Fredericton Arts Alliance: Artists in Residence for Aug. 7-13

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Laura Forrester and Olivia Thomson: Nature vs Imagination

Laura Forrester draws on nature, while Olivia Thomson looks to her imagination for art inspiration.

The two women will work together as artists in residence in the Garrison District Aug. 7 to 13 in a program run by the Fredericton Arts Alliance, which asks them to find a way to collaborate. Forrester will combine watercolour, oil paints, acrylic, and pastels to create a series of paintings. Thomson, reflecting on her previous residency this summer, plans to develop her zine ideas.

Forrester finds nature to be her primary muse. She is fascinated by capturing beauty amid imperfection. Many of her floral and nature-scape paintings are scenes where a garden has been destroyed or overgrown, representing how it has “lost its traditional beauty”. “I love the idea of something being beautiful even when it is broken,” she said.

Instagram: @oliviamthomson

She tries to capture scenes as they are in her mind rather than adhering to realism. “I will often take reference photos but generally work from memory. I think it is more meaningful to represent things as they are in my memory rather than how they may be in reality,” she said.

Thomson describes her art style as “ maximalist and dreamy, ” incorporating busy patterns, vibrant colours, and bugs to create chaos. Her work often contrasts moments of anxiety or sadness with fun elements and jokes.

Thomson’s work stems from her imagination, drawing inspiration from dreams or bursts of creativity. “A lot of my work is trying to illustrate a specific feeling through colourful, maximalist images. I try to keep a log of my ideas (plants I like, weird phrasing I come across, unique aesthetics etc.), so when I get the urge to make something, I take a couple notes from there to get some key images and then build from there,” she said.

Follow Laura Forrester on Instagram @luarforr and Olivia Thompson @oliviamthomson

The Fredericton Arts Alliance greatly appreciates the continuing support of the City of Fredericton and Downtown Fredericton in making these residencies possible.

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