Barbara Eskin

Artist Biography

My work is an expression of personal and collective experiences, distilled into abstraction.

A torn fishing net, picked up years ago at the sea-shore, became both a tool and a catalyzer. Initially, it was about a simple dichotomy: To capture ̶ or to be caught?

As I continued to work with nets, the world kept changing, and so did my perspective. The net gradually turned into a symbol of social and organic cohesion, and ultimately, of Life.

In the isolation forced upon us during the pandemic, I found solace in nature. The comfort was bitter-sweet: On my daily walks, I was constantly reminded that our natural environment is under siege. The upheaval our world is facing lends new urgency to our unresolved problems.

“still…LIFE” is about the fleeting stability in a fast changing world, and about the fragility of all living things.

Life is fragile, and technology may enhance it, or confine and threaten, if not downright destroy it. Imprints of netting suggest a semblance of life. They may be torn, cut or left untouched. Set in an environment of hard edges and bold colors, they hold their own.
As I was working on these pieces, I was struck by the way the techniques I used corresponded to what I wanted to express.

Dipping netting into ink, dropping in on paper and cutting or tearing the imprints apart, was intuitive and physical. Serendipity played a role, but so did a discerning eye, and, yes, love. The minimalist part, on the other hand, involved planning, meticulous precision and control from the start.

The message lies in the interaction between both worlds.


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