The latest exhibit of SL photography at Janus Gallery II by Duna Gant focuses on specific elements of nature captured in a unique minimalist style.
Duna Gant is an artist who works in multiple media. Along with being supremely talented in SL photography, she is an incredible RL artist as well as a 3D artist who creates some of the most engaging sculptures and installations in Second Life. A recent example of this can of course be seen in Manhattan, her immersive installation at the Love & Love Art Gallery (read more here). In this display at Janus Gallery II, Duna displays her prowess in minimalist SL photography, which is bound to leave you speechless.
Chuck and Jewell, the owners and curators of Sinful Retreat, the region where this gallery is located, do a marvelous job of arranging a varied mix of exhibitions, right from RL art to SL photography and even some incredible 3D installations. After a series of RL exhibitions by AmandaT Tamatzui, Fly Kugin and Xia Chieng, this next exhibition at Sinful Retreat is all about SL photography and this is exactly what makes this place special – the fact that they support art in all its varied forms including even poetry, music and literature.
Minimalist photography is a style that is characterized by its extreme simplicity. Rather than a plethora of colors, photographers who adhere to this style often focus on a single subject and compose an interesting image out of it. An earlier series of artworks by Duna, titled Poetic Lines, was displayed at Dixmix Gallery a little over two years ago and revolved around the idea of minimalism. One can say that “Simply Nature” is an extension of the same series, the primary difference being the subject of the images. While the earlier exhibition largely focused on everyday objects, in “Simply Nature“, Duna makes nature the protagonist of the image while everything else fades away to emptiness.
Duna writes in the notecard accompanying this exhibition:
“I have looked for those elements that, isolated from everything superfluous that surrounds them, represent by themselves a concept, a poetic line, that invites the viewer to open a door that leads them to interpret the image for themselves beyond what it represents.“
These lines, in short, define minimalism for me. The vacancy and bareness of the space shown within this imagery enables visitors to imagine and create their interpretation and comprehension of what they are viewing. Viewing the minimalist art presented here by Duna is nothing short of a theatrical experience, especially because of the dark ambient environment created within the gallery using black wall panels and subtle atmospheric lighting.
Right at the entrance of the gallery, covering it like a curtain is Duna’s fascinating sculpture – “Light Water“. Symbolizing the fusion of two things – light and water – which have inspired Duna’s art the most, this sculpture lends a magical look to the interiors of the gallery while also managing to blend in perfectly with the theme of the exhibition.
The subjects Duna chooses in her photographs vary widely from a simple flock of birds against a cloudy sky to a field that stretches into the distance where a row of windmills line the horizon. I personally found her images of winter extremely striking and visually appealing. In “Loneliness“, the flow of the snowy dunes as they disappear into a misty haze near the horizon evokes the very feeling that makes up the title of the piece. However this loneliness which you experience is not unsettling at all. It is something you actually start to enjoy as you keep looking at the image for a longer duration.
When you strip away everything in the image apart from your subject and limit yourself to using soft pastels, the importance of image composition and framing increases manifold. And what Duna does with these few things at hand is simply magical. As far as composition goes, nothing feels flawed in the slightest within any image and this is the beauty of Duna’s work.
Through her works in this exhibition, Duna is able to showcase the unspoiled beauty of nature through SL, also perhaps subtly touching upon the fact that this beauty which nature offers us, needs to be protected beyond than anything else. The words of Albert Einstein that adorn one of the walls on the second level ring especially true as you explore this exhibit – “Everything you can imagine, nature has already created.“
A visit to this exhibition is highly recommended. It is one that all will be able to enjoy equally and generate their own interpretations of each image. “Simply Nature” by Duna Gant is minimalist SL photography at its best!
TELEPORT TO EXHIBITION
- Janus Gallery II – Sinful Retreat