Farewell (again), Furillen

farewell furillen B

Having re-opened in October, Furillen has been back on the grid for four months … and I think it’s time to put the sim back into mothballs. To be honest, I hadn’t expected to keep it open for so long, but seeing it full of visitors during the weeks the after re-opening persuaded me to keep it open at least into the new year.

Since October, the sim has featured some excellent exhibitions of Furillen pictures – by Pixelbeing, nekonuko Nakamori, and Melusina Parkin. It also saw the revival of the rather wonderful bar cafe Fabriken, which was put together with Micky Siamendes.

Furillen is quite an unusual sim with its own history and stories – and, most importantly for me, its own unique buildings. I have always liked the minimalist vibe of the sim design, and the opportunity it allows for a huge range of SL photography – and within its built spaces (such as the concrete bunker, shipping warehouse and hotel), for showing interesting art.

While Furillen is around, it feels to many of us like a fixture – as if it “should” be on the grid, always. So I am sure that one or two visitors will be disappointed to see it go again. However, the grind of the weekly tier is stopping me from working on other projects – which, frankly, is where all of my enjoyment of SL comes from. Besides Furillen, I have opened two further sims since October – Lairig Leacach and the summer version of Khodovarikha – and I have other projects planned. So Furillen will close its doors once again in the next day or so – move fast if you want to make a ‘final’ picture or visit.

To those who like to think of Furillen as their second home, please be assured that it will doubtless return again one day, possibly even later this year, and perhaps in summer clothes, just to make a change. But for now, huge thanks to everyone who came by, left nice comments, donated generously, took great pictures, and generally made the sim feel alive.

Serene Footman 🙏

С возвращением, Слава


So … welcome back, Slava.

slava pic

This so-called ‘most cut off man on earth’ lives on Khodovarikha – in Russian: Ходовариха – a weather station located on the freezing Barents Sea.


Khodovarikha, together with its only resident – whose full name is Vyacheslav Korotki – were the subjects of a Second Life sim in 2017. You can read the full story here.

Back then the sim was set in winter: it was often dark … and appropriately gloomy. I came across the place by reading various articles and blogs that were inspired by the series of twelve photographs taken of Khodovarikha by Evgenia Arbugaeva. These stunning images made this remote spot in northern Russia famous, at least for a while.

slava boat

For those who read about Slava and his remote location, it was fascinating to imagine how life must be for a man living in such isolation, with just one yearly visit by a supply ship and a shortwave radio to rely on for direct human contact.


Besides Aebugaeva’s pictures, more could be learned about Slava by watching the documentary – “Arctic Limbo” – that was made about life in Khodovarikha …

The film portrays Slava as an enigmatic figure. He is very self-contained, finds plenty to do in Khodovarikha (he says he never gets bored), and we get hints of a personal history that includes serious illness, a failed marriage and an estranged son.

slava gaze

Arctic Limbo also features Ustin, a young conscript who (together with his wife) spends a year with Slava at Khodovarikha. Ustin seems to dislike the place, longing for the ship to arrive while desperately hoping that his posting will end. He also appears somewhat ambivalent towards Slava, laughingly describing him as a ‘troll’ and a ‘lunatic’.

slava and ustin

Unlike Aebugaeva’s pictures, the video is set in summer, when Khodovarikha thaws out and is transformed into a chaotic maze of sand dunes and grass. The place is a real mess: the windswept sand is littered with barrels and crates, as well as miscellaneous bits of rusty salvage. I have often wondered about those barrels – why are there so many of them, and why are they left lying around, quite literally, everywhere …


koko dunes

I have wanted to design a summer version of Khodovarikha ever since closing the sim in December 2017. The seasonal change has given me more freedom to bring life to the place – a variety of birds, grasses, and so on. While I have taken one or two liberties – in SL we can only work with what is at hand, or what we (or others) can make – I hope that all of the birds you will encounter at the sim are related in some way to the birds of northern Russia, and particularly the Arctic Circle in summer. What I wanted to show is a place that comes to life each summer. Slava might be cut off, but he is not alone during these months.

