The Marking Code series pursues a deeper investigation of the symbolic number 108, sacred to Eastern religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. Eliminating figuration, these encaustic paintings are structured through a variety of counting systems – from primitive tally marks and I Ching notations to binary coding, all encompassing the 108 count and encoding of “one hundred eight”. Counting and measuring have been our way to order the disorder around us, from drawing in the sand to codes delivering instant information. Employing oil stick and encaustic wax on panel, the work explores numerological systems from around our world, alongside present-day computer codes. These encryptions are developed into complex patterns, yielding abstractions evocative of ancient textiles, wall graffiti, and partially erased blackboards. Using a wide array of gestures – from delicate tracery to incising with a stick, there are single strokes of large antique sumi-brushes to finger marks dragging paints across the surface. Each piece becomes its own offering to the basic elements of our natural systems, a modern mandala with new possibilities.
Below is one image from Catherine's series that appeared in NUNUM's Fall 2018 issue in the piece 'Frogs' called '
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