Currently open through until the end of August at the Monocle Man sky studio is an untitled exhibition by European artist Duraya which is simply captivating in its content.
I first encountered Duraya’s work earlier in 2022 and was immediately struck by her technique. Starting with a foundation of an image captured or framed / posed within Second Life, Duraya uses a skilled application of post-processing to create images which are genuinely breath-taking in their beauty and narrative strength.
Within this exhibition, Duraya takes this a step further, adding animated elements – both 2D and 3D – to some of the 27 images within the selection presented across the gallery’s two floors, supported by 3D elements Duraya has either created or added in order to provide further depth to the exhibition.
Avatar focused, some of the images might be said to lean towards nightmare, others towards joy, and some appear to be statements on the state of Earth and life. Each can be appreciated in its own right; however, there is a broader sweep of interpretation here, one that is likely personal to Duraya – the images potentially being reflections of her state of mind within her journey through life.
The clue to this comes in the form of selected lines from Our Deepest Fear, a passage by Marianne Williamson which first appeared in her 1992 bestseller A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles, and which has often been (mistakenly) attributed to Nelson Mandela. It’s a passage (found in chapter 7 of the book) which has gone on to be used as an inspirational poem, the first stanza of which reads:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness
That most frightens us.
– Marianne Williamson
In her selection of Williamson’s words, Duraya offers a clear framing to her works at Monocle Man: a recognition of the power (and creativity) of self when one is at ease with who one is, together with the liberty that brings (including through self-expressive mediums such as art) to oneself – and to others one encounters.
Rich in content and metaphor, this is a richly layered selection of art in which the pieces can be appreciated both in and of themselves as single-frame stories, beautifully presented (and animated in some cases), or as a whole and as an exploratory selection.
- Monocle Man (Flying Fortress, rated Adult)