The ‘signature’ feature of Khodovarikha is the massive wooden lighthouse, built in 1933, with its distinctive octagonal structure.



The version of this building I have installed at the sim was custom-made by KT Syakumi, who is also responsible for several of the Furillen buildings. In the first iteration of the sim, the lighthouse was still working. But in fact, it has not been operational since 1996; indeed in the Arctic Limbo movie we see Slava cannibalising the structure for firewood.

koko wood

This is how you will find the lighthouse this time around – no longer working, and being slowly gutted to keep Slava warm during those endless winter nights …

slava office

While researching this summer iteration of the sim, I found a fascinating description of life at Khodovarikha twenty-five years ago, submitted to a Russian forum by Ekaterina Fateeva. Ekaterina lived at Khodovarikha during the early 1990s when it was still a functioning village and the lighthouse was operational. She writes almost wistfully of launching ‘airplanes and improvised parachutes’ from the top of the building, and of a ‘sports hall’ beneath the lighthouse at ground level …

[I] lived on Khodovarikha for two years as a child. 1994 and 1995. My grandmother was the director of the lighthouse, my grandfather was the chief mechanic, and my mother was just an employee. I remember this time with great warmth and dream of going there again. On the ground floor of the lighthouse, we had a sports hall with rings, ropes and other things. From the top, we launched airplanes and improvised parachutes) swam in the Solzhatsky lake, in the sea and on the bay. Caught fish, gathered mushrooms, berries, set traps for arctic foxes in winter, hunted geese. Now it’s all forbidden, I guess. With me, one winter, a polar bear came right to us by the window, ate dog food and left).

It is partly in this spirit that I added the rope slide extending from the top of the lighthouse down to the ground – offering visitors some reward for climbing all those ladders. Of course, it’s hard to picture Slava using such a slide, at least not without a few extra shots of home-made vodka. But I think I can imagine him building it …


As the passage from Ekaterina Fateeva suggests, Khodovarikha was once a small village, whose scattered buildings – situated close to Slava’s house – have largely fallen into disrepair and ruin, although some do remain. I have reproduced these on the new sim.

Besides Slava’s scruffy red house and dilapidated storage garage, several other buildings on the sim have been designed as replicas of what I believe would be found at the real Khodovarikha. The first, which I also used for the first iteration of the sim, consists of the doppler radar building, with its distinctive red and white dome. This slightly weird structure features in the video as well as the Aebugaeva photographs …


A second replica building is new to this sim, and was generously meshed by Harry Cover (whose SL name is Impossibleisnotfrench, you can visit his inworld store here). Harry recently built the small bothy for Lairig Leacach, which I opened for two weeks in December. For Khodovarikha, he has made the wrecked and rusty abandoned house that sits near to the lighthouse, as can be seen in these pictures …

In the movie, we see the house full of sand and rubble: completely uninhabitable, and well-nigh unusable. This is how it is in the Second Life version. As you’ll see when you visit the sim, Harry has done a great job on this, and I am very grateful to him for his time and generosity.

Harry is also responsible for the distinctive ‘A frame’ structure that sits next to the green wooden house that Ustin and his wife were living in. It can be seen on the far right in this screenshot …

a frame

This odd structure seems to house something like a well – or maybe it’s just a water trough. Either way, Ustin’s wife is filmed drawing water from inside it with a rusty old bucket. By the way, I have also introduced a replica of Ustin’s green house, which can also be seen in the picture above, next to the A frame.  It’s more or less as I imagine he would have left it – it seems rather unlikely that Slava would have cleared the place up. Also, note the small wooden house on the left of the picture above, just in front of the weather station: in my version of this place, this is where Slava distils (and drinks) his own vodka … Khodovarikha special brew.

