Background: What is Lenticular Imaging?
DPLenticular Ltd produce materials for the Lenticular Industry. http://www.dplenticular.com Their website is an excellent resource for information about the products, materials and the processes of getting to the final image. It is easier to grasp the process and materials from this source than my attempts to give you information. For an excellent video see <www.lenticular-europe.com> for a hands-on explanation/demonstration with Jake Purchase.
There is a lot of information online with YouTube or similar, and a FaceBook page dedicated to Lenticular Arts and Artists. In simple terms it is image making, a printing technique that produces a form of animation as pattern, spatial modes, or morphing affects.
Lenticular images have essentially 3 formats of production technique with subtle differences in production and outcomes. But the materials and processes remain much the same. I have known of the process for at least 40 years and studied it more closely whilst doing my academic research into print whilst I was teaching at Cardiff School of Art. For me, the process was already understood.
In the Picture: I met Patrick Boyd RCA at his exhibition ‘Macro Mayhem’ in London earlier this year (2020) at his exhibition of Lenticular Photography at 286 Gallery, Earls Court, London. The owner and curator Jonathan Ross http://www.jrholocollection.com is a collector of Holographic and Lenticular artworks and includes Boyd’s work. The exhibition showed the collection on one floor and Boyd’s work on another. I work with Holographic Foiling as Gilding and through this idea we connect with the gallery.
Patrick Boyd RCA ‘Poetry’
If I am successful in my bid, the gallery has offered us a joint exhibition. Putting new work into the public domain is considered a success in research terms.
Patrick Boyd RCA ‘Tin Can’
Lenticular Printing is another new departure for me. I aim to work with the printed image and the surface aspect being a moving image; albeit slowly! In simple terms, a Print-Cut-Fold-Fix, like a form of paper cut-out.
Covid 19 closures & online ‘Graphic Sculpture’ – My artwork involving Kiln Formed Glass was brought to a standstill by the current ‘lockdown’ with the closure of institutes and suppliers. In order to continue with a safe practice I contacted Patrick Boyd to see if he and I might make some of my work together entirely online, using his printing equipment and his tacit understanding of the lenticular process. I wanted to make some work with ‘Print’ as the primary concept and ‘Graphic Sculpture’ being the outcome. We made an agreement and we are slowly getting our act together familiarising ourselves with the work and requirements. I am accustomed to working with others and enjoy the process.
Lenticular Angle of view for Left – Right
Above Left: ‘Lenny’ is a logo character. Lenstar is a Trade Name from DPLenticular. The image shows real depth and movement with the layers clearly expressed as animation. The camera image below is from the same company but reveals a very different visual photo-realistic appearance.
Above Right: The Lenticular Lens material is ‘striated’ with lines, either vertical or horizontal that remind me of the ‘warp & weft’ structure of woven fabric. The stripy effect is a characteristic of the lenticular medium. Many of my holographic painting, though done in a different method and medium have similar visual characteristics.
Left: A Still photo Right: A Lenticular image of the same photo
I am using the term to describe low relief objects that have a 2.5 dimension or semi-3-D in their presentation. I have been working in low-relief for some time but always in a standard craft medium; clay, metal, glass, textiles, styrene, etc, and sometimes with applied print. I want to develop a form of printed images, that animate the surface aspect of the objects. Its about seeing images bound up in objects, for instance, printed images on clay tiles, etc. I have been interested in optical objects, objects that adjust your perception of images or illusions of object / space relationships. I really enjoy the surface depth illusion within the flat plane of the material. It handles light as a graphic material, anamorphic perspective, drawing, animation, all sorts of ideas are addressed within the concept of the medium. Where I might differ from Patrick Boyd is my interest in arriving at an ‘installation’ concept; of the images as objects.
Through my chance encounter with Patrick Boyd and the concurrent Covid19 difficulties with lockdown, I thought it a good opportunity to make the decision to move my interest to the lenticular medium and working online. A situation where the cycle of making is shared between two persons and one technology; two artists prepared to share experiences and ideas and make changes in studio and creative terms.
Having a notion to start with helps. I have practiced modelling concepts with paper prints. I began with a simple visual conundrum, here the RED Moebious Strip. [Image below – Top left] I want to have very simple beginnings and work towards some broader concepts when I have some experience.
