Beth D’Elia

Beth is an experimental photographer who works with Polaroid film to create one-of-a-kind images, emulsion lifts, and manipulations. Her work often blurs the line between photography and painting.

She works with the materiality of the film itself by pushing the limits of what a Polaroid image is and can be. With water and other experimental techniques, she transforms hand-held images into unique works of art. The film she uses never goes to waste. She even treasures and utilizes the hidden negatives after removing the emulsion layer.

She primarily uses a vintage SX-70 camera but has also experimented with the Polaroid Go and One Step Land cameras. Different film stocks often produce surprising results, as there is always an unpredictable element when making photographs using a Polaroid. The cameras can be glitchy, and the film is quite sensitive to heat, cold, wind, and humidity.

Growing up on Cape Cod, she was immersed in nature and the arts. She is drawn to the natural environment and many images are made while out on her daily dog walks along the beaches, marshes, and trails of the Cape.

Her image-making process is slow, mindful, and meditative, allowing her to focus and notice. Composing work after development can take time. Some images need to be left alone while others beg to be transformed, which can occur within days, weeks, or even months. She also performs darkroom processes to create photograms.

From this practice, she regularly creates series, collages, and mosaics.

She is currently studying in the MFA Photography and Integrated Media program at Lesley University. Her work is in private collections throughout the United States, and abroad in the UK, Ireland, and Canada.