Forrester’s practice explores the queer black female gaze in painting, relating to the history of men painting womxn* naked. Forrester’s work is concerned with addressing the invisibility of womxn of colour in the history of art and combating the fetishization of our bodies. Forrester has been investigating how her identity impacts on the way in which she depicts her subjects, and how her paintings can rearticulate the language and history of life drawing through a queer black feminist desiring lens, and in doing so, depict what the male gaze cannot see. Her use of stretching plastic over stretchers and painting on highly primed smooth surfaces is fundamental to the work in that the viewer can see through the bodies; the surface becomes more than skin, they are flesh, real and alive, bare and on display. The work, altogether, is a celebration of womxn’s bodies, the joy in occupying feminine identities and being in relation with one another.
*Womxn is an alternative spelling of woman. It is used to avoid the spelling woman (which contains and derives from the word men), and to foreground transgender, nonbinary, and women of color.
Oil and gloss on pvc over wooden stretcher
100 x 80cm
Oil and gloss on canvas
120 x 90cm