Poems and art in Second Life

I like for you to be still - Dathúil Gallery
I like for you to be still – Dathúil Gallery

Opening at 13:00 SLT on Tuesday, April 5th, is the latest exhibition at Dathúil Gallery, operated by Max Butoh and Lυcy (LucyDiam0nd). I like for you to be still presents images by photographer Kate Bergdorf what have been composed and shot to the words of Pablo Neruda’s poem of the same name, published in his 1924 volume Veinte poemas de amor y una canción desesperada (Twenty Love Poems and A Song Of Despair).

On offer are 19 images of varying sizes, some of which are nude studies, together with framed copies of the poem. “With the works in this exhibit, I attempt to transmit emotion by using both words and images,” Kate says of the exhibit. “Each image corresponds to a sentence or words from the poem. An expression of silent love.”

I like for you to be still - Dathúil Gallery
I like for you to be still – Dathúil Gallery

Presented in three (or sometimes five) stanzas, the poem is an emotive, moving piece, rich in melancholy, coupled with redemption and catharsis; the feelings of one lover towards another, as both occupy the same space in silence.  In these moments, it is possible for the mind to wander to dark places, only to return, the heart lifted by a smile, or a gentle, wordless touch,  such as a kiss.

Attempting to interpret such a well-known and loved poem is never going to be an easy task, and I have to confess, that for me, not all of the images here really work when set against Neruda’s words. Certainly, the melancholia is beautifully encapsulated in several – notably those on the lower right side of the exhibition space as you enter (seen above, centre). However, I confess that the nude images, while artfully posed and presented, didn’t resonate with me as visual interpretations of the emotions and tenderness of thought present within Neruda’s words. Which is a shame.

I like for you to be still - Dathúil Gallery
I like for you to be still – Dathúil Gallery

But this is only my opinion; I would still urge you to visit Dathúil, where I like for you to be still continues through until the end of April.

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Travelling through Noire’leans in Second Life

Noire'leans; Inara Pey, April 2016, on Flickr Noire’leans – click any image for full size

There’s a certain bayou feel to Noire’leans, and the name itself tends to put you in mind of Mississippi, if not Louisiana. Reader Maddie (MadisonRaelynn) suggested I add it to my itinerary of places to visit, and as Maddie has suggested a number of places to me, all of which I’ve enjoyed visiting, I was only to happy to add Noire’leans to the list.

Truth be told, Caitlyn and I actually first dropped into the region back at the end of February. However, I was hesitant to blog about it right away, as it is not intended as a public region per se. Rather, it’s a residential island, one that has been lovingly put together by Kas Torkelsonn (Kasia Kenin) and MadZ Levane (Magdaleine Demonista); so I wanted to ensure they were comfortable with the region being written about.

Noire'leans; Inara Pey, April 2016, on Flickr Noire’leans

As it turned out, the way had been prepared for me. “Maddie did say she was going to mention us to you,” Kasia informed me when I approached her about blogging the region. “We have been  preparing for this day and are totally open to this being a place to  explore. MadZ and I are working on the last remaining  undeveloped area to make it more inviting to guests who want to stroll,  linger, and take photos.”

Given this is a residential region, it should come as no surprise that the landing point is alongside the rental shingle, sitting on a small dock where visitors can rez a pedalo and explore the region via its various waterways. For those who prefer dry land, there are tracks, paths and bridges to guide them around the island.

Noire'leans; Inara Pey, April 2016, on Flickr Noire’leans – click any image for full size

The bayou feel is immediately apparent: the winding waterways crossed by wooden bridges, tall trees growing from mushy, reedy banks, wooden houses sitting back from the water or over it on slits, all presided over by a sky which could be taken to be a late pre-dusk afternoon, filled with the croak of frogs chirp of cicadas and buzz of dragonflies. The only thing indicating you are not in the bayou perhaps being the high peaks of the surrounding mountains.

Properties here are of varying sizes and forms, but all are in keeping with the general theme of the region and stand within their own parcels. “We have installed security in the residences  and made the scan range minimal,” Kasia told me. “So if anyone wants to visit, they  literally have to be on the porch of the house before they get a  warning.” This means that straying onto a property whilst exploring won’t get you told off by a security system, but you will be given a reminder that the houses are private residences should you try to enter.

Noire'leans; Inara Pey, April 2016, on Flickr Noire’leans – click any image for full size

As well as the residential homes, Noire’leans presents a central park area, a small beach, a café where refreshments can be had after wandering (or padding) around the region. With a design that’s immersive and which ensures tenants have a good sense of privacy without feeling cut off from one another, the region is also photogenic and welcoming to visitors.

Thank you, again, Maddie, for dropping me the details of another gem!

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