Mediterranean meditations in Second Life

NOELIA Island; Inara Pey, April 2016, on Flickr NOELIA Island – click any image for full size

NOELIA Island, designed by Ida Carlberg and her partner, Lyshco, is a beautiful Mediterranean themed homestead region, offering visitors the opportunity to “dance, date, romance or cuddle in the romantic spots, take a fun boat ride, relax on the beach, take photos or meditate near the Buddha”.

Divided into three islands, the largest of which hunches high rocky shoulders to the east and south, encompassing land which rolls down to a low-lying coast to face two smaller islands on the north side of the region. One of these thrusts a rugged head up from its covering of sand and grass, while the other offers a low-lying atoll-like beach reached via a board walk spanning the water.

NOELIA Island; Inara Pey, April 2016, on Flickr NOELIA Island

The largest island, which also encompasses the landing point, features a Tuscany style villa sitting up on a high plateau. Sheltered by sun beached rocks, and reached by a winding stair of stone steps, the villa oversees a terraced vineyard to one side, overlooking one of the two smaller islands and served by an aged stone stairway. The walls supporting the steps of the vineyard appear to be similarly aged, alike the steps, suggesting that perhaps they were once part of a much older structure hugging the slope.

Below the villa, snuggled back against the lowest level of rock, and sitting between it and the channel separating the island from its companions, is the terrace arrival point, offering a shaded place for visitors to sit. From here, dusty, sun-dried tracks lead the way around the island, a nearby sign pointing the way to various points of interest, such as the beaches across the water, a little walled garden close by, the main climb to the villa, and more.

NOELIA Island; Inara Pey, April 2016, on Flickr NOELIA Island

There is a lot to explore on the main island, including a footpath and wooden walkway which takes visitors around the south and east sides of the island, hugging the backs of the rocky peaks to a narrow beach in the south-east corner of the region. While for those that follow the path around below the vineyards from the landing point, there’s a cave system waiting to be explored and a high hanging bridge spanning the water to the more rocky of the smaller islands.

This second island is a place of meditation, on which can be found the figure of Buddha mentioned in the region’s description, just down from the cliff top retreat which sits alongside the bridge. Wisdom is on offer here as well, from a standing stone close to Buddha, as is a meditative music stream for those who wish to listen.

The remaining island with the low beach, is a place of entertainment, again with its own music stream. A stage here is set out for music and dancing, while and tiki hut is one of several places where people can sit and relax.

NOELIA Island; Inara Pey, April 2016, on Flickr NOELIA Island

With boats also available for getting across the water, a fabulous ambient sound scape and plenty of opportunities for sitting and cuddling,  NOELIA Island makes for a very relaxing visit, offering a charming environment which has been beautifully put together by Ida and Lyshco. It’s also highly photogenic and begging to be filmed – and I hope to return in the near future to record a short machinima, subject to permission being given.

Should you enjoy your visit as much as I did mine, please consider making a donation towards the upkeep of the region at the landing point.

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Art and stories in Second Life

Stories at the Park - Holly Kai Park
Stories at the Park – Holly Kai Park

Over the last few months, it is has been my pleasure to re-launch Art at the Park at Holly Kai Park, work on the development of Holly Kai Art Garden. and together with Caitlyn, launch Caitinara Bar with a weekly programme of music.

Now, I’m very pleased to announce that on Sunday, April 3rd and 15:00 SLT, a new monthly series will be launching at the Park, courtesy of Seanchai Library.

Stories at the Park, presented by Seanchai Library will coincide with the Art at the Park exhibitions at Holly Kai Park. Each month, members of Seanchai Library will select pieces of art by the artists participating in the current Art in the Park exhibition, and write either a 100-word work of fiction (referred to as a “drabble”) or a 100-word poem about each piece, which will be read live in Voice during Stories at the Park events.

Stories at the Park will take place at the stone gazebo located in the heart of Holly Kai Park’s hilltop art display area (walk up the hill from the waterside arrival point), and will feature stories and poems by Caledonia Skytower and Kayden Oconnell, based on the works of our current Invited Artists, Io Bechir, Goodcross, Hana Hoo, Mistero Hifeng and Sisse Singh.

A poem by Kayden Oconnell, inspired by Hano Hoo’s “Alice is Watching”, and produced for Stories at the Park

“I know, for me, looking at the work of visual art gives me an inspiration to let out thoughts of my own. I suspect the same is true of Kayden,” Caledonia Skytower said of the new series. “We have written 100 word stories and poetry, which could be either haiku or free verse as long as it did not exceed 100 words, and we have deliberately both written about a few select works because we believe that a really good work of visual art (and there are plenty here) speaks to each person uniquely.”

For my part, I’m thrilled to see this launch of this new series at Holly Kai Park, and look forward to seeing it grow alongside our Art at the Park and Art at the Garden events, and hope that you will join us.

Should you plan to attend, you might want to visit the park ahead of the start time (or over the weekend) and enjoy the exhibits by our artists prior to listening to the stories and poems by Caledonia and Kayden.

We look forward to welcoming you to this new event at Holly Kai Park on Sunday, April 3rd.

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