Bethany de Forest

1966 -

About the artist

Bethany de Forest was born in 1966 and lives and works in Amsterdam. She is a pin-hole photographer and film-maker. De Forest studied at art schools in both Utrecht and Amsterdam and while there started creating diorama’s.

De Forest wanted to show a ‘realistic’ and somewhat absurdist imaginary world. She creates images and illusions that feel like you can actually visit the world she portrays. Bethany gets her inspiration from objects and materials that appeal to her. This includes holiday landscapes. In every picture there seems to be an elemnt of suspense, a mysterious darkness, drawing you closer and closer into an almost evil surprise.

Bethany primarily works with nearby materials that are easy to come by such as candle wax or sugar cubes. A master in the Tiffany-technique she created church-like buildings.

Bethany de Forest uses mirrors to create the illusion of space. As the camera will be in the picture she incorporates this in order to blend in to the surroundings. The camera will always be in the picture but is rarely recognisable as a camera.

To create a pinhole image you need a pinhole camera. A camera without a lens the light reaches the film through a hole the size of a pinpoint. This means many objects such as cans and boxes can be turned into a pinhole camera. De Forest first started using a matchbox which she used to create black and white images. Today she uses modified cameras. Pinhole cameras don’t require clicking, it’s simply a matter of removing the cap and letting light do its work. This means shutter times are much longer than with conventional photography.