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Join me on an immersive journey into the world of virtual art as we sit down with the talented and multifaceted artist, Duna Grant. With a portfolio spanning photography, 3D installations, and captivating exhibitions in Second Life, Duna offers a unique perspective on the intersection of art, emotion, and technology. Discover her insights into the creative process, the evolution of her virtual identity, and the inspiration behind her latest exhibition, “ESSAYS.” Duna’s passion for art and her ability to evoke emotions through her work make this interview a must-read for art enthusiasts and virtual world explorers alike.

Interview with Duna Grant

Hello, Duna. If you could step inside one of your own exhibitions in Second Life, which one would it be, and why?

Duna: Difficult question! Maybe in “Manhattan.” It was an extraordinary trip in RL.

Violet: Exploring “Manhattan” sounds like quite the adventure!

Share a memorable moment from your artistic journey in Second Life that profoundly influenced your motivation to create exhibitions.

Duna: The day I created a prim and saw that I could edit it. A new door opened.

Violet: That must have been a pivotal moment in your journey.

Can you recall a time when a real-life experience unexpectedly sparked inspiration for one of your Second Life exhibitions?

Duna: All my works are inspired by my RL. They are experiences or emotions transformed into art. They are my trips, my feelings.

Violet: It’s amazing how you translate real-life experiences into virtual art.

Artistic Process

Imagine you’re giving a behind-the-scenes tour of your virtual studio. What’s the most fascinating tool or element that visitors would discover?

Duna: I’m sorry to say it, but it would be chaos!!! My work workshop is full of edited prims, objects that I need for my photographs, platforms at different levels. All messy for a visitor, although with a perfect “disorder” for me.

Violet: An organized chaos, I can imagine! (Smiling)

In the creative process, how do you strike a balance between meticulous planning and spontaneous artistic expression for your exhibitions?

Duna: When I create a new work, I have a very defined idea of what I want to say. But I have to see it “mentally” otherwise it’s impossible to make anything coherent. Then when the 3D work starts, if the idea is precise in my head, I simply let each prim go to its exact place. It’s something difficult to explain in words.

Violet: Your creative process is a fascinating blend of precision and intuition.

Describe a particularly challenging technical problem you’ve solved while working on an exhibition, and how it enhanced the final result.

Duna: I didn’t go to learn how to build in a course with teachers; I learned alone, going to a sandbox. So more than learning, it has always been a permanent investigation of how to solve each problem. It is the best, fun, interesting, and a constant challenge, something that I like and motivates me.

Violet: Self-taught and resourceful – that’s impressive, Duna!

Textures and Realism

If you were to choose one texture or material that you find particularly intriguing to work with in your exhibitions, what would it be, and why?

Duna: The shadows. I had never used them. It is not a material, but it is something that is also part of this world. Working with them has been special because they can also be edited, like a prim. You can play with them. It’s so interesting!

Violet: Exploring shadows adds a new dimension to your work.

In your opinion, how has the technology for rendering textures and achieving realism in virtual art evolved over the course of your exhibitions?

Duna: The meshes they are the ones that have given the greatest degree of realism to SL.

Violet: Indeed. Meshes have certainly revolutionized virtual art.

Share a secret or unique technique you’ve developed that contributes to the captivating textures in your art presentations.

Duna: I’m going to disappoint with my answer. There is no secret. It’s simply Photoshop work. I imagine all texture creators make them like this.

Violet: Well, sometimes simplicity is the key to excellence.

Personal Background

If you could invite an audience to your exhibitions from any time or place in history, who would you choose, and what would you hope they take away from the experience?

Duna: I don’t know if people from other times would understand my art. Perhaps a few years ago when technology was beginning, and some people could access it, I am referring to the 70s and 80s of the last century, I suppose that at least virtual art would provoke curiosity.

Violet: The thought of bridging different eras through art is intriguing.

What role does your personal history play in shaping the stories you tell through your various exhibitions in Second Life?

Duna: Essential. My works are my life RL.

Violet: Your art truly reflects your journey, Duna.

If you could collaborate with any historical figure, real or fictional, on an art presentation, who would it be, and what would the theme be?

Duna: Someone like Picasso or Dalí. It would surely be an unforgettable experience!

Violet: I’m impressed. Collaborating with visionaries would be a remarkable endeavor.

Biography and Identity

Discuss how your virtual identity in Second Life has evolved throughout your journey as an artist, encompassing different exhibitions and art forms.

Duna: I started with a photography exhibition. Afterwards, I did 3D in small format, I continued with installations, and in my latest exhibitions, I present photographs again. I’m going back to the origins!

Violet: An artistic evolution with a full circle.

