Whilst it formally opens at 12:00 noon on Wednesday, April 19th, Niamh’s Journey of Dreams is already welcoming visitors and inviting them to explore and enjoy. The third in a series of watercolour like installations by Ceakay Ballyhoo, Niamh’s Journey of Dreams draws inspiration from further afield than her own writing, as was the case with A Watercolour Wander (reviewed here) and The Forest Beyond (reviewed here), calling upon Cybele Moon’s Tales of the Tuatha as its inspiration.
Cybele is better known in-world at Hana Hoobinoo. She is an extraordinarily gifted artist in the written word, spoken word, photography and art. Under her pen names of Cybele Moon and The Dune Mouse, she weaves marvellous stories, beautifully illustrated, while her art has been deservedly exhibited across Second Life.
As such, a collaboration between Cybele and Ceakay was perhaps inevitable; both are joined by a love of art and storytelling, and Ceakay’s series of region-wide paintings-as-a-story approach to immersive art is an ideal vehicle by which Cybele’s stories and tales can be re-interpreted, presented and enjoyed.
Like her earlier installations in the series, Niamh’s Journey (if I might shorten it so), take the visitor on a journey through a landscape as a painting, the tale of Niamh’s attempts to retrieve her lost dreams gradually unfolding through the use of in-world story chapters, featuring Cybele’s own art as a background to the text (the chapters also present visitors with a note card of the text for easier reading, if required).
Niamh’s Journey marks a more sophisticated approach to presenting a story than perhaps evidence previously; parcel windlights are used to change the environment (if you don’t have viewer support for parcel windlights but do have an extensive selection of windlight skies, you can use your viewer’s About Land floater to manuals change the environment with altitude), together with teleport portals to move through parts of the story, while Elwyn Lorefield provided assistance with scripting.
To say too much about the installation would be to spoil it – as with Ceakay’s earlier Wonder and Forest, this is an installation which should be experienced, rather than read about. Suffice it to say, an incredible amount of work has gone into it, and the creative spark between Cybele and Ceakay is clear throughout. At the end of the story you also have the opportunity to purchase art by Cybele and visit Ceakay’s store as well (a visit against recommended).
The official opening on Wednesday, April 19th, will feature a tour of the installation, with Caledonia Skytower reading from Niamh’s tales.