For Sheree Friedman, her lush and meditative artworks represent “another level of awareness” and “extraordinary moments of freedom”. Using subtle colors, collaged elements and exquisitely painted forms, Friedman creates intriguing images open to interpretation and meditative potential. Her archival canvas prints and resin-coated plexiglass pieces are developed through several stages and involve layers of color, natural elements, textiles and material choices as well as found, painted and handdrawn imagery. Once complete, Friedman’s images are both quietly contemplative and boldly evocative while allowing the viewer to follow their own mindful awareness of the visual scene.
As the daughter of a father who is a self taught architect and with her own Degree in Architecture from the Pratt Institute, Friedman has always understood the dictates of order and structure. Even now, she employs architectural details and designs in her images which lend her work a sense of aesthetic logic and formal intelligence. But the work also evidences Friedman’s years of studying healing therapies, Eastern mysticism and Carl Jung’s theory of the Collective Unconscious. Friedman is interested in loosening the strictures of the mind and the way we see and feel the world around us so that we open ourselves to more positive energy. As a trained practitioner of Healing Touch Energy Medicine, Friedman works at a major Hospital with patients experiencing cancer, broken bones and post-surgical conditions. Her art draws deeply from this broader understanding of the human spirit.
Lustrous and involving, Friedman’s collaged artworks explore the way we register sensory signals – such as a particular color or object – as a means of opening up the mind to a more meditative state. Her work feels loose and liberating. Inspired by Surreal Automatism, Friedman creates imaginary spaces that are curiously beautiful and slyly evocative. Recurring imagery and motifs echo through many of her images. Diaphanous flowers and sensuous female figures. A mind floating in a dreamlike space.
The image that matters the most to Friedman is a dragonfly. In her view, the dragonfly is a metaphor “for the very old, reptilian, primitive portion of our brains, whose rigidity and compulsiveness often led to our demise”. So in Friedman’s work, it serves as a warning but also as something wondrous, an iridescent being from ancient history still thriving today. A hopeful sign.