Forrester explores the queer Black female gaze in painting vis a vis the history of men painting womxn naked. Her work addresses the invisibility of Black woman in the western history of art. She investigates how painting is able to re-articulate the language and history of life drawing through a queer Black feminist and desiring lens. In doing so, she depicts what the male gaze may not be able to see. Her use of stretching plastic over stretchers and painting on highly primed smooth surfaces is fundamental to the work, as it allows the viewer to see through the pictured bodies; the surface becomes more than skin, allowing the figures to become real and alive, moving and breathing on the canvas. This layering of transparent materials alludes to the complexities and nuances of womanhood and femininity; gender and sexuality.
Exploring the significance of domestic environments for queer people, Forrester’s paintings capture intimate, insular moments of warmth and tenderness. Animating large expanses of emptiness with vibrant, fluid and assertive lines, her bold figures occupy their space with authority yet subtlety, speaking to the strength in vulnerability. Lines and translucent brush strokes roam across her paintings, often spilling onto the wall behind and around the stretcher, gathering complex and shifting observations into the nature of identity. The work, altogether, is a celebration of womxn’s bodies, the joy in occupying feminine identities and being in relation with one another.
“I’m interested in who we are at home. I enjoy showing the private, intimate moments that not everyone gets to see. It’s important to make vulnerable work, so I push through my discomfort in sharing it with the world.”Miranda Forrester