Megan Jenkinson on her lenticular photographs

Art Press Release from Australia. Published by Rebecca Gabrielle Cannon on Wednesday 30 September 2009.

Atmospheric Optics X, 2009 image Atmospheric Optics XI, 2009 image

Earlier this year photographer Megan Jenkinson exhibited a collection of photographs at Stills Gallery in Sydney. Utterly enthralled by the magical Aurora Australis content, and the lenticular production method, I shot Megan a few questions about her work.

Lenticular Printing, if you are not familiar with it, is the process by which a still image appears to move, as the angle from which it is seen changes. Those of you who were around in the Eighties might recall the daggy little plastic rulers you got from McDonalds, and as you flipped them each way the picture changed. Megan’s work employs a very sophisticated adoption of that technique. I haven’t seen the results in real life, but even the digital reproductions are gorgeous.

How did you come to the lenticular process, and how long have you been producing works like this?

I have been making Lenticular prints since 2007. I first came to use the process as I had a concept for a series that could only be realized satisfactorily as a lenticular print. This was for a series of disappearing islands that were inspired by accounts of early Antarctic explorers who reported new lands, only to discover later that they were mirages. Since then I have utilised the same process for other images that deal with transient visual and physiological phenomena, such as auroras and afterimages.

Does the combination of materials (e.g. digital print, UV inks on polypropylene) have a known shelf life? Can you estimate how long the works can be preserved for?

I cannot be certain as the process is relatively new, but as far as I know the printers who prepare the work use products which are more light stable than many digital inks but which are not as archival, perhaps, as materials specially designed for the most stringent museum requirements.

Regarding the Lenticular process: How large are the works, and how fine is the detail (resolution) of the lenticular frames (if I can call them that).

The prints range in size: small (approx. A3); medium (approx. A2); and large (900 mm x 1200 mm is the largest size I have printed to. The lens increases in size relative to the print size, from 75lpi for the smallest prints to 30 lpi for the largest prints. Larger prints can be made but this is at the expense of image quality.

How many layers/images?

The maximum number of layers I have worked with is five.

Are you selling multiple prints?

The editions are up to 5

How many works are in the show?

There were 16 images in the exhibition Fleet Light.

Were you inspired by other artists working in this field?

There are very few artists working with this medium. Two years ago I was only aware of one New Zealand artist Julainne Sumich, but since then I have discovered that a few Australian artists, including Robyn Stacey, make lenticular prints from time to time.

Who are your favourite artists?

My taste in art is wide ranging, historically, stylistically, and materially. However I like the cleverness of Cornelia Parker’s work, especially her use of titles to extend the conceptual scope of her sculptures; the prolonged and varied engagement with Place inherent in Roni Horn’s work; the unique graphic ability of Denys Watkins; the surreal fantasy of Bill Hammond; the monks of Zurbaran monumentalized by a low viewpoint; Narelle Jubelin’s insistence on the potency of the minute, and the ambient paintings for a Parisian ballroom by Josep Maria Sert … to name but a few.

Megan Jenkinson is represented by

Stills Gallery, Sydney, Australia

Two Rooms Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand

Mark Hutchins Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand

Jonathan Smart Gallery, Christchurch, New Zealand

Download the Fleet Light Press Release

The Catalogue text for Fleet Light provides excellent insight into her work.