Aly’s Fine Art Gallery and Jungle – click any image for full size
In May 2017, Caitlyn and I visited Aly’s Fine Art Gallery and Jungle, designed by Hepburn (Hepburn30) and Pross (Prosperine2) for region holder Aly (Alysheea). The region is a home for Aly to display her 2D and 3D art – and also provide visitors with a place to explore. As such, it presents an interesting mix of place to visit and explore, and gallery to appreciate the art on exhibition.
The gallery space is located in the south-west corner of the region, and is formed by three tiki huts located around a small lake surrounded by sandy banks. Aly’s art, which is an intriguing mix of “traditional” photography, abstract images based on photos, and images which appear to have been captured in-world. These are displayed alongside and around 3D sculptures and mobiles.
Across the water, elephants graze on the long grass growing around a tall watchtower. Of African origin, the elephants are perhaps a little at odds with the rest of the setting, which – for myself at least – has a far more Asian look and feel to it than it does African. Nevertheless, the offer plenty of opportunities for photos and are quite magnificent.
Beyond this, the region is a mix of tropical rain forest and rugged uplands, and offers much that requires careful exploration. The rain forest has a number of trails running through it, one of which leads to a wooden summer-house offering a place for couples to enjoy a cuddle or two alongside a series of waterfalls. Another of the paths leads to steps cut into the side of the plateau which rises from the north and east sides of the region. This is an area requiring careful exploration, as not everything to be found here is necessarily above ground: there are caverns awaiting discovery. For those who prefer staying out of tunnels and caves, there are platforms along the side of the cliffs offering seating areas, while others provide ways to explore some of the lower-lying rocks.
Throughout the entire region are many Asian influences: a statue of Buddha, ruins which wouldn’t go amiss in the jungles of Burma, Tai Chai exercise areas, and more. These are mixed with places to sit and cuddle in camp sites and elsewhere, and which include a platform beneath a hot air balloon. For the observant – again – a hidden opportunity to play the Moonphase Piano.
As noted, this is an intriguing region. The art exhibition is modest, but well worth a visit, while the rest of the region offers a chance for exploration and photography – and has over the months been captivate by talents far greater than my own. That said, and being honest, I do have one or two quibbles with some parts of the build – the plateau and rugged areas are a trifle ragged in places, and could perhaps benefit from some gentle clean-up and tidying. But again, this doesn’t detract from photographic opportunities, either under the default windlight or similar soft lighting.
- Aly’s Fine Art Gallery and Jungle (Amhas Wilds, rated: Moderate)