Recently opened in Second Life is Gallery Demy Ansar, an exhibition space created by Demy Ansar to primarily display her Second Life photography and art, and to which I received a personal invitation. I say “primarily” here, because while the focus is very much on Demy’s work, space is also given over to the work of her Second Life partner, Liliana Darwinian, and to a small display of 3D art by noted 3D artists and sculptors, as collected by Liliana.
Occupying a clean, modern building, the gallery can be divided into four principal areas: the two levels given over to Demy’s art, a further hall on the lower of these levels currently devoted to Liliana’s art, and a rooftop sculpture area which is joined to the rest of the exhibition spaces by a staircase to one side of the building.
Demy describes herself as someone who took up photography in the physical world at a very early age – including developing her own images. This latter point allowed her opportunities to experiment with light and dark and exposure, and generally develop an eye for what works within any given image she has captured. As with many of us, the demands of life eventually came between her and her passion for photography, but with Second Life and the availability of digital tools for image manipulation and processing, she found a new outlet for her talent.
Within the gallery, Demy’s work is displayed over two levels, as noted. The lower, reached via steps running down from the landing point, features her landscape studies, with the floor above it devoted to her avatar studies, some of which might be be described as not suitable for work, involving as they do various degrees of nudity. But whether landscape of avatar focused, each an every image contains within it a balance and use of colour and tone that adds an engaging depth of life to it.
As is common among landscape artists in Second Life, many of the images on the lower level are processed such that they have the feel of having been painted rather than imaged. However, the deftness of touch within them gives each a level of “realness” that, were one not aware of their origins, easily lead the mind to conclude they are representations of scenes encountered in the physical world.
On the upper level, the avatar studies similarly have about them that sense of realism. While this is not uncommon within avatar photography as a who as many artists strive to bring as much realism to their portraits as possible, Demy’s work is more subtle, her use of light and tone pose and camera angle working to offer a human naturalness to the images to present a sense of intimacy and realism that suggests they are personal pictures, taken within the bounds of a relationship between subject and camera holder, rather than artificially framed pieces involving a model and studio photographer.
Occupying their own hall, Liliana’s pieces are altogether different in presentation, but no less engaging. Taken from around Second Life, they are presented mostly in warm and / or vibrant colours that evoke a sense of life and vitality. And while I may be incorrect for saying so, they would also appear to encompass an evolving style: several of he pieces seem to exude a deftness of touch that hints of a growing confidence in post-processing and a mastering of the subtle intricacies of layering and blending.
I’ve not idea how frequently the works on offer will change: the hall in which Liliana’s work is displayed is referred to as the “exhibition room”, suggesting displays here may change on a regular or semi-regular basis. Within her areas of the gallery, Demy notes she’ll change things whenever she feels she had something worth showing – which given the richness of her work, could be fairly frequently!
But, however frequently (or infrequently!) things change, I’m grateful to have had the invitation to familiarise myself with two artistic talents I’ve previously managed to overlook, and I will be making return visits to Gallery Demy Ansar to see what else may be offered for our enjoyment in the future.
- Gallery Demy Ansar (Firepaw, rated Adult)