Walking among Monster Dogs

Lives of the Monster Dogs - LEA6
Lives of the Monster Dogs – LEA6

Now open at LEA 6, as a part of the University of Western Australia’s Full Sim Art series, is Lives of the Monster Dogs, an installation by Vilvi Rae.

Located on a set of white platforms that are themselves visually stunning (and something of a tribute to the monumentalism architectural style of Alvar Aalto) which rise from the otherwise flooded region, the exhibit showcases art from furry fandom, the subculture interested in fictional anthropomorphic animal characters with human personalities and characteristics.

Lives of the Monster Dogs - LEA6
Lives of the Monster Dogs – LEA6

“Furries have been part of Second Life right from the beginning (although only part of the fandom inhabits Second Life),” Vilvi notes. “Furry fandom is many things for many different people. Many artists inside the fandom express themselves through art depicting furry characters.”

Vilvi has curated the pieces displayed in the installation, taking time and effort to seek the artists’ permission to reproduce their work in-world. The result is an engaging, informative  display, with over 30 pieces of art from a number of artists on offer to visitors. In addition, one of the platforms includes a small media centre providing links to Vilvi’s own excellent machinima on Vimeo, including the award-winning Sun Dog, which took the 2nd Runner-up prize in the UWA-sponsored Machinima section of the 2014 Screen My Shorts Project Homeless short film challenge.

Lives of the Monster Dogs - LEA6
Lives of the Monster Dogs – LEA6

Everything about this exhibition has been carefully and beautifully executed, including the title itself, which as Vilvi notes, is drawn from the 1997 novel of the same name by Kirsten Bakis. Touch any of the pictures on display and you’ll receive information on the piece and its artist in local chat, while the  minimalist form of the structural components ideally presents the works on display. Finally, the exhibition is topped through the use of Fox Amoore’s music stream.

I confess to not having come across the latter until visiting Lives of the Moster Dogs, but the music is not only fitting given Fox’s links to the furry community, it is in itself outstanding, and my thanks go to Vilvi for introducing me to it – do make sure you have music streaming turned on as you walk through the installation.

Lives of the Monster Dogs - LEA6
Lives of the Monster Dogs – LEA6

All told, a superb exhibit, perfectly showcasing the artistic talent within the furry community;  Lives of the Monster Dogs will remain open through until the end of January 2015.

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