A woman presents herself within the landscape. She turns a mirror towards the viewer, breaking up the solid environment. She interacts with the landscape she wanders in, blending into the background, changing with scale, or holding a part of the landscape itself. The whole image becomes a pictorial illusion and as the photographer, I am in complete control of the composition.
In reference to Greek mythological stories of goddesses, these women misleadingly appear faceless and docile, yet possess a strong power. Without seeing their faces, the identity becomes unimportant, the focus being on their performance. The variety of mirrors I use help them blend into their surroundings, the mirror serving as an illusion to show off their power by changing the landscape at will.
Using a medium format film camera and no digital manipulation, I create an illusion within the lens. I am inspired by 1890’s Pictoralist photographers and how they create a purely photographic reality in their images. Shooting in black and white, I make a historical reference to this period. I use Infrared film to emphasize the grain and to create a more surreal and distant reality. I challenge the notion of the landscape by referencing what makes a photograph: the women use their mirror to re-frame what I have framed and capture in their mirror like a camera captures in the lens. I am inspired by horizon lines because they are imaginary seams where heaven meets earth, relative to the eyes of the observer. Illusions are important to my work because through them I can impart a sense of the sublime, and I am delighted with the worldly power of deceit. The artificial is also relevant to my work, and some of my recent paintings have been of the interior of the home. The wall becomes a surface upon which dreams and nightmares are projected like adventures only seen in movies. Memories become transmuted, as electricity becomes sound, or something else.
Julia Forrest is a Brooklyn based artist. She works strictly in film and prints in a darkroom she built within her apartment. Her own art has always been her top priority in life and in this digital world, she will continue to work with old processing. Anything can simply be done in photoshop; she prefers to take the camera, a tool of showing reality, and experiment with what she can do in front of the lens.
Julia is currently working as a teaching artist at the Brooklyn Museum, USDAN Art Center, and Abrons Art Center. As an instructor, she thinks it is important to understand that a person can constantly stretch and push the boundaries of their ideas with whatever medium of art they choose. Her goal is for her audience to not only enjoy learning about photography, but to see the world in an entirely new way and continue to develop a future interest in the arts.