More than an illusion…

August 2013: Flocke, asdescribed here, has gone & the region is under redevelopment.

The world seen through a child’s eye, is a world full of wonders. A world where imagination reveals many paths. The world seen within the eye of an adult can sometimes be scary and make us want to hide and close the eyes. Still we are, even if grown in age, children of this world … A journey about ‘Reality and Illusions’. A visual discussion where you might explore sometimes beauty and sometimes the strange and odd.

This is the description Joanna Corith gives to her new collaborative project at Flocke, which she has developed with Pale Illusion. It’s a region that is bound to grab my attention, as it features water, so I was pleased to get the nudge from Baz D. to go take a look.

Flocke
Flocke

Flocke is a place which can be explored as an art installation and simply as a place to visit. As an art installation, the introductory notecard for the region (tucked neatly aware in a little signboard .. somewhere … :)) reads, “We’d like to invite you to a little visual journey of a discussion we have about ‘REALITY’ and ‘ILLUSION’ and hope you’ll have fun to explore our thoughts, questions and perhaps conclusions we will make.”

As a place to visit, Flocke offers places to dance with a friend, or to sit and contemplate things (or one another) and a little open-air movie theatre.

Flocke
Flocke

Given recent world events, with tornadoes and floods making the headlines, the region’s design is also somewhat evocative and thought-provoking, with shattered houses suspended in the air, flooded ruins on the ground and even a ravaged houseboat.  As such, I admit I found my mind wandering in directions other than the nature of reality and illusion, despite the region’s designed being framed by Albert Einstein’s famous quote, “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one”. I also found the inclusion of the little rafts with floating candles on one side of the region particularly poignant as a result.

That I was reminded of recent real life tragedies is not to condemn the build in any way. Far from it; that Flocke is so evocative on a number of different levels is to me a demonstration of the visual power of this open, almost minimal design. So I look at my own thoughts while visiting as reflective of the fact that we cannot avoid carrying matters from the real world into our second lives, and can thus find those matters resonating with us in the most unexpected of ways.

Flocke
Flocke

Often, when I visit a region, I tend to tweak my windlight settings, even if the region owner has set a complementary setting of their own. It’s not necessarily that I don’t like the selected windlight; it’s more a case that I like to have a twiddle and a play and present things in a (hopefully) interesting way in my snaps which still allowing anyone who may visit off the back of these pieces the broadest measure of discovery & the opportunity to perhaps tweak and place with their own windlight options.

Flocke, however, is one of the exceptions to this approach. The use of the Bristol pre-set with the region is simply perfect, and gives the region all the atmosphere it needs, so all the pictures here are presented “as-is”, so to speak, although I admit to twiddling with GIMP a little with a couple to get the desired monochrome results on the Flickr slideshow.

Flocke
Flocke

This may be an open and minimalist region in terms of landscaping, but you should keep your eyes peeled; there are some very interesting, subtle, charming and whimsical touches to be found as your wander around.  For those wishing simply to relax, try the little movie theatre in the corner of the region or perhaps spend a little time sitting on the raft.

I spent a good two hours in Flocke with a roaming camera, poking, nosing and snapping – and the truth is, I could happily have spent another two doing exactly the same.  Sadly, the needs of a rumbly tummy and the matter of sustenance proved to be increasingly distracting, despite my attempts to convince myself otherwise by repeating another famous quote on the matter of illusions: “Time is an illusion, lunchtime doubly so.”

Rest assured, however, I’ll be returning to Flocke. It’s that kind of place. Hopefully, I might see you there …

Related Links

(view slideshow full-screen)