After graduating from York University (English), Elizabeth specialized in printmaking at the Ontario College of Art where she later taught the fundamentals of printmaking for seven years. In 1988, Elizabeth travelled to Japan on a Canada Council grant to research traditional Japanese woodblock, aka “mokuhanga”, a medium she has subsequently made the main focus of her practice. Since 1999, she has conducted many mokuhanga workshops in Toronto and elsewhere.
Elizabeth is represented by Open Studio Gallery, Toronto, and since 2015, has had 4 solo exhibitions at Gerrard Art Space. She has participated in many international group shows through Open Studio, as well as juried International Mokuhanga Exhibitions held in Kyoto (2011) Tokyo (2014), Hawaii (2017) and Nara (2021). Over the years she’s been awarded 4 Canada Council grants for projects, travel and exhibitions, as well as a number of Ontario Arts Council grants.
Moving to Waterloo in 2018 has afforded more living and studio space as well as supportive artistic community.
For additional information and to view work, www.elizabethforrest.ca. @elizabethforrest.artist
Also described as "colour woodcut" the Japanese term, mokuhanga is a neutral contemporary term used internationally amongst printmakers. A traditional medium dating back to 17th century Japan, mokuhanga is a waterbased relief print medium requiring the carving of an image in a fine-grained wood and followed by multiple colour printing entirely by hand, using thick horse hair brushes and a baren pressing tool. The qualities of transparency possible are greatly enhanced by the use of Japanese artisanal papers (washi) which achieve the best absorption of the pigment and create a luminosity not found in other forms of printmaking.
This material is copyright, ©2022 Elizabeth Forrest and should not be reproduced without the artist's permission.
Elizabeth Forrest describes her work as “print based works on paper”. A decade ago she worked exclusively in mokuhanga, the Japanese style woodblock printing, but gradually she has preferred to work with greater spontaneity and immediacy.
I’m an artist first, then a printmaker. While for much of the last two decades my work was drawn from some expression of landscape, I am recently turning to the figure to tell a story. Short narratives in the form of an exchange between strangers, and longer series consisting of snapshot-like representations have been explored playfully. Experiment is the name of the game.
A life long love of printmaking provides me with the discipline to use carving or printing tools for creating layered, printed impressions using different print media. I love colour and employ it not only topically but to have meaning. I also continue to work on washi (Japanese paper), but I am no longer interested in producing editions preferring to create one work then to move on to the next work or image. Digital technology enabling me to transfer drawings to a woodblock for printing is also of interest as can be seen in many recent works employing the screen motif. I find this possibility exciting and look forward to further expansion in this direction. EF April 2022