Sunday, September 11, 2016


In the very first art challenge UWA held about 7 years ago, an artist by the name of Nish Mip, sent in an artwork called 'THE LAST OCEAN'. It ended up winning the 2nd overall prize, behind UMBRELLA's, incredibly by the same artist.

As follows is what Nish wrote about 'THE LAST OCEAN' (which you can still see for the next 2 weeks)


"What  I had in mind here was the death of a virtual world. It's been playing on my mind for some while (I wonder why? :) ). When virtual worlds die they go with a flick of a switch, but I imagined a ragtag bunch of characters hanging on to the last remains as an inflated sun gradually dries their virtual oceans and the search for other worlds begins. The whispers you can hear are  remaining messages blowing in the binary wind. I think I spent more time thinking of a title for this than I did building it. I still wasn't happy with what I came up with, but as it had more sea than anything else in it  and Ocean has to be one of my favorite words, so that's how it'll stay."

In my years leading the UWA sims, this piece has never been far from my conscious mind. I guess I was always thinking about when that day might come for UWA in Second Life. Its not quite here, but it is with a heavy heart, that I must inform you all, that 4 of the 5 UWA sims, will vanish into the binary night on the 9th of October 2016. The SIM that will remain for at least another year is the Uni of WA sim, which is our flagship sim housing Winthrop Clocktower and the Reflection Pond, The Sunken Gardens and The Somerville Theatre.

Everything on All Sims will remain as is for the next 2 weeks... do come back for a visit as many of the artworks going back 7 years are still at various locations. Once those 2 weeks are up, our curator, Freewee Ling will start to rationalise what is on the UWA sims, so that some items from all sims are brought onto the one remaining sim.

  • UWA - Main art sim with the gallery and various UWA campus buildings.
  • UWA WINTHROP - Hosts the grand finale art winners as well as other selected works, and Glyph Graves's seminal work "Strangers Also Dance." 
  • WASP LAND - The UWA Research sim, Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery with M Linden Artworks, and a 1052 prim model of Moscow's St Basil's Cathedral. Also an amazing 2012 collection of works by Rebeca Bashly in a 200m sphere.
  • UWA VIRLANTIS - This sim will be taken over by Dr Phylis Johnson (Sonicity Fitzroy). The sim has been housing facilities for teaching, and we are happy that this will remain where it is, under a different owner.

Everyone, do come..reminisce....look through the blog posts here, find yourselves. It is all of you who made all of this possible. I normally am known for long drawn out presentations and speeches perhaps, but, this time it is too hard for me to think of what else to say... except ...


Why are the sims closing?
There have been clouds over UWA in RL for some time in terms of structure. This uncertainty has created a situation where it is difficult for me to do the things I had been doing to keep the sims going. This was never my 'job'....  but the realisation of a dream that started in 2004.



I am saddened by the restructuring that is happening at UWA and that the university's presence in SL will be so drastically curtailed. JayJay has done a remarkable job establishing the virtual campus, maintaining the sims and, more significantly, building a worldwide reputation for UWA's virtual presence. He has worked tirelessly to promote UWA in SL for the last seven years. There is no one at UWA who didn't know about it, and tours of the rl campus by everything from local school kids to international delegations were routinely given a tour of the virtual campus as well. Our reputation for inspiring the creation of literally thousands of virtual artworks and machinima by hundreds of artists from around the globe has helped to raise awareness of what creative people in virtual worlds are capable of achieving. Our programs have served to elevate and legitimize the work we do here. We had an inclusive open entry policy that allowed newbies and veterans to exhibit and compete on equal footing. I am very proud of all the work you submitted to our programs. I will share more of my personal thoughts in a separate post.

If you are an artist or builder who has installed an object yourself on any of the UWA sims and want to retrieve it before it's removed PLEASE CONTACT FREEWEE FIRST! I am working hard the next couple of weeks to complete the documentation of the IMMATERIAL show for the exhibition catalog. I will then be hammering away at documenting all the UWA sims for posterity. I want to be sure to capture what I can before it goes away forever. If you need to retrieve something rather than having it returned to you, contact me ASAP!

