An August return to Yasminia in Second Life

Yasminia, Yasminia; Inara Pey, August 2017, on Flickr Yasminia – click any image for full size

It’s been almost a year since Caitlyn and I first visited Yasminia, the homestead region designed by Busta (BadboyHi). At the time, he’d opened the region to the public for a limited time and was planning to close it once more. However, such has been the response from visitors, he decided to leave it available to public access and continue to offer people a chance to visit – and I’m happy to report it remains open to all.

Beack then Yasminia was a very pastoral setting with open fields and horses grazing, offering visitors a photogenic delight. Today’s Yasminia is very different look – albeit one no less photogenic. The largely pastoral setting has given way to one that is more mixed – still rural, but with the corner of a small town poking into it, suggesting a place where the countryside meets a more urban setting.

Yasminia, Yasminia; Inara Pey, August 2017, on Flickr Yasminia

Where you begin a visit is entirely up to you, as no landing point is set. Opting for the default central arrival point on the region will deliver you to the edge of the little town. Rather than use that, however, the SLurl I’m using here will drop you off towards the north-west corner of the region, on a track running southwards above a ribbon of beach.  This can be reached via a set of stone steps descending the slope between track and sand, while across the track sit houses and outbuildings arranged around a courtyard and fronted by a paved garden with fountain and water feature. The courtyard, with its outdoor table set out with soup pots, wine and bread, makes for the ideal place to return to following a walk through the rest of the region.

The track winds its way down through the timberline towards the little town, running south and then west, offering a relaxing walk down to where the paved road running through this corner of civilisation starts. Those wishing a shorter route can walk through the gardens fronting the houses,  then take another set of stairs down to the north-eastern edge of the town, where just a few steps will bring you to the road and its companion footpath.

Yasminia, Yasminia; Inara Pey, August 2017, on Flickr Yasminia

Careworn buildings line either side of the road – this is perhaps not the most prosperous place nestled within the surrounding peaks. A small chapel sits alongside the road, the tall tower of what might be a granary rising beyond it and standing sentinel between two small bays which cut their way into the land. One of these, overlooked by a broad, paved terrace set as an outdoor café, offers mooring for boats and a scenic look out over the broader bay separating Yasminia from the surrounding mountains.

The buildings backing onto the cafe terrace may all once have been thriving businesses; now however, they are run-down, deserted and empty, their windows shuttered or with blinds drawn, life having apparently moved on. Only the gas station / auto shop appears to still be doing business, perhaps the last hanger-on, even as the dirt of the tracks either end of the street encroach on its paved surface.

Yasminia, Yasminia; Inara Pey, August 2017, on Flickr Yasminia

If the apparent desertion of the town is a little too much, follow the road and track north and then east as it curls around the base of the uplands on which the houses sit. It will lead you back to the beach. Here can be found signs of life aplenty: surfboards upended in the sand, chairs and seating ranged under canvas awnings, a beach side disco with dancing on the sand, fire pits, and sun loungers pairing their way down the longer ribbon of west-facing beach, presenting couples with plenty of room to relax under the sun.

Today, as noted, Yasminia presents a very different face to the world than a year ago – but one which has its own unique beauty, with places to relax and that three-sided courtyard ready to greet visitors with wine and food and the chance for friendly conversation.

Yasminia, Yasminia; Inara Pey, August 2017, on Flickr Yasminia

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Dathúil: Welcome to My Brain

Welcome to My Brain, Isa Messioptra – Dathúil Gallery

“Ever wanted to take a journey through the human brain? No, not really? Eew? Well too bad because I am going to make you!” Isa Messioptra says of her new exhibition at Dathúil Gallery, which opened on August 6th, 2017. She describes Welcome to My Brain as being unlike anything else she has worked on before – and it is certainly quite unlike any previous exhibition held at Dathúil.

For it, the usual gallery space has been converted into a series of rooms across two levels, all of which need to be explored. However, before doing so, visitors are asked to ensure their viewer is correctly set. Information on requirements are provided in the foyer space, just inside the gallery entrance – albeit for Firestorm / Phototools only. If you’re not using Firestorm, ensure you have Advanced Lighting Model enabled (via Preferences > Graphics), local lighting is enabled and you have windlight set to Phototools – No Light (if installed) or a similar very dark environment. Once you’ve set your environment, proceed through the entrance to the exhibition proper.

Welcome to My Brain, Isa Messioptra – Dathúil Gallery

“[This] but is intended to be an immersive experience,” Isa says of the installation. “As you walk through the exhibit you travel through different chambers of the subconscious each completely different from the next much like a Fun House. In this exhibit I use light projection, reflective surfaces, mesh builds, photography, video, physics, animated textures…”

The result is a fascinating jumble of images, lyrics, scenes and lighting which offers an extraordinary trip through the subconscious – or a dream state where the mind is trying to re-order events and experiences – complete with a political comment.

Welcome to My Brain, Isa Messioptra – Dathúil Gallery

Passage through the various rooms is via stair, door and teleport; the dark windlight setting can made finding your way difficult, the journey is worthwhile. Commenting on the various scenes is not that easy, representative as they are of the subconscious; the best way to appreciate them is via a visit and tour through the rooms, and seeing how they speak and or reflect your own subconscious.

That said, this is a skilfully executed exhibition richly demonstrates what can be done with Second Life lighting, reflections, materials, and more – and the hall presenting images apparently behind walls of water or liquid really should be seen to be appreciated. All told, it’s a beautifully immersive installation.

Welcome to My Brain, Isa Messioptra – Dathúil Gallery

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