Art’s Timeless Grace

Timeless Grace Art's first exhibition features the work of Kandece Weissbrod, Aurora Mycano and Uleria Caramel
Timeless Grace Art’s first exhibition features the work of Kandece Weissbrod, Aurora Mycano and Uleria Caramel

Timeless Grace Art is a new gallery located on Shoals dAlliez which opened early in September with three stunning exhibitions of virtual and physical world art.

Owned by MacKena Soothsayer, who co-curates the gallery with Yvan Slade, the gallery is located high above the region, occupying one of Aki Shichiroji’s marvellous mesh buildings, an industrial unit which offers a light, two-storey environment which has been simply but beautifully outfitted as a gallery space.

On the lower floor of the gallery is a striking exhibit of art by Uleria Caramel, entitled Oil vs Glass, and which feature her paintings from the physical world uploaded and presented within SL. All of the pieces on display reflect her focus on colour contrasts and abstract expressionism. Two of her mediums are working in oils and working on glass, and the display is a reflection of this, with pieces from the two mixed together throughout the ground floor of the gallery.

Uleria Caramel - Timeless Grace Art Gallery
Uleria Caramel – Timeless Grace Art Gallery

One of the issues in bringing real world paintings into SL is that where there is a reliance on something like texture, such as in an oil painting which uses rich, overlapping layers of colour, or which has been produced on a particularly rough canvas or cloth, the depth of the texture can be somewhat lost in the purely 2D image seen through SL. Several of the oil pieces in this exhibit are strong enough to overcome this; however – and without critique Uleria at all – I did find myself wondering how much stronger and more alive some of the pieces would be had normal maps perhaps been added to them to generate that sense of texture.

Uleria Caramel - Timeless Grace Art Gallery
Uleria Caramel – Timeless Grace Art Gallery

Which is not, as I say, to critique Uleria; the pieces on display here, whether representative of oil paintings or glass paintings, are quite captivating. So much so that when viewing them, I found myself wondering that were I seeing them in the physical world, might i in fact be wondering about price and wall space at home…

Upstairs, the gallery provides room for Photography by Kandece Weissbrod and Fractal Art by Aurora Mycano.

“As long as I can remember, I’ve loved photos; old photos that told stories of lives once lived, the power of different generations, happiness, sadness, peace and love,” Kandece states. “Just by holding them in your hands, it’s almost as if you can feel the aura. There’s something powerful about a story that can be told through emotions in photography.” This is certainly true of the elements of her work on display here.

Kandece Weissbrod, Timeless Grace Art Gallery
Kandece Weissbrod, Timeless Grace Art Gallery

Presenting a mix of physical and virtual work photography, Kandece offers the visitor a fabulous mix of images from the abstract to the seemingly simple, each one carrying a particular captivating quality, with many suggesting they have more than one story lying within them.

I found myself particularly drawn to three studies using light sources against a black background which occupy one corner of her exhibition space, while the placement of some of her physical world images opposite those taken within Second Life offer a series of striking contrasts as well as a subtle blending through the fact that within each of them, same eye for detail and story, the same passion for capturing emotion – be it through the image itself or from within the person viewing it – is clear.

Kandece Weissbrod, Timeless Grace Art Gallery
Kandece Weissbrod, Timeless Grace Art Gallery

Aurora Mycano focuses her talents primarily on digital, fractal, modern and abstract art. Fractal Art reflects her fascination with this particular medium, which started in 2012, and which has gained recognition in the art world – in spring 2013, she was the winner of the first JWildFire fractal art contest. JWildfire, by Andreas Maschke, is a popular fractal art generation programme, which Aurora uses alongside Apophysis and UltraFractal. A key aspect of her work is that the fractal art she produces is “raw” – there is no subsequent post-processing through PhotoShop or other editing applications.

Aurora Mycano, Timeless Grace Art Gallery
Aurora Mycano, Timeless Grace Art Gallery

The pieces on display here are a mix of colour and white fractals presented on black backgrounds. All are intricate and not a little mesmerizing in their beauty and execution; however I confess to being particularly drawn of the white-on-black studies, which put me in mind of intricate etchings in glass, and two of the colour items which show particularly strong Mandelbrot elements within them.

Aurora says of her work, “I am very passionate about my art and expressing myself with it. You will find a little part of my soul and heart in each of my pieces, as they all reflect a certain moment in my life, which inspired me to create it.”

This could also be said of all three exhibits on offer at Timeless Grace: each of them offers clear insight into the passion of the artists for their work; they are someone – to this observer at least – very personal in their presentation.

