Astman, Barbara

untitled #5, 1990

Stone silver prints with flowers, earth, vegetation, and encaustic on masonite

49 x 49 in.

Barbara Astman, Stone Series, 1991 - 1993


The Stone Series contains images of five to six stones floating in an indeterminate space. Sprinkled in the interstices are dried flower petals, seeds, leaves, earth, and weeds. After working in flecks and marks of colour with oil stick, Astman sealed the surface in sensuous layers of encaustic.


The notion of a subject that is timeless and spiritual. Conscious of their inherent neutral affinity, their seeming muteness has granted Astman a powerful form of speech. Cross-culturally, there are several myths about both gods and humanity descending from rocks and stones. In many hunting-and-gathering cultures, including the native North American population, rocks were considered the bones of the earth, and as such, believed to act as spiritual vessels.