Fantasy Faire: nominations for king, queen and chancellor, and a Quest teaser

via Fantasy Faire

One of the features introduced to Fantasy Faire 2015 was the opportunity to nominate and then vote for the King and Queen of the Fairelands and their (strictly non-human) Chancellor.

Nominations came from across all realms of fantasy, with the top five for the positions of king and queen (human or human-looking nominations only)  and chancellor, went forward for a public vote-off during the course of the Faire, the Fantasy Faire May Day Masked Ball.

The very first king, queen and chancellor of the Fairelands were, respectively, Havelock  Vetinari and Granny Weatherwax and Greebo the cat, all of which marked a fitting tribute to the late Sir Terry Pratchett, who passed away in March 2015, just ahead of that year’s Faire.

Havelock  Vetinari, Granny Weatherwax and Greebo the Cat were the first elected king, queen and chancellor of the Fairelands in 2015.

In 2016 came the time to elect a new king, queen and chancellor, with the honours this time going to The Goblin King, October Daye and The Last Unicorn.

Now, a year on, it is time for the royalty of 2016 to put aside their sceptres, and the chancellor his chains of office. As Fantasy Faire 2017 approaches, Fairelands Folk are once again being asked nominate those they feel should be elected king, queen and chancellor for this year’s event.

The Goblin King, October Daye and The Last Unicorn were the elected king, queen and chancellor of the Fairelands in 2016

You can nominate your choices through the form below (or if you prefer, go directly to the same form on the Fantasy Faire website. Any character from the worlds of fantasy is eligible; the only major requirements being that nominations for king and queen must be human (or human-type) characters, whilst nominations for chancellor are restricted to non-human (or non-human type) characters.

Note that a) characters should be chosen from works of fantasy  (including fairy tales, high fantasy, steampunk, urban fantasy, vampire sagas, etc) which can be written or graphical texts or films, TV or radio shows; and b) past winners are not eligible for re-election.

Nominations close at midnight SLT at the end of Saturday, April 22nd.

Get ready for the Fantasy Faire Quest

The Quest: The Bard Queen’s Song

The first teaser for the 2017 Fantasy Faire Quest appeared on Thursday, April 6th. Entitled The Bard Queen’s Song, it sees a little bit of a twist occur with things.

In previous years, a call has gone to Heroes and Heroines to come to the Bard Queen and assist her in righting wrongs. But this year, it is the Bard Queen herself who has seemingly vanished – and that could be very bad news for the Fairelands!

Fortunately (or so it says here in a script handed me by a pair of very small hands) Farion Sunbreeze has realised something is amiss; that while the Bard Queen has been known to skip off out of the Fairelands every once in a while, this time It Is Different and that Something Is Amiss – and he (and The Lads) are going to put matters to rights!

Only problem is, Farion is a pixie (as are The Lads). So, yeaaaaaahhhh – they’re going to need some a lot of help.

So, once again, the call goes out to the heroes and heroines of the Fairelands:  dare you travel you Morbus, where the Unweaver has sought to sew his malice, turning beauty into chaos and nature against itself? Dare you find your way to the Alchemist’s tower, and once there do ….

… Do what, exactly? Well, that would be telling – but keep your eyes on the Fantasy Faire website (and maybe these pages) for future teasers. For the last couple of years, I’ve road-tested the Quest; whether fortune favours me the same privilege this year, I know not – but either way, the Quest is not something to be missed!

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A World of Details in Second Life

Melusina Parkin – World of Details

“Although I love landscapes and broad views, my photographer’s eye needs to go close the things,” Melusina Parkin says of he recently opened exhibition World of Details. “Maybe I got impressed forever by the words said by Mies Van De Rohe – one of my favourite Masters of 20th Century aesthetics – ‘God is in the detail’.”

And so it is that we are led on a journey of fine detail through more than thirty images arranged around the split-level floor at Delmonico’s Artspace, where Melusina once again reveals that she truly does have an eye for detail and composition. In some respects, A World of Details shares a heritage with Closer Looks, and exhibition I reviewed in May 2014. As with that exhibition, the pieces here focus on the smaller details of a scene: instead of an entire workspace, we have a single typewriter or sewing machine; rather than the street, we have the street sign. Thus, common everyday things we might otherwise  never notice or which we take for granted are presented in a new light.

Melusina Parkin – World of Details

“Isolating a detail is an exercise of cleansing for our mind;” Melusina states. “It means to concentrate attention on a piece of reality,  until it loses its relationship with the environment and reveals its own meaning (or its own triviality). Then, we have to rebuild the context and to insert the detail into. These operations – made by our eye, that is: by our mind – can make true what Bertolt Brecht says in The Exception and the Rule: ‘We ask you expressly to discover that what happens all the time is not natural. For to say that something is natural […] is to regard it as unchangeable’.

She continues, “Moreover, attention to details can take us to the awareness that beauty and meanings aren’t compellingly in elaborated and sophisticated things, but they’re common and widespread.  I try to enhance all that by shooting everything I notice when I look close at anything. Sometimes I subtract or add light or colours, sometimes I isolate things deleting parts of their environment. Point of view, light and cut-off can enhance the subjects’ power of suggesting something.”

Melusina Parkin – World of Details

The majority of the pieces on display are new in terms of being exhibited; something which again helps with the feeling that World of Details and Closer Looks share a common bond. What is remark is – as noted above – the way in which the ordinary, the trivial, the things we regard as serving a physical function in life, become in and of themselves, art. The framing, colour palette, angle and focal point within each; the way each – as Melusina notes – offers a visual metonymy of a larger scene or of someone’s life.

Study is warranted, because each image reveals more than might at first be thought; as Melusina says, “All of them tell us something about their creators. All of them are both actors and silent spectators of the play we call ‘our life'”.

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