Sunday, 17 March 2013

Megan Jenkinson’s Collection Atmospheric Optics

Atmospheric Optics XI, 2009 – Lenticular

90 x 90cm, edition of 5 + 2 AP

I am inspired by this collection because it uses natural ight and digital photography to generate a series of captivating photographs.  The image Atmospheric Optics XI 2009 has an amazing array of colours. The dull foreground gives way to a rainbow of colours in the sky. There seems to be an imbalance of projected light though, with the sky with a dark background and the foreground having a bright light and focus. The ice caps remain neutral and it is only in the shadows where some of the pink hue from the aurora can be seen.

“The Atmospheric Optics series of aurorae is complimented by the Morrell’s Islands series, where the further conceptual dimension of apparent knowledge or belief is added. This series arose largely from Jenkinson’s reading of exploration journals, where the peculiar phenomenon of mirage islands was frequently mentioned. It seems many early explorers, such as Captain Morrell, named and carefully charted a number of Antarctic islands. Yet when later expeditions searched for them they had disappeared. The obvious explanation, that they were simply huge icebergs, is not in fact the accepted one, but rather it seems that Polar mirages were the cause. Distance, scale, and certainty, are notoriously fickle in those regions and still fool even the most seasoned observers (sometimes with tragic consequences). Again the lenticular process has been used by Jenkinson to entice the viewer into that unnerving world. Cold grey seas promise islands that come and go almost as if one stood on the freezing, heaving deck of some explorers ship.”


Megan Jenkinson:
  • Lecturer at the University of Auckland NZ and has been exhibiting her work primarily photography for 25 years
  • travelled to Antarctica in 2005 and was inspired by the “amazing spectacle of colour and illusion” (lenticular process), using this method since 2007
  • lenticular process: is the process by which a still image appears to move, as the angle from which it is seen changes…she uses this method in a series of disappearing island which were inspired by Antarctic travellers who reported new islands only to discover they were in fact mirages
  • her works range is size, from a ‘small’ A3 to ‘large’ (900mm x 1200mm) and lenses increase in size relative to the print, from 75 lpi to 30 lpi, the bigger the print the lower the image quality
  • other artists who inspired Megan using this medium, include Julianne Sumich (NZ) and Robyn Stacey (Aust)

Her artwork has a mix of colour and mood. You feel like each time you look at her work you are seeing it for the first time or that perhaps you just missed the changing angles  the last time.

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