The first ever lenticular portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, Equanimity, has been presented to The National Portrait Gallery
, London by the People of Jersey.
The portrait, by artist Chris Levine and holographer Rob Munday, was commissioned in 2004 by the Jersey Heritage Trust to celebrate the islands 800 year relationship with the monarchy. Lenticular images produce an illusion of spatial depth and movement, giving the appearance of three-dimensions. Equanimity will be on display as part of The Queen: Art and Image exhibition, opening at the Gallery on 17 May 2012.
The work given to the Gallery is a new, more technically refined version of the original Equanimity, created in 2004 and will be seen for the first time at the Gallery. It is the product of two sittings with Queen Elizabeth II during which over 10,000 individual photographic images were made using a tracking camera. Computer technology was then used to process this visual information in order to produce the final portrait. The original version of Equanimity has already toured to the National Gallery Complex, Edinburgh, National Museums Northern Ireland, Belfast and National Museum Cardiff as part of The Queen: Art and Image exhibition. The exhibition also includes the work Lightness of Being by Levine, an image derived from the sittings for Equanimity which, unconventionally, depicts the monarch with closed eyes.
Queen Elizabeth II, the ruling monarch of the United Kingdom and Head of the Commonwealth, succeeded her father George VI in 1952, aged 25. Her coronation in 1953, the first ever to be televised, was broadcast internationally. Her Silver and Golden Jubilees were celebrated in 1977 and 2002, and 2012 sees her Diamond Jubilee marking sixty years on the throne, the second longest for a British monarch. The most portrayed individual in history, the forthcoming exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, The Queen: Art and Image, examines changing representations of the Queen, and the way these images reflect significant artistic and social changes in the years since her accession. Equanimity is the first holographic royal portrait to enter the Gallerys Collection and marks a significant development in the iconography of the Queen.
Chris Levine was born in Ontario, Canada. After studying graphic design at Chelsea School of Art and computer graphics at Central St Martins School of Art, he went on to produce a body of work embracing photography, lasers, holography and stage design in which light is a central, connecting theme. Levine describes this range of activity as that of a light artist, in which light is both a primary visual characteristic but also has a philosophical and spiritual dimension reflecting the artists engagement with eastern thought and meditation. In the last decade he has exhibited internationally, including shows in London, Singapore, Paris, New York and Los Angeles. In particular, his portraits of The Queen following from a commission in 2004 from Jersey Heritage Trust have attracted attention, alongside his collaboration with Antony and the Johnsons presented this year by MoMA, New York.
Rob Munday graduated in 1983 with a BA(Hons) in Scientific and Technical Graphics and he has taught several of the United Kingdoms first courses in Holography. He was a co-founding member, alongside Peter Miller, of the Holography Unit within the Photography Department at the Royal College of Art and worked alongside Prof Nick Philips to establish the worlds first and only academic qualification in creative holography. In 2005 he received the Royal Photographic Societys Saxby Medal, for creative and technical achievements in the field of three-dimensional imaging.
Sandy Nairne, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, London, says: The National Portrait Gallery is delighted to acquire this very distinctive portrait of The Queen. Equanimity, marks a significant development in royal iconography and forms an important element of the exhibition, The Queen: Art and Image which marks the Diamond Jubilee. We are extremely grateful for the generosity of the People of Jersey.
Senator Philip Ozouf, Treasury and Resources Minister for the States of Jersey, says: The presentation of this iconic image of Her Majesty The Queen to the National Portrait Gallery, during the year of her Diamond Jubilee, is a great honour and an opportunity for us to demonstrate Jersey's loyalty to the Crown and international standing.
Philip Hewat-Jaboor FSA, who has been acting in an honorary advisory capacity for Jersey says: This captivating portrait of Her Majesty is the quintessential image of Statehood it perfectly represents Jerseys longstanding relationship with The Queen, the islands allegiance, loyalty and integrity to The Crown.