Finally, there is an odd structure next to the shore. I have no idea what it could be, so I have turned it into some kind of lookout …

koko lookout

In addition to these buildings and hundreds of barrels, I have populated the sim with various other bits of rusty salvage, some of which can be spied in the documentary film. These include parts of an old boat, and the fuselage of a crashed plane – ostensibly ‘reclaimed’ by Slava … who it seems is nothing if not a bricoleur. I have also included some structures that reflect Khodovarikha’s main function: a weather station, communication masts, and an old Soviet radar.

As with Lairig Leacach, I have put this sim together mainly for my own amusement, and as a sort of gift to the travelling photographers of Second Life, without whom sim design would be much less rewarding than it is. For bloggers and photographers alike, you have rez rights with a sixty minute auto return. For all visitors, please think about leaving a message in the guestbook. And of course, any donation would be hugely appreciated.

As ever, this won’t be open for long – so do enjoy it while it lasts. 🙏


Furillen Impressions – by Melusina Parkin

Melusina Parkin - Furillen Impressions - poster

On Wednesday 5 February we will have the opening of ‘Furillen Impressions’, by Melusina Parkin. This will be the third exhibition of pictures at Furillen since it re-opened – following on from ‘Furillen in Motion’ by Pixelbeing, and ‘Composition of Furillen’ by nekonuko Nakamori – given by artists who have strong associations with the sim. As previously, the exhibition will consist of a set of fifteen images of Furillen. Selected from some 200 pictures that Melusina has taken at the sim over the years, this is a collection of old and new, with one or two of the images recalling features of the sim that I had long forgotten.

Melusina is a distinctive Second Life photographer whose pictures are unmistakeable. She has a sharp eye for detail, and on Flickr, often posts entire series of minimalist images that draw attention to specific themes and features of the sims she visits on her travels around the grid. Recently such themes have included ‘Magnificent Loneliness’, ‘Machinery’, and ‘Barriers’. I find this way of approaching photography in Second Life refreshing and unique, establishing strong and sometimes surprising visual connections between disparate sims. Thus although this particular collection of images have all been taken at Furillen, any one of them might be incorporated within a bigger series that brings it into visual connection with other places on the grid.

Always, Melusina’s pictures are characterized by a strong emphasis on form. She has a fine eye for geometry and composition. Many of her images are monochrome, re-affirming the sense of thematic unity between them. Thus when she does use colour, it is all the more striking, such as in this image …

Windows 5

… and this one …

Windows 4

… wherein the flash of blue unifies the two images.

Given Melusina’s liking for abstractness, her pictures are well suited to Furillen, with its minimalist flavour and largely monochrome palette. At the same time, her pictures invite us to look again at some features of the sim, because typically, she draws out details that are often passed by and overlooked.

Melusina has been active in Second Life since 2008. Over time she has been a fashion manager, a journalist, a furniture creator, a builder, a decorator and a photographer. At this moment, she owns an Art Deco furniture shop called Melu Deco. About her approach to photography, she says …

Many of my photos tend towards minimalism, that’s my main inclination: catching a simple detail from daily life or usual landscapes, enhancing it, making it protagonist of mostly empty scenes. This reveals its meaning or can push the observer to give it her/his own. Minimalism stresses void, space, geometries: you can be confused by that, but you can also been led to meditate about what things are when they are out of the crowd. Some of my pictures go towards a surreal mood. It’s another way to look at the world by an unusual gaze: there’s no need to see winged horses or green sunsets to trespass the real: you can feel puzzled even by a line of streetlights in the mist or by a piano set on a streets crossing.

Melusina has been taking pictures of Furillen ever since it first opened in 2015. To my eye, her images capture much of the spirit in which the sim was designed. This is how she describes her relationship with Furillen …

When I discovered Furillen, a few days after its opening, I thought I would be at home there. The place did seem to me like the realization of all my best wishes: it recreated a real place in a very precise way, its landscape was the triumph of the minimalism, it mixed up signs of human activities – the industrial landscapes are one of my passions -, it matched even my bias for solitude and for calm and meditative moments.

