There are many galleries across Second Life. Some specialise in exhibiting photography and art created within Second Life; others focus on exhibiting the physical world work of artists who have come to Second Life for both social activities and as a means to reach a broader audience for their art. Indeed, such is the number of galleries, that reporting on all of them is a difficult task – but I enjoy hopping around SL looking for the smaller art spaces and discovering the work of artists between new to me and familiar.
One such gallery space, offering ensemble and mixed exhibits is the Art Garden Gallery operated by Fanny FooFoo Miklos (Sloane Cerise) and her partner Thorne Miklos. Located in the sky over the mainland, the gallery is – as its name suggests – presented as a garden environment; in this case a walled garden under a night-time sky. The landing point is towards the centre of the garden space, with the art displayed on the outer stone walls.
At the time of my visit, most of the art on display represented physical world pieces by a broad range of artists, including Kaly Iali, Persia Silverblade, Toysoldier Thor, SaraMarie Paul, Shmoo Snook, JudiLynn India, Asmita Duranjaya, Dulcis Taurig, to name a handful. Given such a broad cross-section of artists, it should come as no surprise the art itself was broad in terms of content, style and approach. Some offered studies of flowers, others present landscapes or representations of landscapes, and others are far more abstract in nature. Thus, the gallery offers an eclectic and attractive mix of art for the visitor’s enjoyment.
If I have a complaint at all, is the lack of artist information outside of plaques bearing the name of each piece and the artist’s name. Given that there are so many artists in Second Life, and the ease with which information givers can be set-up, it would be nice to see settings like this do a little more to help inform visitors about the artists behind the works on display; doing so can add further depth to an exhibition.
At the western end of the gallery space is the Miklos Centre, a smaller space for what appears to be more themed art displays. Again, at the time of my visit, this smaller, enclosed area was home to a display of art and poetry entitled Telephone Walkers. On offer are seven pieces of art and seven poems on the subject of telephone poles. Four of the pictures were produced within Second Life, with the remaining three – by photographer Nils Urqhart and artist David E. Weiner – are of physical world locations. All feature telephone pole – or overhead power lines – either as something of a focal point – as with Ziki Questi’s Bonne Chance 3 and Furillen 1, in orders they are part of the overall image framing, as with In Every Life by Wintergeist and Old Stone Wall by Nordica Torok, while for the rest the poles are almost incidental.
The poems offer a broad range of perspectives on telephone poles, and combined with the seven images – the numbers are more for balance than any attempt at pairing of specific images with poems – poems and pictures back for a very effective exhibition. I admit to finding Telephone Walkers more engaging than the main gallery space exhibition, partly because it is more contained and focused (and includes work by artists I greatly admire), but also because the poetry draws the visitor into each of the pieces, offering each multiple narratives to be enjoyed.
I’m not certain how frequently exhibitions change at the rt Garden Gallery, but for those who enjoy visits to smaller, more boutique style galleries which can offer ensemble exhibitions, I recommend a visit.
- Art Garden Gallery (Dogoog, rated: Moderate)