Drawing on her recent experience of becoming a mother, artist Zoe Friedman has created an immersive and layered universe of flora and fauna that explores the exuberant yet mysterious forces of life. Combining drawing, illustration, hand-cut paper, digital illustration and bespoke lighting elements, Friedman’s process mirrors the simultaneous joy and complexity of existence and invites the viewer to reflect on birth and growth.
In Friedman’s work, the playful, large-scale animal forms and the overlapping bold colors and patterns framing them beckon a heightened form of sentience. Illuminated by lighting elements of the artist’s own design, the installation is a portal into Friedman’s mythology of motherhood, in which she explores the instinct and power to care, nourish and grow. The large scale of each mural within the installation conveys the artist’s understanding of love as an expansive, forceful and overwhelming emotion. Much like a forest, the individual characters and forms in Friedman’s cast are connected and form a wondrous narrative.
Zoe Friedman earned her MFA from the Mount Royal School of Art at MICA in 2012, and her BA from Eckerd College. She is currently the Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the Time-Based Media Program at Anne Arundel Community College. Friedman has been a Henry Walters Traveling Fellow (2012), a Fulbright ETA Fellow (2007), a Trawick Prize Finalist (2014), a MICA Fellow at the Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower (2012), and a resident at Vermont Studio Center (2012). She has had solo shows across the country in Baltimore, MD, Stillwater, OK, Arlington, VA, Brooklyn, NY, Washington DC, Oakland, CA, St. Petersburg, FL, and Copenhagen, Denmark. She recently completed a large-scale permanent site-specific installation at the Enoch Pratt Free Public Library in Baltimore.
Sentient Forest is the inaugural site-specific artist commission for the Museum’s newly-renovated Tricia and Frank Saul Atrium Galleries. The Museum is grateful to Elizabeth Hormel, Mary Ann Schindler, Christine Martin and Willow Construction for supporting the inaugural edition of this new project.