Altogether, a fabulous trio of opening exhibits which make a recommended visit. I look forward to seeing what else the team at Timeless Grace Art bring us in the future.

Aurora Mycano, Timeless Grace Art Gallery
Aurora Mycano, Timeless Grace Art Gallery

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SL project updates week 39/2: server releases, viewer, misc

The Trace, April 2014 by Inara Pey, on FlickrThe Trace, April 2014 (Flickr) – blog post

Server Deployments Week 39 – Recap

As always, please refer to the forum discussion thread for the latest updates and information.

  • There was no scheduled deployment to the Main (SLS) channel this week.
  • On Wednesday 24th September, all three RC channel received a further update to the Experience Tool maintenance release deployed in week 38, which includes:
    • llGetExperienceDetails(), now includes group_id in return list. In addition,
    •  llUpdateKeyValue() now correctly creates a key if it did not previously exist
    • Objects using experience permissions and llAttachToAvatar() are no longer automatically detached when leaving an area where the Experience is allowed.

SL Viewer

The promised viewer using the new GPU benchmark system appeared as a project viewer on Thursday September 25th. Version 3.7.17.294710, includes MAINT-3131, which is simply described as “Death to the GPU Table”, which pretty much sums the viewer up!

Rather than using the GPU table as a means of determining default graphics level for a graphics card, the viewer measures the memory bandwidth of the card, and sets the default based on that (plus a couple of other parameters. The release notes add, “Initial settings on shiny powerful hardware should now let that hardware shine. Initial settings on low-end machines should not degrade performance from current experience.”

CDN and Regions

The Snack RC is currently being used for CDN testing on Agni. As noted in my week 38 updates, Denby, Hippo Hollow, Hippotropolis and Testsylvania Sandbox were initially placed on the RC, and they have since been joined by Brasil Rio, Brocade, Fluffy, Freedom City, Rocket City and Whippersnapper.

Group Ban Trivia

OK, so not exactly an update, but Baker Linden indicates that some 4500 group bans have occurred since the arrival of the group ban list functionality in the official viewer (and a number of TPVs). Will be interesting to hear how that number increases once Firestorm includes the capability.

 

Virtual Ability announce IDRAC speakers and schedule

Virtual AbilityVirtual Ability has announced the speakers and schedule for the 4th International Disability Rights Affirmation Conference (IDRAC), which will take place in Second Life on October 3rd and 4th, 2014 under the title of “Technically, we’re accessible… right?” Exploring True Inclusion in the Digital World.

The conference will take place at the Sojourner Auditorium on Virtual Ability Island, with the first presentation taking place at 05:30 SLT on Friday October 3rd. Speaking at the event will be:

  • Babar Shahzad Chaudary. a Doctoral Researcher for Mobile Computing/Embedded Systems at University of Oulu, Finland
  • Catherine Easton, who will be speaking on access to the Internet and human rights
  • David Sloan, who will present From Checklist Accessibility to Accessible User Experiences
  • Dr. Edmund F. LoPresti, an adjunct faculty in the Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology at the University of Pittsburgh, who will be speaking on Assistive Technology for Computer Access
  • Gregg Vanderheiden, who will be discussing AutoPersonalization in Real and Second Life
  • Laura Hall, who will be presenting Fun for Everyone: Assistive Technology for Video Gaming
  • Gunela Astbrink, an ICT policy advisor and researcher
  • Brian Kelly, presenting Web accessibility is not (primarily) about conformance with web accessibility standards
  • Tim Creagan, Sr. Accessibility Specialist at U.S. Access Board
  • Anthony Giannoumis, presenting A Revaluation of the Cultural Dimension of disability policy in the EU: the impact of digitization and web accessibility
  • blondieCART, iSkye Silverweb, and Gentle Heron from Virtual Ability, presenting Hear With Your Eyes – How It’s Done
  • Joel Foner, presenting Wait, what was that? Using inclusion to create a huge win for everyone, not just those who ‘need it’
  • Tom Boellstorff, presenting Bytes and Pixels: The Social Impact of Digital Inclusion.
The open-air Sojourner Auditorium, Virtual Ability Island, location for the 2014 ISRAC conference, to be hosted by Virtual Ability Inc
The open-air Sojourner Auditorium, Virtual Ability Island, location for the 2014 ISRAC conference, to be hosted by Virtual Ability Inc

Full details of the two-day programme, which will include social activities as well as the main speaker programme, can be found on the Virtual Ability blog. Attendance for the event is open to all, and Virtual Ability extend a warm invitation to anyone wishing to attend.

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