The stunning landscape made me feel a part of the lonely nature that, with its fog, with its cold sky and sea, with its scattered trees,  dominated the few buildings, once abandoned and now turned to comfortable and pleasant meeting places.

So, I started taking photos and I didn’t stop doing that for years. When I got the honor to be invited to exhibit some pictures, I got worried: how could I select a dozen of photos, when my “Furillen” folder was full with hundreds images of the place? Moreover, I couldn’t resist to the temptation of taking even more pictures, trying to catch new details, new points of view, new atmospheres… The selection needed a very long time, every day I changed it and every day I added some pics to the series.

Then, when you’ll look at a photograph of this exhibit, consider that there are many others behind it, and that it’s just a fragment of the huge collection of corners, details and landscapes that I love of Furillen.

This is a terrific collection of pictures that show both the sim and its photographer at their very best. As with the two previous exhibitions, it’s great to be seeing these pictures laid out within the sim itself: in context, surrounded by what Walter Benjamin used to call the ‘aura’ of the place in which they were originally created. The exhibition opens on Wednesday 5 February at 1300 SLT – that’s 2200 CET. We won’t be throwing a party, but if you want to come along while Melusina herself is around to say hello, that’s when she can be found!


Farewell to Lairig Leacach

Lairig Leacach opened exactly two weeks ago. Having labelled it my ‘holiday sim’ – a sort of Christmas gift to SL’s travellers and photographers – I said that it would be ‘gone in a flash’. True to my word, I will close it later today.

I throughly enjoyed this sim – thanks to everyone who visited and took pictures, left comments in the guestbook, and wrote reviews. I’d also like to thank – again – Harry Cover (aka ‘Impossibleisnotfrench’) for meshing the Lairig bothy so accurately and quickly. (Harry has kindly made something else for me, which will make its appearance inworld sometime in the new year …)

Lairig was partly designed for photographers, and, as ever, I was fascinated and delighted to see what you came up with. Here are some highlights from the 250 or so pictures that have been posted to the sim’s flickr group in the past fourteen days …

blottie dans la forêt

Lairig Leacach

Saor-làithean sona (Happy Holidays)

Lairig Leacach II

A respite appears...

Lairig Leacach ...

Lairig Leacach



Cabin In The Woods

Lairig Leacach_04


There are two seasons in Scotland June and Winter


Cabin In The Woods

winter song...


A cold winter's day

... et soudain ils apparurent

Oiseau Lune.

Into The Woods




First Light


Snow Day

Day 041

Lairig Leacach

like a  dream...


Lairig Leacach [1]

“Snowing is an attempt to make the dirty world look clean”

Blinded By the Light

Craving Serenity

Christmas Greetings

Forest for the Trees.

Time spent amongst trees is never wasted time, Katrina Mayer.

Christmas night.....waiting for you


Tor of Ironhall - 4

Cold Morning


Renards joueurs


Lairig Leacach

Lairig_Leacach 1

Lairig Leacach is a spectacular location at the foot of Stob Ban in the Central Scottish Highlands. It is the home to a tiny bothy, which is the centrepiece of my ‘vacation’ sim, which opens today for a short time. The landmark is here.


A bothy – also called a byre, or cowshed – is a refuge, a place to rest tired feet or sleep, sheltered from the wind, rain and snow. Although by no means unique to Scotland, bothies are very characteristic of the Highlands. Unlike the ‘refuge’ or ‘refugio’ that is typical of the Alps, bothies are unstaffed, contain no supplies or proper bedding. A bothy is usually just a simple hut – often a converted farm building. It is maintained only through the care and diligence of those who use them, and the goodwill of a network of volunteers making up the Mountain Bothies Association.

Bothies exist mainly for hikers who need shelter – perhaps for the night, or just for an hour or two while a storm blows over. For a long time there was no official list of bothies and their locations, perhaps with the intention to avoid the kinds of guest who are only interested in working their way down such a list in order to ‘bag’ as many as possible. A book containing such a list – The Scottish Bothy Bible – does now exist. Its author was subject to some criticism for breaching this unwritten rule that bothy locations should be discovered only by accident: when in need, or passed on by word of mouth between trusted hikers.

