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ARTIST INTERVIEW SERIES: Jessica Ruth Freedman and body movement in art

Jessica Ruth Freedman does not paint to convey a message or to provoke any specific agenda. Her work is not meant to be conceptual; rather, she presents it to let people feel whatever emotions it brings out of them.

“My path as an artist is to bring more beauty into people’s lives,” she says.

But that path she discusses is quite unique. She brings into each painting the wealth of her personal history into how they are completed.

Freedman studied dance at Simon Fraser University, which led to a career as a professional dancer throughout her 20s.

“I find that my work is fairly gestural, like I’m not a realist painter,” Freedman says. “And I actually work on the ground. I don’t work with an easel or anything like that. So, I’m quite physically involved with my work, even smaller works.”

By working on the floor, Freedman says she is able to imbue her art with movement, which lends itself well to the natural environment paintings she does.

But even though she lives on the west coast of Canada, she is more inspired by the tropics and places where she used to live.

This has as much to do with her personal history as it does with the emotions or sentiments she tries to convey.

“I’ve heard my collectors mention about my work that it is peaceful, but at the same time, joyful. And whether that’s through the subject matter of florals or botanicals or just the expression from my background in dance, that’s what people enjoy about the work.”

But living on the west coast and painting about places elsewhere is not a hindrance. Freedman says that the Internet and social media has opened artists to spaces they may have otherwise not have had access to, and this is also the same for buyers.

“I think there are a lot of artists who couldn’t make a living without social media today,” she says. “Like, they’re selling direct from Instagram. They don’t even have galleries.”

You can learn more about Freedman and her art from her website at

By Nathan Durec


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