Has your real-life identity ever intersected with your Second Life identity in unexpected ways, influencing the direction of a particular exhibition?

Duna: I always say that Duna is me in SL. I don’t know if this answers your question.

Violet: It’s a clear and personal connection between your identities.

If your Second Life persona could meet your real-life self, what advice do you think they would offer to each other regarding art and creativity?

Duna: When I started in SL, my real-life self advised my virtual self to do in virtuality, with art, what I would do in real life. And I have always followed that path. My virtual self can only tell my real self that SL is a difficult world to be patient.

Violet: Patience is indeed a virtue in any world.

Philosophy of Art

Beyond visual aesthetics, how do you use sound, movement, or interactivity to engage your audience in your exhibitions?

Duna: Sincerely? I don’t know. I just do what I like. What I feel. Maybe that’s the trick. I show emotions, and the viewers feel them.

Violet: Emotions are a powerful connection in art.

Share an instance where the audience’s interpretation of one of your exhibitions surprised you, challenging your own artistic perspective.

Duna: I am always surprised by the interpretations that the public makes of my works. I remember one in particular. I presented some boxes at an exhibition, each one of them represented an important moment for me. One of the boxes had a glass of wine, for me that glass was one of those stops you make in life to share a moment of conversation with someone close to you. However, someone called me to ask if it was a representation of the Holy Grail. His interpretation was truly surprising.

Violet: Interpretations can be a source of wonder in art.

In a world where the line between virtual and real art continues to blur, what role do you see your exhibitions playing in the broader art landscape?

Duna: A very small role. I am only a virtual artist in RL and, sadly, this art is little known. Despite this, I have managed to get one of my installations to be the cover of a book in RL. It still seems incredible to me!

Violet: Your impact Duna, may be small in your eyes, but it’s significant.

Challenges and Achievements

Reflect on a specific exhibition or art presentation that pushed your creative boundaries the furthest and how it impacted your artistic growth.

Duna: BOXES, my first 3D exhibition. It was a real challenge for me. Technically and emotionally.

Violet: I understand, overcoming challenges is an essential part of artistic growth.

If you could go back in time to the beginning of your artistic journey in Second Life, what advice would you give yourself, knowing what you know now?

Duna: The same one I gave myself when I started: step by step, follow your path.

Violet: Truly, wise advice for any journey.

Can you describe an exhibition that was particularly emotionally resonant for you, and how that emotional connection influenced the final presentation?

Duna: “Il silenzio della luce” (The silence of the light). It was the consequence of the confinement due to the COVID pandemic. That silence that was so oppressive and sad. I have always liked the silence that causes serenity, peace. That’s why I made that installation; it was like a cry of relief after weeks of oppressive silence. Cuirec d’Erc felt the same as me; we did that work together, he put sound to my silence. A unique experience for me.

Violet: Creating from the heart during challenging times is remarkable.

Future Projects

Share a tantalizing hint or teaser about a future project or exhibition that you’re especially excited to reveal to your audience.

Duna: There are always new ideas. But for now, nothing defined, I just presented an exhibition that has not been easy for me! The only thing I can say is that I will always give my best in each exhibition.

Violet: We look forward to your future creations.

How do you envision the integration of emerging technologies like virtual reality or augmented reality in your future exhibitions, if at all?

Duna: Augmented reality… is something that I look at from afar for now. I think it’s better this way.

Violet: I understand, exploring new technologies at your own pace is wise.

If you could invite anyone, to collaborate on a future project, who would it be, and what kind of art would you create together?

Duna: Cuirec d’Erc, he knows how to interpret my emotions with sounds; it is something that I find incredible and fascinating. But I am always open to other possibilities. I like team work.

Violet: I can only support this, collaboration can bring out the best in art.

Introduction to “ESSAYS” Exhibition

Can you start by telling us more about your exhibition, “ESSAYS”? What inspired the concept behind it?

Duna: I was inspired by the importance of objects in SL. Its technical perfection. Some time ago, I presented an exhibition (Poetic Lines) in which I already talked about the ontology of objects. Of the poetry that can be found hidden behind each of them. Now I have focused on the textures. But the path is the same.

You’ve mentioned the importance of textures in creating realism. Could you share some examples from “ESSAYS” where textures played a crucial role in conveying the essence of the objects?

Duna: In all of them. The textures are protagonists.

How did you choose the objects and scenes featured in “ESSAYS”? Were there any specific criteria or stories behind their selection?

Duna: Each photograph, as always, speaks of my RL self. I let the viewer discover it for themselves.

Textures and Realism in “ESSAYS”

In “ESSAYS,” you highlight the textures of objects in Second Life. Can you delve deeper into how you achieved such a high level of visual perfection and realism with textures?

