Chris Levine’s captivating portrait of Queen Elizabeth II originated as a commission to commemorate, through a holographic portrait, the Isle of Jersey’s 800th year of allegiance to the British crown The ground-breaking technology necessary to achieve a three-dimensional portrait involved a custom-made high-resolution digital camera, which moved along a rail taking 200 images over eight seconds, and a 3-D data scanner.

‘Lightness of Being’, an intimate photograph of the Queen facing the camera with her eyes closed, has been described as a ‘happy accident’, an unplanned by-product of the highly technical process.  Between each round of photographs, for which the Queen was required to sit still, she would close her eyes to avoid excessive exposure to the light. Levine accidentally captured an image of her moment of rest and was fascinated by the photograph’s spiritual, meditative connotations.

Elizabeth II’s features had long been used by subversive artists, from Andy Warhol to Damien Hirst, to reflect on the social and political values of portraiture. In Levine’s photograph, however, the Queen seems to withdraw from the viewer’s gaze and to retreat into a personal, quiet world. Such a timeless image is suggestive of traditional religious iconography, that resonates not only with the late Queen’s devoutness but also with Levine’s deeply spiritual approach to art making.

‘The more the work can be accessed through the heart and not needing to be mentally processed, the better it allows for a deeper sensory experience’ the artist has stated. ‘Time spent connecting with the work is refuge… it can be calming and revitalising. And ultimately, it feels good.’


68 × 48.6 cm

Publication Year



Lenticular in bespoke double frame



Edition Size



Signed and numbered by the artist on the label on
the back

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