Brittany/Andrew Forrest

Visual Art – Toronto

Brittany/Andrew Forrest (she/her or he/him) is a queer Ontario-based surrealist artist and author. She focuses on character development through methods of drawing, sculpting, mold-making, and wording that stretch away from traditional approaches to represent the tale of her estranged identity. Her study of the body began as a young child through performing arts. Rigorous observational skills transitioned into a thriving art and writing practice penetrating all facets of the being. Forrest now focuses on dissecting human exchange and perception to find correlations within the interplay between bodies. The material selection employs various studies that engage in theoretics linked to her practice that anatomizes the intricacies of psychological defense mechanisms. She does this by researching the functions, associations, and interactions between materials -- essentially psychoanalyzing the medium – to propose the body as animate and inanimate. Forrest is stimulated by vulnerable literature that transports the personal into ambiguous theoretics about the human condition, such as The Perfect Mango by Erin Manning. Translating her body into perceptional words, Manning offers it to the viewer as the affecting residue of intrusions. Influenced by the history of gothic literature, as well as Cronenbergian Biological Horror cinema, Forrest seeks to dismantle representations of abjection to uncover expressionist views on identity conflicts. She has adopted the concept of free association during the preliminary drawing stages, to access dreams, memories, the imagination, and the subconscious. Forrest carries forward these techniques to embellish and evolve Salvador Dali’s intention and persist in Sigmund Freud’s observational curiosity to draw out contemporary meanings and mechanisms that interpret the mind, while simultaneously reframing the relevance of their findings to a queer non-misogynistic platform. She is persuaded by iconic science fiction authors and directors such as Anthony Burgess, Albert Camus, David Lynch, Franz Kafka, George Orwell, Haruki Murakami, and Stanley Kubrick, who depict the abject metaphysical and paraphysical landscapes that her artwork inhabits. Forrest enlarges our collective understanding of what identity embodies, to acknowledge the wombs of vulnerability and affirm autonomy. Fundamentally, she endorses queerness as the uninterrupted imagination. Forrest graduated from McMaster University with honors in a Bachelor of Fine Arts, minoring in Art History. There, she was awarded four academic scholarships, voted class choice, and earned the faculty award. Concluding her Master of Fine Arts candidacy at Western University, where she was accorded the Graduate Thesis Research Award and Graduate Travel and Research Grant. Here Forrest engages in a thriving relationship with graduate chair, artist, teacher, curator, and writer Christof Migone, her mentor, along with many other talented artists. She is privileged to carry forward these bonds into the PhD Art and Visual Culture program beginning this Fall 2024. Recently, her creations were selected for the International Art Fair Mixing Identities (London, UK and Rome, IT), the New Realism/Altered Reality exhibition (New York City, NY), and published in the ARTSIN SQUARE magazine. Forrest published her first autobiographical book titled The Imaginary Imagination, a science fiction short story, Chair, in an art collective book titled Dystopia: A Visual Anthology, and curated her solo exhibition, titled gasp, at Satellite Project Space in 2023. Moving forward, as a prolific author, in 2024 she completed The Room, Dream Space, and Velvet Ear.