Esther Forse

Dream Cottage

Jackson's Art Prize 2024
40 x 60 cm


“My paintings are currently investigating different imaginings of Utopia and their tensions and contradictions, using old postcards of model villages. I am interested in the many levels of artificiality, reproduction and fabrication this involves, from the fictional history of the fake miniature houses, to the always-sunny edenic tendency of postcards, to the careful illusionism of the paintings.

My painting style is in sympathy with the subject matter, as both involve slow and detailed work to build a convincing version of something that is not the thing itself. Working with found photography from different decades allows for a visual engagement with time and memory, such as through over- and under- saturation. People – and model people – are always painted out of each image, though their reflections and shadows may sometimes remain. The result is an empty dream-village communicated and distorted through several stages, and which encourages questioning of the dreams themselves.”