Duna: I just let the camera show what it sees. That’s photography, don’t you think?

Could you share a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the creation of the textures used in “ESSAYS”? What challenges did you face in replicating real-life textures?

Duna: There are no secrets. Creating textures can be done simply using Photoshop. Sometimes I walk down the street and see a wall, a floor, a fabric that I like and I take a photograph of it. Then I edit it with Photoshop to adapt it to SL.

The exhibition’s description mentions the “hyper-realism” of the photographs. What techniques did you employ to achieve this hyper-realistic quality?

Duna: Maximum graphics, well-placed lights and shadows, and patience to find the right angle. There are no tricks!

Artistic Evolution in “ESSAYS” and Beyond

“ESSAYS” features a minimalist and texture-free installation, a new personal essay for you. How did this departure from your previous works come about, and what do you hope it adds to the exhibition?

Duna: My previous installations had an entity in themselves. A theme represented in 3D. But this one is very different because it is not just an installation; it is also a photography exhibition space. That’s why I left it with a white texture; I didn’t want the images to lose prominence.

Reflecting on your artistic journey, how do you see “ESSAYS” fitting into the broader narrative of your creative evolution in Second Life?

Duna: My narrative is linear because it is always a recurring theme although developed in different ways. I always talk about the feelings that the world around me provokes in me.

Can you share any specific challenges you encountered while working on “ESSAYS” and how you overcame them?

Duna: The biggest challenge was precisely to imagine an exhibition space in which both the space itself and the photographs were protagonists. Afterwards, building it was simple.

Audience Experience and Impact

When visitors explore “ESSAYS,” what do you hope they feel or take away from the exhibition in terms of their perception of Second Life photography and art?

Duna: I would like those who have never seen art in SL to discover that this world is not just a platform to socialize. That art is also very important and that there are many artists who have an important level of creativity. If, in addition, they think that it has been worth knowing my work, then I feel satisfied, I would say happy.

How have you observed the audience’s reactions to “ESSAYS” so far? Have there been any unexpected responses or interpretations that stood out to you?

Duna: Many people I didn’t know visited the exhibition. That surprised me.

Personal Insights into “ESSAYS”

Share a personal anecdote or moment of inspiration related to “ESSAYS” that you haven’t shared before.

Duna: I had scattered ideas, I knew what I wanted to do but I didn’t get that clear image that I always look for. I entered an RL store and saw some posters hanging from the ceiling; they were like long banners that reached to the floor. And there the light of imagination turned on. The installation was done instantly in my head.

Can you describe one photograph from the exhibition that holds a particularly special place in your heart and why?

Duna: The one titled “Apple.” In the city where I live, there was a restaurant that was my favorite. I have very good memories of it; it was a special place for me. That photograph reproduces a corner of that restaurant with its decorative apple.

Violet: “Apple” sounds like a meaningful piece of your personal history.

Thank you, Duna, for generously sharing the fascinating journey of your artistic endeavors, particularly in the context of the captivating “ESSAYS” exhibition. Your profound passion and boundless creativity illuminate every facet of your work, and it has been both an honor and a pleasure to explore the immersive realm of your virtual artistry.

I extend my heartfelt congratulations on your continuous dedication and remarkable achievements in the virtual art world. Your resilience and humor, combined with an unwavering commitment to your craft, are truly admirable qualities that inspire many.

To all my readers, I wholeheartedly encourage you to embark on your own journey into Duna’s virtual gallery. Visit her latest exhibition, “ESSAYS,” at Artsville Gallery to experience the fusion of realism and creativity in Second Life photography. Additionally, I invite you to connect with Duna on social media platforms to stay informed about her upcoming exhibitions and delve deeper into the ever-evolving landscape of her artistic expressions. Embrace the world of virtual artistry alongside Duna Grant, and let her creativity inspire your own.

Blog Interview conducted by Violet Boa PR

Violet Boa

In my capacity as the Senior Manager of Blog and Digital Media Marketing at iLoveEvents.online, I am deeply committed to driving positive change within our global community. My role is both diverse and instrumental in shaping our digital presence. It encompasses the orchestration of meticulously planned and executed public relations and digital media marketing strategies. These responsibilities extend to coordinating interviews, managing events, conducting extensive research to identify promising partnership opportunities, and cultivating strong relationships with journalists, influencers, and bloggers. I ensure that their campaigns are not only effectively communicated but also flawlessly executed. The bedrock of my work is a dedication to excellence, and I take great pride in contributing to the success of our valued clients. Read more on the Profile Page: https://bit.ly/46YqHLy

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