Felona & Sorona: Dichotomy of Experience
Squonk Levenque and Miuccia Klaar
by Mozart Loordes
Observe, feel, connect, and create stories through these highly creative artists.
Imagine a place where human emotions are reflected in the landscape. Imagine a three-dimensional sculpture of say… frustration or happiness or love. Now imagine an island in the shape of a broken heart, split by a sparkling river and filled with such architectural concepts of our emotional being. The island is here—in Second Life®—called Felona & Sorona.
Built by SL artist, Squonk Levenque, and his enchanting companion, Miuccia Klaar, Felona & Sorona is quickly becoming a Mecca for photographers and visitors alike, who go there to discover its charms and hidden secrets. It is Squonk’s and Miuccia’s desire that the island be explored and enjoyed by all. Therefore, it is completely open to the public and, although no charge is made for visits, you’ll want to make a donation. It is unique and worth the time to wander. A couple of hours will pass so quickly; you’ll be amazed! There’s so much both to discover, and to just stand there, and feel.
Over the last four years, Squonk has had many art galleries, each there for a while and then deleted, only to grace the depths of his inventory. One of these showcased the work of real life French graphic novelist, artist and film director, Enki Bilal. Indeed Enki’s work is an amazing mesh of fantasy, sci-fi and imagination. It was enjoyed by many, not least of all Miuccia, who was distraught when Squonk deleted that gallery. But, she was inspired. She terraformed the island in the shape of a broken heart with a river running through it, and if one flies up above, then the whole vista spreads out below, inviting many a great snapshot!
Then, when Squonk arrived to view this brand new landscape for his work, he was shocked! Describing his subsequent redemption with typical good humor he reflects,“I was on prims and water for three months!” His island took that long to build and used up 10k worth of prims.
The land was donated by WarmAnimations Lisa, whom Miuccia describes as a great promoter of art in SL. Lisa had heard of Squonk from his concept building at Treptower Park, based on an existing real life amusement park in Berlin, abandoned and gone to rack and ruin. This creative location ably illustrates his talent and is also well worth a visit. Some of the sculptures, most notably the puppets of Sorona, have been built by Squonk himself.
Miuccia and Squonk have taken what they describe as “the best of SL landscaping, sculptures, and ephemera” and combined them to express various aspects of their own feelings. They have put themselves on the line—literally—to admit to their own failings, as well as their successes in life. To illustrate such vulnerability for everybody to see is, indeed, a brave act
To describe Felona & Sorona fully would spoil it for visitors (and possibly take up this whole magazine). Briefly, Felona is the side of the island which promotes all the positive emotions in life. There’s a wonderful shabby chic house built over a lake surrounded by masses of brightly colored lush flora that expand into a meadow, decorated by enjoyable scenes from life. For example, Squonk is a real life photographer, and there’s a Photographic Lounge–an area where the camera is the most important piece of furniture and the chess pieces suggest (to this writer at least) that getting a good photograph is as involved as any game of strategy.
Miuccia and Squonk want their visitors to observe, feel, connect, and perhaps concoct stories! Exploring reveals messages; some scenes are hidden within buildings, in the sky above, and in the waters surrounding the island.
Similarly, the other side of the island is Sorona, which promotes all challenges, emotions, and circumstances. In Felona, if the wind blows, then blossoms fall from the trees. In Sorona, storm clouds are constantly seeding overhead. The grass is grey, as if soaked by acid rain.
Squonk describes himself as, “A great deleter.”
Miuccia says that everyone knows of people in SL who have had unhappy experiences here, perhaps of a romantic nature, and have left as a result. Then these people are both missed by their friends, and miss out on what SL really has to offer, “Many of us are fools,” she adds, “And Felona & Sorona is a kind of a catharsis of it all.” There’s a particularly poignant scene, where some of Squonk’s puppets attempt to escape from Sorona through a hole in the high, grey wall that divides this side from Felona. They only get so far. Squonk says, “The puppets aim for happiness on the other side of the wall…but once they reach it, they disappear, vanish. This is a common feeling—being unable to reach goals in life, unfortunately.”
However, some of the scenes suggest that there’s always hope, even in Sorona. One puppet holds a colorful flower of optimism in his hand, and another sits up in a tree clutching a heart, which Miuccia says he has stolen from Felona. Out in the ocean, there’s a supply tower with a graffiti heart scrawled on it, whilst floating just off shore in Felona, there’s a swing with a broken heart balloon holding it up–the expression of unrequited love, maybe. Each viewer will form an interpretation of Squonk and Miuccia’s work, and this is one of the many agreeable aspects of visiting such a wonderful island. Do go along and enjoy it yourselves!
Felona & Sorona http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Sezuan%20Alliance/81/142/23
Treptower Park http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/eagle%20crest/6/253/21
To see the full issue as it is originally published with all photographs and graphics, please download Unforgettable #2. For more information, please contact Netera Landar, Editor-in-Chief, neteralandar.gmail.com.
See Issue #One for more features and profiles.