Miranda Forrester’s practice explores the queer black female gaze in painting, relating to the history of men painting womxn naked. The work is concerned with addressing the invisibility of black womxn in the western history of art and representing these lives and experiences from an authentic perspective. Forrester investigates 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, 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.
Miranda Forrester is a figurative painter living and working in London.
Since graduating from the University of Brighton with a BA in Fine Art Painting, her work has been featured in several exhibitions at key galleries and museums, such as the Saatchi Gallery, Mall Galleries, Christie’s Education and Copeland gallery, at the BBZ Alternative Graduate Show. Her work is included in public and private collections, including The Arts Council Collection and Soho House collection.
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