Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Conversation with Jennilee Marigomen

Surprise Rainbow, From The See (2009), © Jennilee Marigomen

Jennilee Marigomen's photography focuses on moments when nature meets urbanity. She is also the art director behind 01 Magazine and co-curates "Stream," a photograph projection show, both projects that have amazing content.

Sacha's Apartment, From The See (2009), © Jennilee Marigomen

Nymphoto: Tell us a little about yourself?

Jennilee Marigomen: I was born and raised in the Vancouver, Canada. My parents divorced when I was young and my brother and I lived with my mother in East Vancouver. Although I lived in a working class neighborhood, I attended private schools on the other side of the city throughout most of my life. It was a strange juxtaposition. I focused on art activities such as painting and animation when growing up, with an exception to the Little League baseball team that my mother made me join - where I was one of two girls. I was the only one wearing pearls in the team photo. In college, I studied Fashion Marketing and some Communication Design. I currently work in those industries in my day job. When I am not taking photos or in the office, I work on an online magazine called 01 Magazine. As a side project, I work on photograph projection shows. “Stream” is my most recent series of them.

Heart Waves, From the See (2009), © Jennilee Marigomen

Caine at Sloquet Creek, (2009), © Jennilee Marigomen

NP: How did you discover photography?

JM: I was given a Canon AE-1 from my high school science teacher and was drawn to photography right away. That is also when I fell in love with the serenity of the darkroom. My favorite memories from high school are working alone in the darkroom after classes - ours was very modest and small and only one person could work in it at a time. Through the darkness, CBC Radio was playing softly as a backdrop to the noise of a fan drying negatives, the splashing of the developing fluid, and the occasional buzzing of the timer. I was completely captivated by images slowly appearing on the paper under the developer. It was my personal haven. I often stayed until the school janitor would ask me to leave so that he could lock up.

Stuck, Botanophobia (2009), © Jennilee Marigomen

NP: Where do you find inspiration?

JM: I am drawn to the subtleties and displacement within nature. I‘m lucky enough to live in the Pacific Northwest where nature is easily accessible and abundant, even in urban environments. My favorite kind of images are the ones that tie into this theme and leave the viewer with more questions than answers.

Escape, Botanophobia (2009), © Jennilee Marigomen

I am also very inspired by images found on internet. Because of my work in 01 Magazine and Stream, I am always looking for interesting work. Like Alana Celii, I absolutely love using Tumblr, and find it a huge source of inspiration. Some of my favorite tumblr blogs from my peers include:

Lost, Absent (2009), © Jennilee Marigomen

NP: How do your projects come about?

JM: Most of my photography work happens through intuitive observation and happenstance. I try not to think too much about it or define it, as most of my work instinctively shares similar themes. My projects for the most part share the themes of the investigation of everyday urban phenomenon, the tensions between the natural world and urban intervention, and the fleeting extraordinary. Right now, it is in the edit where I separate the images into different series. This may change over time as I start new projects.

Scenery, Absent (2009), © Jennilee Marigomen

Stream, a bi-coastal photograph projection show, came about after the Night Vision renegade photograph projection shows that I worked on in Vancouver. Photographer Andrew Laumann and I decided to collaborate with Stream, with plans to show at his gallery, Pent House Gallery in Baltimore. I thought it would be cool to have it show in a completely different city at the same time, and an opportunity with Gallery Space at Space 15 Twenty in Los Angeles came up - making the show bi-coastal. The event took place in January 2010 and was a complete success.

Fall, Wabi Sabi (2009), © Jennilee Marigomen

is one of my favorite projects that I have worked on for many reasons. Firstly, I love working with people who I feel have the same kind of creative intentions that I do. Secondly, these kind of shows are a great way to show a wide range of photographic styles with very little restrictions, other than time. Stream featured 23 photographers and 400 of their images. Most importantly, I really like the idea that each image is showing for one moment in time, in that space, never to be shown in that way again. It makes every moment feel very precious and in combination with live music, makes the experience of watching the show very special and engrossing. The audience is very respectful and devote their full attention to the show - kind of like watching a film. I sometimes get distracted in the social aspect of art openings and feel that watching a projection show is more a poignant and tranquil experience.

Untitled, From The See (2009), © Jennilee Marigomen

NP: What’s next?

JM: The 01 Magazine Group show that I have worked on with Redia Soltis is currently running until April 3rd at 107 Shaw Gallery in Toronto. I have a few shows lined up in the States this year, and something in the works with a Parisian book publisher, which I am very excited about.

To see more of Jennilee's work, please head to


A.Mart said...

Jennilee is the best!

Walter said...

How many hours are in her days? Not just a great photographer but also a community builder finding forums for others to contribute. Amazing.