Speak for the Trees
ABOUT THE BOOK
The artists in this powerful new book, Speak For The Trees, include both young and emerging artists, and such world-renowned figures as David Hockney, conceptual artist Yoko Ono, pop-surrealist Mark Ryden, international-environmental artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude and the beyond categorization Starn Brothers. Each artist contributed artwork, which has been showcased on a two-page spread together with the artist’s thinking on his or her work in relationship to trees, and with a quotation each selected from writers as diverse as Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso, Abraham Lincoln and Henry David Thoreau, William Shakespeare and Ogden Nash (who memorably wrote: “I think that I shall never see/ A billboard lovely as a tree/ Perhaps unless the billboards fall/ I’ll never see a tree at all”).
When I stand beneath a tree, I feel the sacred power of its axis mundi, as a cosmic pillar connecting the energy between the earth and the sky. The tree becomes a meeting point of all directions, functioning as the omphalos (navel), the world’s point of beginning.
I grew up among the old growth Douglas firs and red cedars, the peeling barks of the madronas, and hollows of the big leaf maples. Our family roots in the Puget Sound run long and deep. During the last year of my father’s life, I began working with the tree image, this strong vertical form being much about who he was as a person.
I use the grid pattern of gya gye (Tibetan for 108), repeated forms of the enso circle, a sumi brush meditation, or the maniratna, a Buddhist precious jewel. Naturally falling into the work were the concentric circles of the tree ring, recording history and honoring the passage of time. The wrapping of cloth, ties and offerings mark the place sacred. Our cultural memory lies within the physicality of place, as we continue to find ways to connect not only to place, but most importantly, to each other.
Catherine Eaton Skinner Speak For The Trees, 2009
Speak for the Trees retails for $69.95 + shipping.
A voice for the trees. "This publication brings together an inspiring group of artists to create a collection equally compelling for its differences as its uniting thread. This group of artists and ideas that might never have intersected are woven together bridging medium, career, age and geography resulting in a powerful voice that "Speaks For The Trees"."
- Siobhan Galvinon January 25, 2010
"This is a marvelous book of inspiration in awe and appreciation of these, the largest living beings on our planet. Underneath the surface, all our roots mingle. We're standing on harmony. The trees know this.
The artists really created their best work for this project. The pages crackle with wonder at the many ways inventive minds and creative hands show us how to see and feel the magnificence of a tree. A poignant, soulful work. A joy to savor."
- Simon McCain January 17, 2010