, glass, stones, and found objects which she modified in unpredictable ways. Although some of the series, such as the Elements paintings, retain recognizable imagery, her recent series bring 108 into the 21st century.
From QR code patterns to the simple, interminable zeroes and ones of binary language, Skinner discerns pictorial aptitude in contemporary digital codes. Other series explore ancient tally marks—both eastern and western—and the abstracting impact of systematically repeating simplified mountains or tight details of eyes, among other universal motifs. Hardcover, 12 x 10 inches, 292 pages with 170 illustrations. Text by Elizabeth A. Brown, poem by Newcomb Greenleaf. To view a press release, see CES 108 Press Release.pdf.
108 retails for $65 (unsigned), or $70 (signed) + shipping (cost depends on destination).
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"[In Skinner's] exquisite book 108 ... each section's text provides just the right amount of illumination to inform readers and viewers, while allowing them to experience the magic and mystery of the work on their own. And the chronology deftly reflects [her] creative evolution. In design, sequencing, print quality, and materials, the book is an object of beauty. It brings [the] work to life on the printed page so very gloriously."
- Sylvia Wolf, Director, Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
"A handsome volume, 108, brings forward both the contemplative and the visually tactile aspects of the artwork of Catherine Eaton Skinner. The book is an exploration of the concerns that inform Ms. Skinner's work in the last decade or so, clearly related to spirituality, philosophy and language - means of expression and mutual understanding.
While the body of work in 108 is abstract in nature, it is non-objective. Rather, there is always the sense of humanity in the artworks - in the repurposed symbolic objects and fabrics and wax and paper, and even when the work is a poem translated to a digital medium. Even in the use of precious metals the intentionality of presenting the human touch is apparent, reflecting the direct relationship between humanity and spirituality."
- Pablo Schugurensky, Owner, Meta Arte, and current President of the Board, Artist Trust, Seattle, WA
one with the whole
encircling the total
before its begun
encasement of all
returning to the beginning
in cosmic waters
Catherine Eaton Skinner