Melusina’s Greyscale Magic in Second Life

Artsville: Melusina Parkin – Greyscale Magic

Currently open at the relocated Artsville Galleries and Community is a new exhibition by Melusina Parkin entitled Greyscale Magic. Located in a skyborne gallery space at Artsville, this is an exhibition that makes full use of the main display/ event hall and its two side wings to present a collection of images offered – as the title implies – greyscale tones which have been captured in Melusina’s always-engaging style.

Black-and-White or greyscale? I preferred to title this exhibition using the greyscale term because b/w photographs actually aren’t black-and-white: they show a palette of endless shades of grey, from the absolute black to the absolute white. 
But why are they “magic”? It’s because they offer a conventional image of the reality they depict, forcing our brain[s] to interpret the different greys as colours of the “normal” view.

– Melusina Parkin, Greyscale Magic

Artsville: Melusina Parkin – Greyscale Magic

The three-room layout of the gallery space allows Melu to present this collect as a three-part portfolio; one in which she those familiar with her work might see as being – intentionally or otherwise – new interpretations from themes which have been the focus of some of her past exhibitions and work.

In the main hall, for example, is a total of ten images that offer us unique views of rooms and furnishings. Some present images of private living, others more public spaces – a café here, a diner there; collectively they bring to mind Melu’s work in exhibitions such as Empty Spaces and Absences (2017). Meanwhile, in the side rooms we have, respectively, fives studies focused on motor vehicles, evoking thoughts of Cars (2019) and perhaps also Roadside Images (2020); and also five images of buildings and streets that carry with them an echo of Night Walks (2019).

Greyscale photography has been, for a long while, the only one admitted and legitimated to represent “art photography”. Although colour techniques have been available for many decades, [it was] only in the late 1930s [that] colour photography started to be considered a form  of art, thanks to the surprising new technique introduced by Kodak with the famous Kodachrome film … But while the colour TV overwhelmed the b/w one and made it obsolete, greyscale photography endured as a more sophisticated for of art.

– Melusina Parkin, Greyscale Magic

Artsville: Melusina Parkin – Greyscale Magic

Which is most certainly not to say Greyscale Magic is is any way derivative of those past exhibitions, these are new pieces. However, in echoing these from her past exhibits, Melusina is both (again, quite possibly subconsciously) drawing a thread of continuance through her work, giving us further chapters in her ever-expanding and captivating artistic narrative. This is further reflected in the overall framing of these pieces, wherein the angle, subject, lighting and focus speak a single utterance of a much larger story that sits beyond their physical size, so inviting us to enter into the story and interpret it according to our own viewpoint, thoughts and imagination.

More particularly with this collection however, is the fact that these are images captured in Second Life which exude a powerful sense of depth and life entirely of their own and separate to that which otherwise might be present were they to be offered in colour. As a long-time admirer of both greyscale and monochrome images and art, I’ve always felt both have a powerful means to often better convey the vitality of Second Life as a “place” we don’t merely see – we inhabit through our avatars and the time we spend here. As, again, Melusina notes in her statement on the exhibit:

I think that this is due to the “magic” I was talking [about] before. SL photography is colourful, windlight and PhotoShop allow us to play with meaningful colours to represent more real, or more surreal, scenes. But if you select the the right images, desaturate them or turn them greyscale, the result is often closer to the “real” world that it can cheat even the most attentive observer. Isn’t that “magic”?

– Melusina Parkin, Greyscale Magic

Artsville: Melusina Parkin – Greyscale Magic

I  would wholeheartedly agree; and within Greyscale Magic, Melusina demonstrates again, that she is a master magician in the magical arts of Second Life photography.

SLurl Details

  • Artsville (Caribbean Ocean, rated Moderate)

2 thoughts on “Melusina’s Greyscale Magic in Second Life

  1. What can I say to thank you for this deep and sharp analysis of my latest work?
    I just blush, above all for the title of “master magician”; but.. after all the original Melusina is a witch, then she’s an expert on sorcery! ;))
    (Oh! A special thank for editing my incorrect English in the quotes!)


    1. Thank you, Melu – and you’re welcome; Greyscale Magic is genuinely engaging and absorbing (and actually does much to make me again consider using more greyscale or momochrome in the images used to illustrate my SL explorations in this blog!


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