Lairig Leacach is an especially small and primitive example of a Scottish bothy, The location is as stunning is it is remote – it is a ‘good walk from anywhere’, as the guide books say. I was struck by the wildness of the place, and especially the contrast between the big hills surrounding it. The difference in scale is breathtaking …

ll 2

The bothy itself consists of a single room containing an old bunkbed and not much else. And yet, on a freezing cold night, how welcome must such a place be to the walker who is lost or exhausted.


Although Lairig Leacach – the name means the ‘pass of the flagstones’ – is a bleak and desolate place today, like much of the Scottish Highlands it would have once been quite densely forested, indeed there is still quite a large forest close by. In the spirit of those who campaign for the reforestation (or rewilding – see also here) of the Scottish Highlands – and to make the sim a bit more varied and interesting for visitors to wander around – I thought I would try to capture some of this spirit with a sim design that takes quite a few liberties with trees. The outcome, to my eyes and ears at least, is a place that feels much more alluring, almost mystical …

Lairig Leacach A.jpg

Amidst this great landscape stands the bothy itself, and I am very grateful to Harry – whose SL name is Impossibleisnotfrench, you can visit his inworld store here – for generously (and quickly!) meshing an uncannily accurate version of the Lairig Leacach Bothy especially for this sim.


The spirit of bothying – to provide shelter for all – captures what Christmas means for me. I hope the sim provides something of a haven for its visitors – and photographers – over the next few days. Enjoy it while it lasts, because it will be gone in a flash …

Happy holidays to all,

Serene Footman 🙏

Composition of Furillen – an exhibition of pictures by nekonuko Nakamori

nekp poster.png

A new exhibition of pictures by nekonuko Nakamori opens at Furillen today. Neko has earned some renown for her superb series of “Wandering World” images, taken during Neko’s meanderings across the grid. All in square format, Neko’s pictures are unmistakable for their deft combination of formal elegance, unusual perspective and beautiful attention to tone and colour. I honestly do not think that I have seen a picture by Neko that I haven’t felt absorbed by.

Despite being one of the grid’s perennial wanderers, Neko has always referred to Furillen as something of a “home”. She has taken countless excellent pictures of the sim in the past, but I must say that I find this new collection of fifteen images taken by her of Furillen since it re-opened incredibly special. For anyone who feels a sense of attachment to this sim – and I surely do – these pictures really will speak to you.

As Neko explains in her note accompanying the show, her own personal affinity with the sim is emotional as well as aesthetic. I think we all missed her pictures when she was absent from the grid, and I am especially pleased for her that Furillen returned when it did to greet her …

With the emergence of realistic mesh objects, there are many SIMs that increase the density and increase the reality. But Furillen has a unique landscape by placing simple objects effectively and minimally. It leads to the minimalist sensibility of Japanese “Wabi-sabi” that I know well.
Minimalism loves the blank. Blank is free. There are no pressing emotions, and it gives us the possibility to express freely what we feel.That’s one reason why Furillen attracts many photographers and artists.

I remember when I first came to Furillen.
Some people called it an empty ruined place, but I loved this grey island at a glance.
And every time I turned the camera, I was impressed that it gave me a new discovery that I had never imagined.
The casual scenery is the best subject here.
This time, I wanted to keep the simple composition of Furillen in the work again, so I made it.

And another big surprise for me is that the people here are very friendly.
Because Furillen is closely related to Flickr, it is common to know who is making what here before saying “Hello”. It helped many of my poor English.
Many people I met at Furillen, I wouldn’t have been here without your support.
Thank you very much!

Furillen closed once a few years ago, during which time I was almost away from SL. The first thing I felt when I returned to SL this summer was that there was no Furillen, but surprisingly I met the island again a few months later. It was an event that made me feel destiny.

