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A magical photograph taken in Finland as part of The Forest Project. Now available as a limited edition art print for just 100 backers.
A magical photograph taken in Finland as part of The Forest Project. Now available as a limited edition art print for just 100 backers.
A magical photograph taken in Finland as part of The Forest Project. Now available as a limited edition art print for just 100 backers.
40 backers pledged £2,459 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

MAKE 100: 'The Forest Project' Limited Edition Print

£2,459

40

The original image, taken in Finland (2015) on a lake in a forest near the Russian border
The original image, taken in Finland (2015) on a lake in a forest near the Russian border

For the first time since 2015, I'm offering a limited edition print of this popular image.

To me, this image represents beauty and harmony with nature. The equilibrium of feminine strength. A quiet intimate moment that holds the pure magic photography has to offer.

As a circus photographer, I'm looking for unique physicality, but it was in that last moment, that I found the essence of this experience. This is the last photo I took in the course of 3 days in the forest. It was taken on June 18, 2015, 9.45pm.

The 12" x 16" fine art Giclée prints are made in London on Hahnemühle Photo Rag 308gsm archive paper. These limited edition museum prints are all signed and numbered by myself. Only 100 printed!

As part of Kickstarter's January 2017 initiative Make 100; 'a crowdfunding with just 100 rewards for only 100 backers' - I am excited to take part and start this campaign with an exclusive £49 price tag instead of the usual £100!

Pictures of the 12" x 16" print; each print is signed & numbered
Pictures of the 12" x 16" print; each print is signed & numbered

 

Each print includes a complimentary A6 postcard with the image 'Embrace' from 'The Forest Project'. Only 100 printed especially for this campaign!

 

 

My second favourite image from The Forest Project collaboration with Sade and Viivi must be the image above.

In a moment of improvisation, I asked them if they can somehow hug and this happened. Looking closely, you can see the mosquito bites and the scratches / bruises they both had from running around doing insane acrobatics in the forest. To me, this image represents their support towards each other. They also seem to be growing like a tree, camouflaged and melting within the forest as one. Love, embrace.

To my great surprise, when I photographed the actual show a year later, I found the hug incorporated into the show's last scene.

The last scene during 'The Forest Project' performance at Silence Festival. June 10, 2016. Lapland, Finland.
The last scene during 'The Forest Project' performance at Silence Festival. June 10, 2016. Lapland, Finland.

I decided to make a limited run of 100 postcard which I'll give away for free with each print I'll send out. These will only be available through this Kickstarter.

In June 2015 I spent 3 days with Sade Kamppila and Viivi Roiha, two Finnish female circus artists.

We created photographic work in preparation for a project that during the past year turned into a circus show touring in different forests around the world. The show is called Metsä - The Forest Project.

We stayed in an isolated cottage right next to the Russian border, a beautiful lake (one of nearly 200k lakes Finland has to offer), no shower or running water, yes sauna, yes fireplace, yes (what felt like) world's largest population of human-eating-mosquitos and yes, great food by two fantastic artists (Sade & Viivi) ...it was an inspiring experience and I already miss that forest.

The approximate location where the picture was taken (click for Google Maps)
The approximate location where the picture was taken (click for Google Maps)

 

Since this was quite northern on our planet, the sun doesn't really set down during summer. This picture was taken around 11pm:

 

We didn't have running water so the only way we could wash was to jump into the freezing lake. Even though it was June, it was still Finland and the Finnish summer is very different from what most of us are used to. The temperature was around 10 °C (50 °F) or less and it often rained. We used the wood burning sauna on a daily basis. If you look closely you could see rain drops in the water around Sade and Viivi. The picture was taken straight after they got out of the lake after coming down from the sauna. You could even see the steam coming up from their bodies. That sensation of jumping into a freezing lake after spending 20 minutes in a hot Finnish sauna is a very unique one. Since the water is colder than the outside, for about 5 minutes after getting out of the water you're able to sit on the deck naked, in the rain ....steaming and enjoying this moment in complete serenity. Feeling harmonious with nature.

Here's a picture of the stairs to the deck from the sauna:

 

 

To see the full set of images created during the 3-day collaboration please go to my blog.

You can also see some Behind the Scenes pictures on my Instagram.

My Instagram & Facebook will also be where I will post a lot of updates about the campaign while it's on, so make sure to follow!