The Moebious Strip is defined as a single sided, single edged form that occupies 3-dimensional space. It shares a familiar experience as an object but is a conundrum in terms of its surface behaviour. The samples shown are not models for the project but samples of the thinking behind them. The relationship with lenticular images is purely notional as it is difficult to describe lenticular behaviour without actually using them. The image above is covered in graphic forms as patterns derived from the Tamil Alphabet.
Samples of Graphic Sculpture:
I am showing some samples that illustrate my understanding of the terms ‘Graphic’ and ‘Sculpture’ combined.
This monumental 2.5 D relief on the Front Elevation at Toulouse University was manufactured by Renkli in Germany, from digital images and moulding technology created from digital drawing and routing and rubber moulds. Each panel is 3metres X 1.5metres and cast in Glass Fibre Cement (GFC). The images are the product of a low relief engraving procedure and are entirely dependent on sunlight and shadow to be seen at all. During the day the images may appear to ‘disappear’ from view. There is no colour applied but simply the colour of the material itself. The mural is dedicated to scientific discovery.
The gravure process of the Glass Fibre Cement Print reveals a believable photographic quality, even a sense of colour through its tonal range. The engraved image is composed of vertical lines in varying depths and widths. The changes in depth and width produce the shadows that are the images. For me, the Lenticular process has a close connection that shares these vertical patterns as a principle format and also remind me of the ‘warp’ of woven cloth.
This sample (above) shows an inset image of the original Black & White photograph and the GFC version on the right. The vertical engraving with shadows can be seen in the surface. The images become clear when the viewer moves in front of the actual panel and seems to be animated by changing its appearance.
More on GRAPHIC SCULPTURE
Two Wall Drawings by Michael Craig-Martin demonstrate the concepts of solid planar and transparent linear forms expressed as outlines. The drawings are applied black tape adhered to the walls surface.Left: Solid and Opaque Forms apparently stacked one above or below another.
Right: Linear and Transparent forms integrated in a haphazard fashion become quite ambiguous in the ‘reading’ of their location.
The inferred perspective of the orange objects form as drawing denies the complete flatness of the actual metal object. Appearing solid yet simultaneously transparent, the orange colour reinforces the flatness and contradiction of the illusion as a solid object.
Left: Spatial ambiguity and comprehension of surface material are seen in this colour study from Josef Albers’ book ‘The Interaction of Colour’. All the colours are separate entities laying next to each other. The spatial ‘push & pull’ effect is an action of the colour / form relationship.Right: The same or similar approach in Michael Craig-Martin’s sculpture with a linear drawing overlaying the colours. The coloured forms project shadows on the wall creating an ambiguity of meaning as solid or transparent material forms collide.
Nelson Mandela Sculpture: An almost photographic effect derived from the chaotic looking collection of columns on the left with a quite random appearance. Like the works above, the point of view is critical for this concept/image to work at all. The linear aspect is not too different from the way Lenticular images function. Left: This Renckli sample shows an image of the original continuous tone Black & White photograph.
Right: the Glass Reinforced Cement (GRC) version on the right. The vertical engraving with shadows can be seen in the surface. The images become clear when the viewer moves in front of the actual panel and seems to be animated by changing its appearance. It is entirely dependent upon the sunlight. There are no applied colours to the cement. On a dull day there in not much to see. This is the dynamic I like very much, the movement and impermanence of the image. It again shows similarities to the Lenticular process. It also has an aspect of Digital Weaving about it. Like the Nelson Mandela image above, similar processes have similar outcomes.
RENCKLI: A facade in Toulouse, France created by Reckli from digital CAD files as a positive engraving for each panel. The images are copied into a rubber-like material and the cement version is cast from the rubber mould. The photographic impression is an action of the sunlight on the surface of the cement. Seen up close the vertical linear aspect is very evident.
Above: Sample images of Vectorised Graphic Patterns available readymade ‘off-the-shelf’ from the Renckli catalogue. The darker the lines the deeper the engraving, the darker the shadow. My painter/printmaker background shows me this as etching or engraving. The 3-d illusions are simple constructs in themselves.
Graphic Sculpture found in Portugal. Water-jet cut Cor-Ten Steel. The text is read from within the space. The outline shape is an image of the poets profile. Art on the Dam: A project in Portugal for artworks to be installed on every dam. This example is 63 metres long, the letters are over 2 metres high. It is a song title but I don’t know why it is in English? Flat objects in space share an illusion of form. The position of the viewer and the particulars of the making process determine the outcome.