The walls of our spaces are filled with amazing pieces of art—many created by women, and with International Women’s Day taking place this month, we’ll be featuring the work of women artists all month long. This week, we’re highlighting Miranda Forrester, whose work explores art through the queer Black feminist lens.
A Special Affair, seen above the Modern Wing fireplace at The Drake Hotel, depicts figures dancing among fauna on smooth clear PVC. Viewers can see through the painting to the wall behind it, addressing the invisibility of Black women in the western history of art.
We caught up with the London-based artist to hear about the process of creating the artwork, her advice for young artists and the other women inspiring her right now. Keep up with Miranda on Instagram @miranda_forrester.
+ What are you working on that has you personally or professionally excited?
A new body of work for a show in Lagos. It will be my first show on the African continent, and I am working on lots of new paintings with two figures, exploring relationships and how personal dynamics fluctuate.
+ Can you tell us how you first came to paint on PVC and how the process of painting on that surface has impacted your work?
I was exploring different transparent surfaces, like glass and sheet plastic, but wanted a material that was flexible and incorporated the traditional canvas stretcher. PVC combined all of these elements I wanted to explore. It has hugely impacted my work. I feel it allows me to create a visual that speaks to lots of different ideas about the physicality of bodies, but also the multi-faceted identities of women and the layering of time, and lived experiences such as love, trauma, loss, healing and comfort.
+ Who are some of your important role models or mentors who are women?
My contemporaries, other Black artists who I know personally and some who I admire and follow their work from afar, such as Michaela Yearwood-Dan, Lubaina Himid and Sola Olulode.
+ What advice would you give to young up-and-coming artists?
Read your contracts with a fine-toothed comb! And don’t be afraid to raise issues when you encounter them. I think art schools don’t really prepare artists for the logistics of being an artist and how to sustain yourself, financially, practically and emotionally. My advice would be to reach out to artists who are a few years ahead of you in their career and ask for their advice when it comes to all the practical elements of living as an artist.
+ Who are some women in the art space are inspiring you right now?
Christina Quarles, Somaya Critchlow, Jenna Gribbon.
+ Coffee or Tea?
+ Your winter comfort food?
+ What’s the last book you read or movie you watched that had an impact on you?
Rainbow Milk by Paul Mendez