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  • Frank Atisso

Featured Artist - Selen

Discover Selen's inspiration, her journey in the world of Second Life and the subjects and themes she explores through her work in this candid interview.

Thursday, March 17th, 2022 saw the opening of Selen's exhibition - "The Inner Path" at Art Korner Gallery II. Set over a course of seven rooms, the exhibition takes visitors on a spiritual, emotional journey of self-discovery which is synonymous with the inner path each of us treads within ourselves and which largely guides us in all we do along with our mental and emotional stability.

Starting from the greyscale, along the path, Selen introduces hints of colors, some sepia undertones and finally manages to get to a more colorful place - a hopeful place.

It is always interesting to hear about an exhibition in the words of the artist themselves and hence, we decided to chat with Selen not just about this exhibit, but also about the journey she had to undertake to reach here.

What do you generally aim to convey through your work? Is it some specific emotions or a message?

My work is usually not meant to convey big ideas or big messages, but rather to reflect upon, make sense of or question an established idea. Most importantly, it is meant to evoke many different emotions and feelings in the viewer, depending upon the subject at hand.

What motivates you to create?

I think that creating is a privileged way to interact with the world having complete freedom, far from the social masks and constraints of life in general. It is both a wonderful play space for creativity where dreams can be limitless, and a necessary decompression airlock. It's my fuel, without which I would probably not be able to function properly.

What draws you to the subjects you explore through your art?

Well, I would say that it is the possibility to explore something infinitely, given that I am one of the people who consider that the journey is more important than the destination. Thus, if I take the example of “The Inner Path”, I had fun with metaphors and allegories but it was only one way of exploration among a multitude of others on such a theme. That said, the subjects I like to explore are those that, of course, resonate with my own sensibility and fascinate me. Thus, chaos, movement, vibrations, the infinite vastness of the universe, spirituality, hidden senses, paradoxes, subconscious all feature heavily in my work.

What do you think about commenting on current social or political issues through your art?

I don't like to comment on social or political issues through my work, so I rarely do. And when I happen to do it, it's always with the same posture, inspired by this quote from John Lennon: "Love is the answer, what was the question?"

Why do you think art is important for society?

In my opinion, art is not just important for society but vital. One of its main functions is to allow a sensitive approach to the realities that surround us and to reflect on them. It is like an engine which leads one to imagination, reverie, transcendence. Thus, a society without art would be a society totally devoid of culture and totally dehumanized. Just inconceivable.

When did you know that art was what you wanted to do with your Second Life and how did you get started on your journey?

When I discovered Second Life 14 years ago, I was first fascinated by this incredible platform and how people around the world interact with it and between themselves in what we now call Metaverse. Soon enough, I discovered the creative potential of this virtual world as a fabulous playground for self-expression and storytelling, and I started getting into digital photography. At the same time I was already visiting a lot of galleries (but not at the openings at that time, I was much too shy for that) and I discovered many artists who inspired me. Much later, I got involved in the making of machinimas and started exploring modeling, building, mixed media. I started doing it with my limited technical abilities, which I kept expanding little by little.

But – and I guess it's because of my own inner path! – it took me about 10 years (and hundreds of pictures and essays of all kinds) to finally dare to share with others what I was doing. Strong encouragement from friends also helped a lot during this process. To share your art with the world is like showing the deepest part of your soul, accepting to get a little naked, to expose oneself to the gaze of others. It wasn't something simple for me. But I ended up doing it!

So I started by opening my own Flickr account in 2019, then I opened my own gallery exhibiting my work in 2020, and then I opened my own YouTube channel in 2021.

How did your real life/Second Life influence your latest exhibit "The Inner Path" at Art Korner?

Maybe by showing snippets of testimonies related to my own life journey. It's not all fictional, of course.

The quote which you choose at the entrance is very powerful. Can you expand on why you chose this particular text?

That's right, this quote is very powerful. Carl Gustav Jung, in addition to being a founder of analytical psychology, sometimes had percussive words for the mind. I thought that this sentence was a perfect introduction to this exhibition, as an invitation to set out to meet oneself.

How did you get to such a hopeful place at the end of the exhibition?

I like to think positively; a positive attitude always brings some peace, even in the face of life's worst trials. Although inner peace is not always easy to find. It is up to everyone to develop their own tools to access them. I have mine obviously, still working on them day after day. Besides, what would be a life without hope? However, the last room of this exhibition is only the end of the exhibition, but certainly not the end of the inner path in question. This one is never ending I think...

What would you like for visitors to take back with them from your exhibit?

Emotions, echoes in resonance with their own inner path, a little extra soul to bandage the bruises in their heart, this would be just perfect.

We hope you experience "The Inner Path" by Selen at Art Korner Gallery II and enjoy your visit!



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