Louise Forthun was born in Port Macquarie, New South Wales in 1959. She has been exhibiting works, both in solo and in group exhibitions, since 1985. In 1982 she studied a BA in Fine Art (Painting) at RMIT University in Melbourne then went on to undertake a Graduate Diploma (Painting) at the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne, in 1987. In the year 2000, Forthun received an MA in Fine Art (Painting) from RMIT University, Melbourne. From 1993 to 2001, she lectured in painting and drawing at Monash University, RMIT University and the Victorian College of the Arts.
Forthun has been awarded numerous grants and prizes throughout her career, including the Arts Projects Grant, City of Melbourne Arts Grant in 2003 and 2007. She was also commissioned, in 1998, to create a limited edition artist print for the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.