Discovering Cayla’s digital portraiture in Second Life

St Elizabeth Gallery: Cayla

I recently received an invitation to view an exhibition of art at St. Elizabeth’s Gallery, featuring the work of Cayla (YumiYukimura). Whilst untitled, the exhibition focuses on avatar portraits primarily, but not exclusively, featuring her own avatar.

To be honest, I don’t remember having encountered Cayla’s work previously, so rather than having me drone on about her work,  I’ll offer her own statement that accompanies the exhibition:

St Elizabeth Gallery: Cayla
I have been a photographer since 16, working for my high school chronicling high school events. Always with an interest in art and an education in photography, I have done several exhibitions of my work. Recently I have been concentrating on Second Life avatar portraits.
I input details, of what I am trying to achieve, into an AI program to create unique, one of a kind, backdrops. The avatars are posed in front of these backdrops with the intent of blending the avatar into the backdrop to produce a painterly portrait with sensitive handling of light that evokes a sense of magic and wonder. The avi is meant to mesh with the backdrop to present a more realistic looking environmental portrait using light and shadows, depth of field, colour, outfit, and pose.

– Cayla (YumiYukimura)

St Elizabeth Gallery: Cayla

The result is a collection of more than 30 piece spread across the ground and mezzanine levels of the gallery, all of which tell a story within a portrait (although not some might be considered as NSFW). While most of the images feature Cayla’s avatar, there are a number featuring friends, but all of them – as Cayla notes – have been addressed and posed in a manner to work with the backdrops Cayla has generated and imported into Second Life.

For me, the attractiveness of these pieces is the manner in which they evoke a story and / or a period, although I’d perhaps have liked to see some of the images in a slightly larger format just to be able to fully appreciate the detailing of the backdrops and gain a greater sense of presence with the characters Cayla offers.

St Elizabeth Gallery: Cayla

Captivating and rich in content, these are images that, for me, came as an engaging introduction to Cayla’s art, and I look forward to seeing more.

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