I know a lot of great photographers and artists who are more suitable to exhibit in this place than me. But now I hope please enjoy my mischief of fate.

So…do you know another name of Furillen?
It’s a “Love of Life”. meow! =(^.^)=

I thanks for being able to do the show in this loved place.
And i must say thanks a lot to Great Janitor Serene.
nekonuko Nakamori

bar cafe fabriken

musical chairs.jpg

Having re-opened Furillen three weeks ago, I thought it would be good to bring back Bar Cafe Fabriken, which previous visitors to the sim might recall from spring 2016. The bar hosted a few events – some Blues nights, a beach party, and a tribute to Prince. I like the building a lot – it was put together by Micky Siamendes, who wrote a nice blog about it here. We made one or two changes this time around, and I think the ambience and decor – including this motley of chairs on the decking outside – suit Furillen quite well.

There are no grand plans for events, I am not the world’s greatest party organiser (or party goer, for that matter). But if any visitors want to take a turn as deejay, get in touch, you are more than welcome. Otherwise, we’ll host events as and when the mood takes us.

Furillen in motion

poster try

Furillen has always been a sim with connections to Second Life photography – not only through its large Flickr group, but also through a number of exhibitions that the sim has hosted over the years. The first, Shoot the Shooters, was held in 2016 and consisted of a series of portraits by Moon Edenbaum of various Second Life photographers. Instead of simply hanging the portraits as one would in a real gallery, we projected them onto a wall, one by one, in front of a ‘live’ audience of visitors. It made for an interesting experience.

Following Moon’s show, the sim hosted a number of other exhibitions, including some featuring real life photography – such as BirdsVagabonds and Shadows and Reflections by Laura, and A Journey Around Gotland by Gabrielle Swindlehurst – as well as shows by Ini Inaka and Imani Nayar. In addition, there have been exhibitions of collections of pictures by visitors, such as Furillen in Snow.

When reviving Furillen a couple of weeks ago, I thought it might be interesting to bring some art back to the sim. And so it is that a new show opens today – a collection of fifteen pictures called Furillen in Motion, by PixelBeing. Known in-world as VictoriaVicks, PixelBeing has long been one of my favourite Second Life photographers; indeed she has taken pictures of many of the sims I have been involved with, always coming up with some striking and unusual ways of representing and exploring what has been built. She works almost exclusively in black and white, and her pictures are distinctive for the way they seem to show their subject in motion, as if caught within a mere slither of time – hence the title of this exhibition. I also like the way her pictures use highly unusual perspectives. I have often found myself having to guess exactly where on the sim a particular picture has been taken, as in this example from Rummu


PixelBeing has been taking pictures in Second Life for around two years. When I asked her for a few words about her favoured style of photography, she told me this …

It was, as it is now, a catching moment, a tune, a feeling and a mood of that exact instant that covers the edit as it is for every person who snaps anything in or outside secondlife or so I think. 

As for Furillen, it’s the only sim I can’t get enough of taking pictures of. It’s emptiness full of so many details always conquered my interest in it. I swear one day I will travel there to see it with my very own eyes live breathing in its air and will have a huge smile all the way around there.

There won’t be an opening party for this one, it’s simply there – right now – for visitors to walk around. Unlike other exhibitions at the sim, Furillen in Motion is located in the large concrete bunker (built by Megan Prumier) in the middle of the sim. We thought that these pictures – all taken during the two weeks since the sim re-opened – really suit that space.  I hope that you enjoy it.

One week at Furillen

three chairs final

Furillen re-opened a week ago and has been busy ever since. The sim isn’t just popular; it actually means quite a lot to many people who have spent many hours there in the past. I was unsure about re-opening it, because sometimes it’s best not to look back. But having watched the sim being re-populated again this week, it simply occurs to me that Furillen will just keep on being the backdrop to whatever its visitors want to make of it – that’s the way it’s always been. There have been new visitors, too, and it has been interesting to see their reactions to this strangely magnetic place. Thanks to those of you who signed the guestbook, and to busy bloggers who have written reviews.

