Avatar Through the Snow Globe

Pill Flower World by Nar Duell
Pillflower World by Nar Duell

Above you can see Nar Duell’s Pillflower World, a beautiful snow globe with large colorful flowers. When you take a closer look you see the flowers are made out of pills! Peer closer still and you can see lying inside a strangely wonderful landscape of snowy mountains, Pillflowers and abandoned bath tubs.

Pill Flower World by Nar Duell
The little ant like dots are avatars who ventured into Nar's snow globe.

A platform floats high above the globe affording space shuttle type views of the gorgeously colored Pillflower World below. A red sled is parked on this platform waiting to carry adventurous avatars deep into the globe.

Pill Flower World sled trip
Pillflower World Trip
Through the snow globe
Avatar Through the Snow Globe

I popped a motion sickness pill, climbed aboard my sled and took off into cyberspace and Nar’s tumbling snowflakes. Once I landed inside the globe, I walked slowly around the snowy garden. I saw giant flowers swaying around me like carnivorous sea plants, turning their Siren heads towards me, enticing me into their petaled arms with the words ‘Touch me’. I realized then that I had taken the wrong career path long ago and could have become a pill designer. Someone somewhere designs these pretty pills, they don’t just happen after all. Imagine heading into a meeting to decide what color exlax should be?

Aleve and ExLax flowers
Aleve and ExLax flowers

There should be a gallery for the unsung creators of the ignored details of our lives. I once photographed the designers of Chrysler car interiors and had the rare honor of meeting the simulated-leather- car-seat -covering designer! I had not realized that someone went to work to create patterns for vinyl car seat covers until that fateful day. Our gallery of obscure designers would feature my seat cover designer alongside the drug company pill sculptors and colorers, and they could be joined by the unknown designers of shoe treads, coupon organizers and cough sweets.

Pillflower World is not Alice Through the Looking Glass but Avatar Through the Snow Globe. I found myself repeatedly thinking about Shakespeare on this visit. (Egads!) The term ‘globe’ triggers this thought, Shakespeare’s Globe Theater was a place where Elizabethans side stepped reality and entered into the ‘synthetic’ worlds of Shakespeare’s imagination. Nar Duell has in turn created a theater where we can ponder the tragi-comedy of pharmaceuticals. As I wandered around the cold, snow covered landscape I was IM’d by a Second Life friend and learned that her father had died very recently. I stood in Pillflower World with giant snowflakes spinning round my head contemplating the inevitable shuffle that no pill can prevent!

Green Pill Flower
Green Pill Flower

You can learn more about Pillflower World and Nar Duell at It’s a Pillflower World, afterall by Douglas Story (posted on Bettina Tizzy’s Not Possible IRL blog). I came away from Pillflower World feeling very well after seeing all those Pillflowers. (But then I am very suggestible, simply reading the instructions on pill packets makes me feel better.) Nar Duell reminds us with her Pillflower World that drugs are the magic spells of the modern world, full of promises and lurking side effects, just like a Grimms Brother’s fairy tale with a morality message.

Nar Duell is the Toronto based artist Lynne Heller.

Thanks to Bettina Tizzy’s ‘The Impossible IRL Group’ for the heads up on Pillflower World’s existence.

4 thoughts on “Avatar Through the Snow Globe

  1. How beautiful! I have been travelling the Globe recently armed with Magic Snow… (looking rather like a dangerous white drug, it is stored in a decorated envelope)… The joy on people’s faces in the Tropics who have never seen snow, watch with wonderment as it grows… and grows! It doesn’t need a ‘touch me’ sign… people can’t help but put their hands in it, running the cool feel through their fingers…

  2. In turning these discussions up-side-down – or is it inside-out?! – I start to wonder through the night about how I am taking the reality of the virtual into my own life on this globe… The Snow Globe has intrigued me! This morning I found myself hunting out a xmas present from Lush, a Snow Flakes Bath Melt and dropping it under the hot running water. When I returned, it looked like a bath of curdled semolina… umm, with a little trepidation, I stepped in and immersed myself… certainly tiny white flakes swirled all around me and powdery white tide marks settled on my skin! Well, not quite managing to replicate the Snow Globe, but perhaps I demonstrating the wish to bring virtual reality into my life!

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