Metamorphosis: looking through the eyes of Escher

Metamorphosis - Beq Janus
Metamorphosis – Beq Janus

Beq Janus is an artist clearly inspired by the work of Maurits Cornelis (M. C.) Escher. For RFL of SL 2013, she produced models of  Waterfall and Tower of Babel. In 2014, she offered Metamorphosis, inspired by Escher’s pieces of the same name, and which included additional influences and themes drawn from Escher’s life, as a symbol of the promise as we journey towards a cure for cancer.

Now Metamorphosis is now back, located over the Quarry Hill region of New Babbage, and it is a veritable masterpiece of art, rich in symbolism as well as capturing so many elements and nuances of Escher’s work – and also, if one looks around, Beq’s previous Ecsher-inspired builds.

Metamorphosis - Beq Janus
Metamorphosis – Beq Janus

The most prominent influence from Escher in the piece, as Beq notes, is that of the artist’s 1939 wood print Metamorphosis II. However, elements of both Metamorphosis I and Metamorphosis II can also be found. Also evident, again reflecting Escher’s work and the influences in his life, are elements of the little Italian town of Atrani – most notably the church and surrounding houses.

“Recreating a two dimensional work in three dimensions has its challenges, and more so when the work is deliberately faking the third dimension,” Beq notes of the challenges in bringing Escher’s work into the digital realm. But there are also opportunities, as she also notes, “it also gives you freedom to play with the unseen areas. I have tried to make the sim explorable, with tunnels and caves that lead you through the rocks, past stalactites and back round into the central square. I am sure that there are places I have not intended to make still waiting to be found.”

Metamorphosis - Beq Janus
Metamorphosis – Beq Janus

As such, this is a fascinating build to explore, one filled with many paths one might follow through it, originally intended as a reflection of the RFL of SL 2014 theme of journeys; both the global journey towards finding the ways and means to eradicate cancer from our lives, and the individual journey those of us afflicted by cancer, or who support those struck by cancer, take in dealing with the disease. In fact, one might also say the installation resonates with this year’s RFL theme as well; offering us a walk through art inspired by the past as we look to the future and a world without cancer.

This is also a build which makes fascinating use of light and shadow, encouraging the visitor to experiment with windlights, sun position and the camera.

Metamorphosis - Beq Janus
Metamorphosis – Beq Janus

If you didn’t get to see Metamorphosis last year (which I sadly didn’t), I cannot recommend a visit to Quarry Hill highly enough.

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