Of art and poetry and Surreal Effects

Surreal Effects, March 2014Surreal Effects – click for full size

I happened upon Surreal Effects quite by chance while poking at the Destination Guide.  This is the home for the gallery of Darius Damour (also known in-world as Raemus Nightfire), and offers visitors the opportunity to see (and buy, if they wish), his real-life photography reproduced in-world in a size suitable for viewing and for gracing any home, and to also enjoy some of his poetry while embarked on an elven boat ride around the edge of the region.

Surreal Effects
Surreal Effects – click for full size

From the arrival point, a cobbled path winds its way across an ethereal landscape, lit by a huge Moon and featuring standing stones, stone arches and giant fungi. Following the path will lead the visitor to little groups of Darius’ photography, displayed two or three pieces at a time, each piece framed and  accompanied by notes from the artist.

To say Darius’ photography is evocative would perhaps be an understatement. Each piece is a marvellous study – and I quite envy him his eye. The liner notes provide added depth to each piece, forming a window into the artist’s mind, allowing us to share both his feelings towards the pieces offered on display and a glimpse of the creative stirrings behind them.

The path eventually leads to a small dock where the visitor can continue their journey via elven boat, travelling around the island and passing a number of pieces of Darius’ poetry. These are framed and set against displays made up of one or more sculptures and other pieces from a number of different SL artists, which serve to illustrate each poem. Again, many of these are deeply evocative – I was particularly drawn to Asleep. Some are interactive, as with What has happened to human Kind? While one –  Alone – is somewhat darker in tone compared to the others, literally as well as figuratively…

Surreal Effects, March 2014Surreal Effects – click for full size

If any of the poems strike a chord with you, do please note that they are also on sale as framed pieces in the Poetry Shop, which can be found in the tree house on the small island across from the boat ride dock.

On Sunday March 16th at 13:00 SLT, the latest addition to the gallery opens. Wisdom’s Fortress is another interactive piece, which I personally think is beautifully conceived and executed, and the starting point for which lies alongside the elven boat dock.

Wisdom's Fortress ADVERT

“It is centred more around my writing, and set up in such a way of an ascension towards awareness, knowledge and wisdom,” Darius informed me when discussing the new piece. “It features quotes and poetry by myself – in both a journey and philosophical level.”

The ascension element of the new piece is quite literal – and somewhat magical. I don’t want to say too much about it, as that would spoil it, but I will say it involves a crystal stairway leading the way up to an island floating in the sky.

Surreal Effects, March 2014Surreal Effects – click for full size

The opening of Wisdom’s Fortress will include a raffle in which winners can select a favourite quote or poem from the exhibit as their prize.

When visiting the region, I do recommend using the default windlight for the perfect atmosphere (there is also a music stream available as well, should you choose to enable audio streaming).

As well as the gallery, the region offers places to hang-out (one up on a balloon floating over the region which is reached via a rope climb), and is also the home of the Anime-related Oktaku Paradise, reached via a teleport near the arrival point. As this requires all visitors to appear as an Anime-related avatar, and I don’t have anything remotely appropriate, I didn’t pay it a visit. However, should you , do read the Sim Code alongside the teleporter.

I regard Darius’ gallery as a real find. I’m already mulling over a couple of the pieces I’ve seen on display, and need to see how well I can reshuffle things at home in order for them to fit. If you enjoy evocative poetry and photography, this is most definitely a place to add to your list of galleries to visit. highly recommended.

Surreal Effects, March 2014Surreal Effects – click for full size

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