Reflected on Black in Second Life

Riflessi Sul Nero

Riflessi Sul Nero (“Reflected On Black”) is the title of the latest installation by Italian artist Terrygold, which is now open to the public at Solo Arte. It comprises a series of around 15 large format avatar studies, all set out within the setting of an old mine works visitors must explore.

On arrival, visitors should be sure to set their viewers in accordance with the local instructions – accept the local windlight, then ensure Advanced Lighting Model (ALM) is set via Preferences > Graphics and, if your system can handle them, enable shadows (a little is lost in terms of general ambience by not having shadows active, but not enough to spoil the installation). Once set, follow the tracks down into the mine.

Riflessi Sul Nero

Within the tunnels and vaults of the mine can be found Terrygold’s self-portraits, and the reason for the title . Rather than being in her usual alabaster skin, she is using an ebony skin for the portraits – so she is literally a reflection (image) of herself in black. Presented in a large format, these are to be found spaced along the tunnel walls and within the side room and chamber opening off of the main horizontal shaft as it slopes and twists gently downwards.

The mine itself is  superbly done – testament again to Terrygold’s skills as a designer.  Beautifully lit and atmospheric, it gives a very real impression of going underground. The lighting is extremely well done (again, just make sure you have ALM enabled), while shadows further add to the ambience.

Riflessi Sul Nero

The setting might also be a play on words, working on a number of levels. Gold is often mined, and we have Terry’s full name – Terrygold, so we are literally entering a mine to discover the gold of her images. Coal is also mined, and this is a celebration of an ebony look, so again there could be a thematic tie.  Finally – and as Caitlyn pointed out, there is the reference to black gold used in jewellery. Just as the latter can be produced  by a variety of means, including eletroplating, which sees the gold coated with black rhodium or ruthenium, so Terrygold has coated herself in an ebony covering to produce these images.

My one minor quibble with the installation is that the lighting does in places work against the images; in places it can be a struggle to fully appreciate them. Nevertheless, this is an intriguing and interesting installation to visit.

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