Silas Merlin: Pastels and mirrors in Second Life

Holly Kai Garden: Mirrored Garden
Holly Kai Garden: Mirrored Garden

Opening on Saturday, April 16th, 2016 at Holly Kai Garden is a new exhibition by Silas Merlin. Entitled  Mirrored Garden, the exhibit is a rich showcase of Sials’ artistry, and I unashamedly admit that I’m pleased as punch to have having exhibiting at Holly Kai.

Better know in the physical world as Jean-François Le Saint, Silas is a Maître Pastelliste ( Master Pastelist) at the Société des Pastellistes de France, and his work is utterly captivating. so much so, that no opportunity to see it displayed in Second Life should ever be missed.

Holly Kai Garden: Mirrored Garden
Holly Kai Garden: Mirrored Garden

Mirrored Garden is very much an exhibition of three parts, all interwoven. On either terrace is a selection of Silas’ pastel works, each selection reflected by the words of two poems by Eala Du (CottonSwan), Where Is This Place? and Hands Form Into Puppets. On one terrace, the images focus on human hands: a parent’s loving hand resting on a boy’s shoulder, a teacher assisting a young violinist, children sitting engaged in a game – are all beautifully echoed in Eala’s words. Across the path, the sentiments and freedom expressed in Where Is This Place? perfectly frames Silas’ images of youngsters enjoying the freedom of the seashore.

Centrally placed in each terrace is a sculpture by Silas, one standing as the mirror reflection of the other, albeit with a slight difference between the two. Entitled Mock Fight, these two pieces both embody the title of the exhibition and reflect the youthful freedom and innocence found within the words of Eala’s poems.

Holly Kai Garden: Mirrored Garden
Holly Kai Garden: Mirrored Garden

The mirror theme of the title can be further found in the pillars directly behind the sculptures – although you will need to have Advanced Lighting (ALM) enabled in your viewer to see it. Set into each pillar is a “mirrored” surface which, thanks to the use of projectors, presents a marvellous refection of each terrace and the art displayed within it when caming across the surface of either mirror – while in one you might even catch Silas looking back at you 🙂 .

Silas’ work, beautifully executed in pastels and carefully uploaded to Second Life is a true delight to see. There is something utterly compelling in the layered textures of the images, their colour tones and depth, which captures the very essence of his subjects in a way photograph and paint cannot easily replicate.

Holly Kai Garden: Mirrored Garden
Holly Kai Garden: Mirrored Garden

Silas is always seeking ways in which he can extend his artistry; Mock Fight, for example, marks his move towards translating images he has produced in pastels into 3D pieces in-world. This in turn is a step towards his desire to produce models of his art in the physical world via 3D printing. For those similarly wishing to extend their artistry, Silas offers some words of advice in an article in Pastel Artist International entitled The Paper Is Your Playgroundwhich is presented at holy Kai Garden, together with articles in French from Pratique Des Arts and Dessins & Peintures Thematique, which offer a wonderful window into Silas’ world.

As noted, I’m utterly delighted that Silas is exhibiting at Holly Kai Garden, and we’ll be marking the opening of his exhibition at 16:00 SLT on Saturday, April 16th, with a special celebration (dress: smart casual) with music provided by DJ G-Windz (Gerrard Winstanley), all at the public terrace at Holly Kai Garden. I hope we’ll see you there!

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