JahRoc Galleries welcome the fresh, atmospheric and energetic artwork by Alice Linford Forte to our gallery and invite you to get to know the artist in our Up Close & Personal Q&A feature below.
Alice Linford Forte was born in England and moved to Western Australia at a young age. She grew up and studied in Margaret River before returning to the UK in January 2009 to work, travel and pursue her career as an artist. Over the years she has based herself between Morocco, Indonesia, UK and her hometown in Australia. Alice returned to her Margaret River home in March 2020 and where she is currently based.
Her art style portrays the kaleidoscope of cultures and colours in contemporary scenery and boasts an energetic, uninhibited sense of independence.
Enjoy getting to know Alice Linford Forte
When did you first feel the desire to be artistic and realize you had talent?
I’ve been passionate about drawing and painting for as long as I can remember. As for realising I had talent, well I still struggle with that! I’m horribly self critical and rarely feel 100% pleased with a finished work. I decided to commit to my artistic career when I was 19, after dropping out of my university degree and moving to London in 2009. I felt more comfortable giving it a go in a place where nobody knew me.
Where did you learn your art?
I developed my skills and learnt how to use different mediums at Margaret River High School. I studied art at T.E.E level and was already fairly committed to painting by that stage, and that’s what I’ve done ever since.
What inspires you most?
Wild, stormy coastlines and dramatic skies. Turbulence and drama in landscapes. Also travel. I move around a lot to stay inspired, snapping photos along the way and bringing them home to reflect upon and use as my mood board for future works. I’ve learnt that time out of the studio is equally as important for creativity as time in the studio.
What message are you sending to the viewer of your art?
Maybe a sense of my carefree and experimental nature. Impassioned, honest expression toward my subject, whether it be abstract or figurative. A view through a dramatised artistic lens.
Describe your studio
It’s a beautiful, rustic shed made from recycled tin, purpose built for me by my dad and situated on our family farm. I have a large wood burner in the corner for the winter days and big double doors that I open up in the summer, which look out to an expansive farm retreat where I grew up. Ducks, guinea fowl, peacocks and guinea pigs free range right outside the studio doors, while donkeys, alpacas and pigs graze the paddocks 50m away. It’s never a dull day’s work.
Describe your typical day of creating art
Depending on my mood I’ll either pick up an abstract or landscape work in progress, or stretch a fresh canvas and start something new. At any given time I have about 10 pieces on the go as I work in layers and each layer needs days in between to allow drying time. It wouldn’t be unusual for a peacock to attempt entering the studio or just stand at the entrance watching me. They seem to be drawn in by the music!
What mediums do you use and why?
Nowadays I use only oils. I’ve become very comfortable with them and the time they allow me to go back to previous layers with a thinning medium and either erase or sculpt textures in the paint. They are so manoeuvrable.
What are you working on now?
After looking around the studio and realising how many abstracts I have and how few landscapes I have I’m working on a few local coastal scenes. One is in it’s final stages, a large wintry Redgate piece. Some have only just begun, so are in the early stages of mapping out colours in a washy layer before applying detail. I also have 2 more figurative Morocco village scenes taken from a 2020 trip which I’m finishing off.
What are your recent career achievements you feel proud of?
I’ve recently been approached by a local winery to produce a couple of works that will become their wine label. That’s pretty exciting!
What do you love most about what you do?
Probably just the fact that I love going to work every day. I love the sense of achievement I feel after a productive day in the studio.
Where can you see yourself in 10 years time?
Hopefully still doing what I’m doing and being able to support myself and my family. That’s all I could ask for really.
Through my art I try to express myself as authentically as possible. My work is an extension of my mood, executed through colours, shapes, lines and empty spaces. As haphazard as my approach to painting is, I love that it embodies so many characteristics of my lifestyle; the motions of shifting, changing, moving & experimenting, experiencing new cultures and environments and adopting a very ‘trial and error’ attitude toward any task i pursue. Every now and again I dabble in more figurative painting, but abstract is what enables me to really let the imagination and emotion run their course. My works are built on layer upon layer of spontaneity and experimentation, which makes the process all the more exciting and unpredictable for me. Rarely do I have a vision of what I would like a finished piece to look like. It’s the emotion and energy transmitted on a moment to moment basis that gives each work true, raw character and a point of difference. I live quite a nomadic lifestyle, and the travel is what stimulates new energy, technique and inspiration.
Growing up in a small creative hub in the isolated South West of Australia has enabled me to pursue my passion in the arts with a free and uninhibited approach. I enjoy my unforeseeable path as an artist, as it encourages me to be proactive and dynamic. I’m never bored because my style is constantly evolving, and i’m certainly never short of fresh ideas.
Oils have been my chosen medium for the last few years and I savour the time they allow me to sculpt layers into a piece. The more depth within a painting, the more people are able to identify with the content as they let the imagination wander. I let the intuition lead and the rest follows. The result is a kind of visual escapism.
Alice Linford Forte was born in England and moved to Western Australia at a young age. She lived and studied in Margaret River before returning to the UK in January 2009 to work, travel and pursue her career as an artist. Over the years she has based herself between Morocco, Indonesia, UK and her hometown in Australia, where she would make an annual trip back to participate in various events and exhibitions. Alice returned to her Margaret River home in March 2020, and has been based there since then. Her art style portrays the kaleidoscope of cultures and colours in contemporary scenery and boasts an energetic, uninhibited sense of independence. After dabbling in acrylics and watercolour, Alice’s chosen medium is now oil paint.Stark white and bright colours are often used in conjunction with thick, textured brush strokes to achieve a vibrancy, contrast and excitement in her subject.
- July 2017 Summer resident at Bath Contemporary Gallery, England
- May 2015 This Must Be the Place – Margaret River Gallery
- May 2014 Colours of Morocco – Margaret River Gallery
- December 2013 Paradis Plage, Agadir, Morocco
- May 2013 Adinfern Estate, Margaret River
- February 2011 Foyer Gallery, Margaret River Cultural Centre
- January 2010 Birchfield Gallery, Margaret River
- December 2017 Time & Tide – Margaret River Gallery
- May 2016 Dreamers – Margaret River Gallery
- October 2010 Flaxon Ptootch, Kentish Town, London
- Nov 2019 Hacienda Iguana, Nicaragua
- May 2019 Unbound, Margaret River Gallery
- Nov 2016 Margaret River Gallery at Kidogo Arthouse, Fremantle
Awards & Commendations
- 2020 BRAG SW Times Art Exhibition – selected artist
- 2018 Mandorla Art Award – Finalist
- 2017 Busselton Art Award – Highly Commended
- 2017 Margaret River Wine Label Competition, Cape Mentelle – People’s Choice