The current Uni of WA main sim is nearly maxed out, so I will be removing a lot of stuff that is not essential in order to make room for selected objects/installations from the other three sims. As things progress, objects will be moved or returned as needed and there will not be time to notify anyone that their property is about to be returned. I cannot guarantee that pieces will arrive in your Lost & Found intact. Please contact FreeWee Ling inworld if you have questions.


  1. Do not be saddened by what ends. Eternity is perpetual and within it are events that start and end which gives us a perception of time. Rejoice in what has been achieved and where that achievement will take you next.
    it is not the funder that makes it happen, it is a community of creative artists. Where there is a will, there is a way.

  2. UWA's sim will be always linked in my memory with very nice moments of my life. Through UWA in second life, I discovered the creativity of many people in the virtual world making machinima, which became a new nice hobby for me that have gave me much fun and joy. I've always realized the big effort of Jay Jay, FreeWee Ling and everybody who have worked with them behind the UWA's contest. So, I just can say to all of them many thanks for all what you gave us. As Pieter says in his comment on the blog: "Rejoice in what has been achieved and where that achievement will take you next."

  3. Infinite gratitude in my mind and in my heart. Many thanks to JayJay and Freewee.
    Your great achievement and the documentation of 3D art through all these years exists and is alive. The presence of UWA in Second Life will have always a very special place in the collective memory and also a very important part in the virtual art history.

  4. Any way I can into these places and at least record 360 panoramics from some particularly scenic vistas? If not, perhaps an insider could do it. FreeWee?

  5. Any way I can into these places and at least record 360 panoramics from some particularly scenic vistas? If not, perhaps an insider could do it. FreeWee?

    1. yes... just stop by and do anything you need... all still there

  6. Thanks to JJ and UWA fore all the support i got ther, its not forgotten, The place gave me opportunity to make a full sim artwork befor it becom commen in LEA. thanks for the trust JJ

  7. Sad news. The UWA's full-scale presence will be sorely missed. The work in supporting the arts, in providing help to new users, in engaging with the community has been phenomenal over the years, and the grid is lessened by this news, whatever the reasons within the UWA itself. But, as others have already said, there is so much to be celebrated as a result of all of Jayjay and FreeWee's hard work, and we can at least carry those memories into the future.

  8. Thank You to Gumby who showed me the door, JayJay who worked faithfully over the years and all the devoted curators that offered support and shared efforts during the time of the UWA, that I was a part of!! To all the artist who entered their ART Installations for the Second Life community to enjoy, the Machinima makers and ones not even mentioned ! I say THANK YOU for making Second Life richer with your many gifts and talents! Waves to all of JayJay's Students!! To the future Cheers


  10. This is a great pity and UWA's presence in the art world of Second Life will be sorely missed .Thank you JayJay for your support over the years and to all the members of UWA as well

  11. So sorry to see it all end- there are so many good memories there of all the shows and challenges...a big thanks to everyone who was involved all the way from its inception to realization to day to day workings and involvement. UWA has been a grand presence, and will surely be missed.

  12. This is so sad, such happy memories I have of the UWA art competitions. I must thank Jay Jay for seeing some potential in my efforts. I remember I was building a butterfly house in the UWA sandbox when Jay Jay came along and suggested I try entering a design for the UWA flagship challenge It didn't win but he got me interested and I tried entering the art competition the following month with “Umbrellas”. After that I went on to make the Last Ocean which was part of a trilogy "Run for the Shadows" and The third piece “The Crossing” which saw the survivors of the virtual world crossing the void to another home. Jay Jay and his team really gave art in Second Life a real boost and they can be so very proud of what they have achieved. There will be other virtual worlds and hopefully people like myself who never knew their creativity will get a chance to do what the UWA sims allowed me to do. Thank You Jay Jay. Thank you UWA. I hope you make that crossing some day.

  13. Sad to see the end of an era. UWA was a leader and a stayer in a world that too often changed. Many thanks and congratulations to JayJay and FreeWee for such a successful and long running venture. I wish you well for the future and will miss visiting UWA on the (now rare) occasions that I visit SL. You will be missed.