William Forrestall was born in Middleton, Nova Scotia in 1959. He attended Mount Allison University and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Following immediate success in group shows, William dedicated himself to art professionally. He had his first solo exhibition at Gallery 78 in 1987 and has had many shows since in Fredericton, all over New Brunswick, in Halifax, in Saskatchewan and in Los Angeles, California .
William has been the recipient of many grants and in 1994 he was awarded the Brucebo scholarship to study and tour through European art Galleries. Among other important influences in his current work are the Egyptian artifacts and remnants in the Ashmolean museum in Oxford where William spent a summer.
William Forrestall was lucky in finding his specific artistic direction and interest early. The paintings that established his reputation and that have continued to impress his collectors are all characterised by unique vision. He has an ascetic aesthetic in which he strives to create, in his words, “the illusion of a new reality”. This artist's subject is time and the passage of time into history and the preserving of moments. In order to presents this he paints the shapes and textures of objects that interest him in that most basic of compositions: the still life; he juxtaposes objects with varying levels of permanence creating dialogue from the inanimate. William Forrestall presents symmetry and asymmetry as a mechanism of tension in his paintings. He uses tempera because the technique involves subtlety and patient progress: these requirements emphasize the abstract peace of the subject matters. The quantum passage of time is key to William's work. His paintings make the stillness and quiet of his studio available to the viewer eternally.