Furillen was always a photographers’ sim, and here are some highlights from the week on Flickr …

The hermit

"I like it when a flower or a little tuft of grass grows through a crack in the concrete. It's so fuckin' heroic." - George Carlin



The world is so much better....


Mr Bojangles

Yoga Rabbit @ Furillen


Furillen 08

Derrière les fenêtres



Without you i'm nothing....@ Furrillen


The Wichita Lineman is Needed!

searching for the light

Everyone's time is limited ...



am coming...and after me the Hell

Furillen 01

[ On ira tous les deux jusqu'au bout ]

Feeling Saachi


.:: Made in Heaven ::.

~Back at Furillen~

Warm Snow

Villains of Circumstance

I'd tear my very soul to make you mine.

In solitude the mind gains strength ...


Preserve your memories

.:: Trois Gymnopedies ::.

'Love of Life'

There is a World Outside

Furillen 2019 V

[ janitors day off ]

dans les étoiles - dreaming


a snowy line...

You cannot find peace by avoiding life

The Camper

Lonely buildings 2

Furillen 2019 VI

Stored for winter

The Beauty In the Chair- Thanks ϻïă

[ iron skies ]



back Home



. endless .

Graphic Line at Furillen...


Cafe View

Best Friends

Furillen -3

frozen summertime memories...

White Out at Furillen

Furillen Crow -  Perspective II

And there's love

Furillen (Gotland, Suécia)

Bringing colour to the beige

The other side.

Feed The Birds

2019 10 23   ::  why do birds suddenly appear?  ::


Feeling sad

Furillen - Heavy Weather

Together and apart

bad luck

“There is a voice that doesn't use words. Listen.”

Mars talks about √enus... @Furillen

... best seat in the house...

'The Enigmatic Furillen'

Radiohead @ Furillen


Furillen -5


Hey You!

Way of the cross

in the emptiness of the chair there is life.


Once again, Furillen seems to bring out the best in SL photography. Thanks for everyone who has been posting. Keep them coming …

As for the sim’s future, I am keeping an open mind. And I have some Furillen things planned, so closure won’t be on the cards for a while yet.

Love of Life

gallery poster

There is a retrospective exhibition of my pictures starting at the DixMix gallery tomorrow, the landmark is here. After spending years politely refusing to exhibit my pictures, and with Furillen re-opening yesterday, some of you might be asking what’s going on.

I am not usually given to public statements about my private affairs, but in this instance I feel it is appropriate to ‘clear the air’ and avoid misunderstanding. For over a year now, I have been living with cancer. I spent most of last winter receiving chemotherapy, and it was brutal. The treatment worked, but nothing is forever and my ‘struggle’ will be ongoing. During illness one inevitably spends time looking back and reflecting, and although DixMix had (and still has) no idea about my circumstances – hardly anyone within SL does know – a ‘retrospective’ exhibition seemed like something I could and should be doing right now. Likewise, it felt right to re-open the sim I always felt would be my ‘legacy’ in SL, and which I am incredibly fond of.

I am passing this news on not to elicit sympathy, nor – God forbid – to suggest that I’m going to expire any time soon. But my motives have occasionally been misconstrued in the past – sometimes quite hurtfully – and I want to avoid any misunderstanding now. I am all too aware that cancer touches many, possibly all, of us at some time in our lives. I am also aware that many of you who are reading this may have gone through, or are going through, a similar experience to mine, either directly or indirectly with friends or family. To all of you – solidarity.

Furillen started out on a region called ‘Love of Life’ and that always felt to me to represent what the sim was about – for all of its melancholic atmosphere, it was intended to be a place where visitors could reflect, take time out, and find their own peace. One of my favourite pictures carries a title which I believe expresses this sentiment well. The words – ‘nothing can surpass the mystery of stillness’ – are from EE Cummings: