Canadian artist Holly Friesen was born in Saskatchewan, studied Fine Arts at John Abbott College in Montreal and York University in Toronto. Her contemporary landscape paintings are found in private and corporate collections around the world.
My work revolves around earth-honouring images that reflect and instil connection to local bio-regions. These images internalize a reverence for the earth and shift the intent from harming the world to living in a mutually life enhancing manner.
After 30 years of painting from close observation of the forests, rocks and rivers, I feel I am no longer observing the natural world around me but rather, in a reversal of roles, the natural world seems to be observing me. Direct and spontaneous brushstrokes become intuitive movements that follow breath and echo emotional responses to this living breathing vitality. Through a dynamic energetic exchange I feel as though I am being held within an intelligent, sentient field that expresses itself through colors, shapes and movement. I am both humbled and awed by this process.
I learn what I need to know by painting. The more I paint the less separation there is between inner and outer ecologies which results in a linking of perceptions with the natural world where attempts to define or control are useless. For me, painting is like deep prayer awakening a reverence for the earth’s inner landscape; the image is in you and you are in the image. Painting is my breath, beauty my compass, and the earth my body.
"Holly Friesen works in an expressive and representational manner, her work is modern and fresh, rooted in ecological and feminist philosophies. Shaman-like, Holly often finds that when she is working, “there is less separation…between inner and outer ecologies” and she is often in the grip of powerful dream images. In this way, she forges a connection between European and Aboriginal art in a way that is uniquely her own."