Now open at Nitroglobus Roof Gallery, curated by Dido Haas, is Fading, a selection of art by Cold Frog. Cold is a long-time Second Life artist, but time and health is placing limits on her ability to produce new pieces. So, as Dido notes in her introduction to the exhibition, Fading is something of a retrospective of Cold’s past work, rather than being an introduction of new pieces. The title also perhaps stands as reflection of Cold’s situation, as Dido also notes: Cold is sadly finding her own sight is fading.
There is a strong sense of melancholy about many of the pieces offered in this exhibition, again perhaps in keeping with the title, although the subject of death has often been evident in her work, as has suicide; both either directly or through intimation – the splash of blood here, a skull there or perhaps a repose or reference in a title.
This might cause some to think of Fading as a dark and dour exhibit, but I would argue the reverse. Yes – again as Dido notes – death and suicide are serious subjects, but there is a depth and sensitivity layered within Cold’s pieces that draws one into them. There is also, in some, a little sense of playfulness, as if she is quietly saying, “OK, let’s not get too heavy with this. We’re still alive.”
This more light-hearted aspect can, for example, be seen in Sending a Tweet from My Grave, a piece both rich in its imagery, particularly in Cold’s hair, and playing on the idea of tweeting. There is also a certain darkness to the piece; a question, perhaps of how will we be remembered – by others after our passing. Will we have a place in their thoughts, or will memory be fleeting, a flash of remembrance equivalent to a 280-character line of text. Across from it, 40 Days of Isolation is again rich in meaning, and may well reveal itself to different people in different ways; however, to me there is a subtext on the subjects of loneliness, depression and conditions which might lead to suicide.
For me, the most poignant of the images displayed at Nitroglobus appear to be somewhat self-referential: Losing Parts (seen above centre, alongside 40 Days of Isolation), Even Lost My Shadow and the titular Fading (seen directly above). All three seem to point towards Cold’s own circumstances, and while they might be regarded as melancholic, all three are beautifully rendered, allowing them to stand apart of any deeper or more personal meaning. I admit to being particularly drawn to Fading and Even lost My Shadow, while the way both are partially faded speaks to Cold’s situation, so to does the approach present a pair of hauntingly beautiful pieces, their beauty heightened by the muted tones.
Nuanced, rich in detail, presenting several approaches to art and photography, Fading is another exhibition featuring work by a gifted SL artist and which further demonstrates why Nitroglobus is one of the leading galleries in Second Life, and Dido one of the most gifted curators of fine art in SL.
- Nitroglobus Roof Gallery (Sunshine Homestead, rated: Moderate)