Tom Forrestall’s images of Atlantic Canadian rural landscapes are infused with a mystical, transcendent and fascinating quality. Magic Realism—an artistic movement in which magical elements appear in an otherwise realistic or “normal” setting—is an imprecise term that has often been used to classify Forrestall’s art. Rather, his naturalistic adaptation combines reality, poetry, and a metaphysical dimension that transcends a spiritual and emotional energy to the viewer. In The House at River Bend, one of his most recent paintings, there is an apparent tension and conflict that lies at the heart of this painting and his other works. The tensions in his art give it its dynamism and power, between life and art; experience and imitation; between reality and the imagination. These divergent forces, activate and enliven the communication between the artist and the viewer through the imperfect medium of the work of art.
Tom Forrestall: Paintings, Drawings, Writings chronicled Forrestall’s artwork over several decades. Comprising nearly fifty works in oil, watercolour, egg tempera, drawings, and his writings, this retrospective exhibition explored the basis of Forrestall’s creative expression through three primary disciplines—drawing, painting, and writing. His drawings and paintings record his artistic vocabulary and capture his visions from his imagination and the spirit of what he sees with his eyes. His writings explore and record ideas relating to his artistic and spiritual life, his family, and his surroundings, and probe the nature of his creativity, his hopes and dreams, and the source of his visions.
Organized and circulated by the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.Curated by Tom Smart.