The universes of Barry Richez in Second Life

Retrospective Barry Richez
Retrospective Barry Richez

Open through until the end of March 2016 is Retrospective: Barry Richez, an expansive exhibit reflecting the vast catalogue of work by this expressive artist, who works in both 2D and 3D.

Barry opens his introduction to the exhibit with the words, “Welcome to my Universe,” and thus we are thrust into an environment with a distinctly science-fiction edge to it, in which he has framed his work for visitors to appreciate.

Retrospective Barry Richez
Retrospective Barry Richez

This is actually a journey through three “universes” of art, undertaken via teleport, with the artist recommending visitors proceed through each in teleport order from the arrival point (teleport 01), with station 02 – 11 taking visitors through the Centaurus galaxy, stations 12 – 14 through the Tourbillon galaxy, and 15 – 20 though the Sombrero galaxy.

Station 19 is worth an additional note, as it offers a special exhibition of art by Barry’s partner Lou Robinson, in what I believe is her first public exhibition.  The remaining stations are also split into two groups, with 21 through 25 presenting “relaxation places” with Tai Chi, meditation, and dancing, while 26 – 28 teleport visitors to additional poseball spaces in each of the three galaxies, where they can simply float around, meditate or observe.

Retrospective Barry Richez
Retrospective Barry Richez

For maximum impact, visitors should set their viewer to midnight and make sure particles are enabled. I’d also recommend Barry’s suggestion of running through the teleport stations in numerical order as far as station 20, and then perhaps taking more of a random look around.

The sculptures on display tend to be one per level, and some offer opportunities for interaction. The 2D art is displayed in a more gallery-like form, and everything is presented against a galactic backdrop of turning stars, the spaces filled with planets, space ships and space stations (some of which can also be explored at which may contain little treats of their own) alongside of the art.

Retrospective Barry Richez - Lou Robinson
Retrospective Barry Richez – Lou Robinson

This is a fascinating trip through the art and mind of the artist; the items on display a veritable kaleidoscope, but in terms of the use of colour and the narrative in the pieces on display, some of which share a gentle humour with the visitor, while others challenge our thinking. The inclusion of Lou Robinson’s art adds a further touch to the exhibition, and has certainly left me hoping we’ll be seeing more of her work in the future; Her fractal images are captivating.

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