'Excerpts of a Lost Forest: Homage to Ashera'
1992 - concrete, ferro-cement,vinyl , pigment
Tova Beck-Friedman sculpts space--her works consist of dynamic configurations of multiple, discrete elements whose individual forms invite figurative and architectural interpretation and collectively suggest a psychological space that is activated through the interaction of the viewer. Much of her body of work reflects and celebrates the monumental feminine through the lens of ancient and modern archetype and myth. Through her sculpture, 'Excerpts of a Lost Forest: Homage to Ashera', Beck-Friedman displays her close ties with her Hebrew heritage, with nature, and with the concept of the eternal feminine. The name “Ashera” refers to the ancient Hebrew goddess who was revered in groves. This piece is intended to be a tribute to those who suffered through the atrocities of the Holocaust.
Although the five tubular pieces are placed apart, they are closely related and interact with one another. Theirs is an anguished attempt to communicate. Creating her pieces so that they resemble trees connects them to their environment and natural setting in the garden. Beck-Friedman gives gender to her piece with elongated crevices carefully sculpted into each of the five elements. These erotic slits seemingly connote female figures. Rather than suggesting the womb or birth, the deep hollows seem to intimate decay and death. Her work stands with great presence as a monument to unspeakable suffering.