Gallery Cecile is a complex of eight display spaces for artists, curated by Cécile (Pierce Taurog). It is devoted to exhibiting art from both the physical world and Second Life, and from the former, is currently exhibiting selections of art by Salvador Dali (1904-1989) and Roger Suraud (1938-2016), which can be found in the gallery’s 0 and 1 exhibition halls (the latter of which forms the main entrance. Both are excellent displays, which the Dali exhibit offering links to the wikipedia pages. However, for this review, I’d like to focus on three Second Life artists: Dixmix Source, Rose Beaumont and Sakura Taurus.
Dixmix Source can be found in exhibition hall 3 at the gallery. Entitled I Don’t Get Lonely When I’m Alone, his display features 10 minimalist black-and-white images, nine of which feature a single male figure, sometimes seen clearly, at others appearing slightly blurred or ghosted, framed within a landscape or setting.
At first look, there appears to be certain pathos in several of the images, which on closer examination slowly morphs into something else, which I can only describe as a sense of “all-one-ness”. While the figure may initially appear to be alone, lost within a setting, a second look reveals something else: a man who may be on his own, but who appears to be at one with his surroundings. There is a certain ease in the way he sits or stands; while some of his poses may suggest an attitude of “leave me alone”, so to do the images as a whole suggest he’s actually entirely comfortable with his condition and location. Simply put, he’s never lonely while on his own: his surroundings offer him all he needs.
The final picture in the series presents a different view of aloneness: what appears to be a tiny sapling (or perhaps a single twig of a tree) set against a white background, offering s singular image of the beauty of nature. As well as the images, Dix has prepared a soundtrack for the exhibition – click on the sign in the exhibition hall for the URL.
Above this, in gallery 4, is Eclectic Rose, by Rose Beaumont (Rose Bomse). A series of ten avatar portraits, these stand in strong contrast to I Don’t Get Lonely When I’m Alone through the opulent use of colour within most of them; however, they also in some respects continue the theme of individual studies offered by Dix.
“I like taking pictures that tell a story alone or with models,” Rose says of her work. “My tastes in photography are quite eclectic and vary with the inspiration of the moment and my mood but always with a concern for quality and details. Shooting is not like a job for me, but must be a pleasure and a nice moment to share.”
The majority of these images, if not all of them, appear to feature the same model (Rose herself?). Narrative is strong in most of them, with one at least carrying something of a self-statement – Picture This Rose – which I found to be both captivating and layered, incorporating Rose’s photography as a whole, her passion as a photographer (framing one eye as if looking through viewfinder), the repeated motif representing her name, the overall suggestion of sensuality and the idea that this is just one aspect of a multi-faceted personality.
As with Dix, many of these images suggest that being alone is not equitable to be lonely – some directly, others in a more subtle manner of posing and setting. The sentiments within each of the images are somewhat revealed by their individual titles, but this doesn’t stop the eye and the mind from using each title as a launching point for a deeper examination and consideration of each picture – and I confess to being quite drawn to several.
Taking the ramp upwards from Rose will bring visitors to exhibition area 6 (area 5 was empty during our visit), an exhibition by Sakura Taurus, entitled Pour la Postérisé! (For the Posterized!) – a celebration of the art of posterization. Five panelled images are presented, all with a Japanese theme and shot around Second Life (I think I recognise Collins Lands in one, but am not 100% sure). All are presented on multi-panel frames, and each has been gently posterized, in keeping with the theme of the display.
I’m personally not a fan of this form of art, but confess to finding the five images offered by Sakura attractive. I’m obviously biased towards anything oriental in nature, so this may be a part of it – but it is not the sole reason. All five images show a more nuanced, subtle approach to posterization than is perhaps more usually the case; so often the process is very “in your face”, so to speak, in the degree to which it has been used and in the use of colour. The five pieces presented by Sakura are altogether far more gentle in approach, to the extent that they suggest a blending of posterization and traditional painting – which ideally, in my opinion, suits their subject matter.
These, and the remaining exhibitions on offer make Gallery Cecile a very worthwhile visit – one deserving of having time put aside to appreciate the various displays fully.
- Gallery Cecile (Beloved Land, rated: Adult)