Click image to see more images from the project on my blog
Click image to see more images from the project on my blog

 

   

  • 5% of the profits will go back into the Kickstarter community to help other creative dreams come true!
  • A share of the profits will go directly to Sade Kamppila and Viivi Roiha, the circus artists in the picture.
  • Another share of the profits will be donated to a new circus company somewhere around the world, to help them make their creation a reality and by that, inspire audiences where ever it may be. The rest will go to support my personal work and development of existing and future projects.

You can find more info about The Forest Project on the project's website: metsatheforestproject.info

To find out more about me or view more of my work please head to my website: therealbenhopper.com.

Follow my work on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr.

For anything else please feel free to get in touch on: therealbenhopper@gmail.com.

Thank you and Happy New Year! Ben Hopper :D xx

Risks and challenges

This is my 3rd Kickstarter. My previous 2 campaigns were successfully funded and worked exactly as planned - perhaps even exceeded my expectations!
If anything, I'm just very excited to have an opportunity to take the plunge again!
My only challenge here was to get this artwork to as many people as possible in an affordable price.
I decided to cut down the regular price basing on the quantity factor Kickstarter can help with.
I've also added a complimentary limited edition postcard to make the purchase even more tempting!
Should any prints remain once the campaign ends, I will continue selling the remaining ones from this edition at the regular £100 price.

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  1. Reward no longer available

    Pledge £49 or more About $60

    12" x 16" Print - Earliest Bird

    'The Forest Project' limited edition 12" x 16" Giclée print.
    Printed in London on museum quality Hahnemühle Photo Rag 308gsm archive paper.
    Only 100 printed.
    Signed and numbered by Ben Hopper.
    Shipped worldwide with trackable postage.

    Includes a complimentary A6 postcard with the image 'Embrace' from 'The Forest Project'.
    Only 100 printed especially for this campaign!

    Earliest Bird - £49 instead of £100, only 10 available from this reward!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 10 backers
    £
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge £49 or more About $60

    12" x 16" Print - Earliest Bird 2.0

    I'm continuing with the craziness and extending the £49 reward!
    Earliest Bird 2.0 - £49 instead of £100, only 30 available from this reward!

    'The Forest Project' limited edition 12" x 16" Giclée print.
    Printed in London on museum quality Hahnemühle Photo Rag 308gsm archive paper.
    Only 100 printed.
    Signed and numbered by Ben Hopper.
    Shipped worldwide with trackable postage.

    Includes a complimentary A6 postcard with the image 'Embrace' from 'The Forest Project'.
    Only 100 printed especially for this campaign!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 25 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge £59 or more About $72

    12" x 16" Print - Early Bird JR

    'The Forest Project' limited edition 12" x 16" Giclée print.
    Printed in London on museum quality Hahnemühle Photo Rag 308gsm archive paper.
    Only 100 printed.
    Signed and numbered by Ben Hopper.
    Shipped worldwide with trackable postage.

    Includes a complimentary A6 postcard with the image 'Embrace' from 'The Forest Project'.
    Only 100 printed especially for this campaign.

    Early Bird JR - £59 instead of £100, only 30 available from this reward.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge £69 or more About $84

    12" x 16" Print - Kickstarter Exclusive

    'The Forest Project' limited edition 12" x 16" Giclée print.
    Printed in London on museum quality Hahnemühle Photo Rag 308gsm archive paper.
    Only 100 printed.
    Signed and numbered by Ben Hopper.
    Shipped worldwide with trackable postage.

    Includes a complimentary A6 postcard with the image 'Embrace' from 'The Forest Project'. Only 100 printed especially for this campaign.

    Kickstarter Exclusive - £69 instead of £100, only 30 available from this reward.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer
    £
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    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Reward no longer available

    Pledge £79 or more About $97

    12" x 16" Print - Artist’s Proof

    'The Forest Project' Artist’s Proof 12" x 16" Giclée print.
    Only 2 available from these unique valuable first prints ever made, originally for archive purpose.
    Printed in London on museum quality Hahnemühle Photo Rag 308gsm archive paper.
    Signed and numbered by Ben Hopper with "AP/1" and "AP/2".
    Shipped worldwide with trackable postage.

    Includes a complimentary A6 postcard with the image 'Embrace' from 'The Forest Project'. Only 100 printed especially for this campaign.

    Artist’s Proof - £79 instead of £200, only 2 available from this reward.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 2 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

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Funding period

- (30 days)