Exhibitions : 2015

Julian Forrest
Thursday, September 03, 2015 - Tuesday, September 22, 2015




Perceptual Disorders 

Recent paintings explore place/ displacement, migration, masculinities, and mystic notions of the Wild West. 


“ I am interested in social constructions of masculinity (archetypes and stereotypes); notions of conquest and role-play; the relationship between industry and landscape (literal, cultural, and imagined); as well as migration, alienation and the taming of the (Wild) west.  Referencing familiar images of suburbia and domestic spaces, these works reimagine moments from a bygone era when societal/ gender roles were more rigidly defined.  The figures in these paintings are embedded within unlikely juxtapositions of interior and exterior or urban and suburban environments, in which I hint at moments of tension in utopia. 


My interst in these themes is inspired by the ongoing transformation (both physical and cultural) of the Alberta landscape(s), the transient nature of this population, as well as the inevitable tensions and changes that occur with the influx of those who flock to oil-rich centres like Edmonton. My paintings are the result of my search to decipher and reference the narratives of this historical moment. 


I regularly use iconic costumes, film references, modern architectural spaces, and both historical and pop cultural figures to explore these issues in my work.  There are also many references to academic, fictional and poetic writing.  In most of my work, I am interested in capturing a catalytic event shortly before / after an increase in tension.  Each painting is a scene interrupted, peopled with recurring characters, and loosely addressing the mythology of place. " JF 2015 


Julian Forrest received his BFA at Mount Allison University in 1995 and his MFA at the University of Alberta in 2005. He is the Associate Professor of Fine Arts at the University of Alberta, Augustana Campus.  Forrest is the recipient of the 2015 Eldon and Anne Foote Visual Arts Prize for the diptych ‘Perceptual Disorders' (after Keret). His work is featured in both private and public collections.