Voir: art and environments combined in Second Life

Voir Gallery: Wild Weed – Calypso Applewhyte

One of the more unusual gallery spaces to be found in Second Life is that of the Voir Gallery complex, created and operated / curated by Frenchy25, and home to both his art and that of his SL partner, Caly Applewhyte (Calypso Applewhyte), as well as featuring exhibitions by other artists.

Quite where to begin a visit is a little difficult in a quarter region space that boasts some eight gallery areas, each one uniquely defined. This being the case, I’ve arbitrarily selected The Canyon top, an outdoor area to one side of the parcel, offering foot access to the majority of the exhibition areas.

The Voir Gallery and exhibition spaces

From here it is possible to walk along the broken landscape of Merdopolis, passing a tribute to the art of Donald Judd in Marfa, Texas along the way, to where a decrepit road bridge spans a narrow gorge. Cross this, and it will  lead you to down a ramp and along a street to The Garage (currently without an exhibition), or by way of metal stairways, either back along the canyon’s side to a tunnel-like exhibition space, or up to the Voir Gallery proper (of which the aforementioned garage forms the lowest level).

The Voir Gallery and the tunnel below and alongside of it both currently house Frenchy 25’s vividly evocative imagery; beautifully post-processed avatar studies and landscape scenes. In addition, and just outside the main entrance to the Voir, are steps down to The Underground, currently displaying more of Frenchy25’s art.

Voir Gallery: Frenchy25

If you prefer, there are two other routes to be taken from the Canyon top landing point. The first is down the wooden steps tto the floor of the canyon itself, and thence by way of a small street scene to the Wild Weed. This is a wonderfully steampunk themed exhibition space (take the stone steps down through the clouds of the “sky”), home to a recently opened and engaging exhibition of images by both Frenchy25 and Caly.

Alternatively, if you take the route along the Canyon top from landing point to the broken road bridge, but turn right, rather than stepping onto the bridge, you can make your way up to an outdoor seating area warmed by a brazier, and then down a fenced road to where a shuttle pod awaits (note that a similar pod is also available in the Wild Weed steampunk area). Climb into the pod, and it will carry you further aloft to the SS25 facility high in Earth orbit, offering both another place to explore and the opportunity to appreciate more of Caly’s and Frenchy25’s art, as well as pieces by 3D artists. A shuttle pod on the outer edge of the station will also return you to the launch platform above Topaz Square – or if you prefer, a teleport disk system links the two.

Voir Gallery: SS25

The shuttle pod is just one of the many interactive elements to be found within these gallery spaces. The cubes celebrating Donald Judd’s work, for example, include poses, while the art on display in the Wild Weed and be appreciated by sitting in the steel bucket suspended from a helium balloon, or sitting within the elevator car (although be careful here! Clicking the car when seated will cause it to rise, and it’s not quite aligned with the upper platform 🙂 ).

Should you find travelling on foot a little confusing, also note that there are teleport boards scattered throughout the parcel – although they may not be at all the locations described here. A typical example of these boards is at the Canyon top landing point, by way of an example.

Voir Gallery: SS25 – Calypso Applewhyte

The Voir gallery spaces make for an engaging visit, and offers something of a journey of discovery is seeking out all of the art on on display.

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The Saint, American history, time and special agents

Seanchai Library

It’s time to highlight another week of storytelling in Voice by the staff and volunteers at the Seanchai Library. As always, all times SLT, and events are held at the Library’s home at Holly Kai Park, unless otherwise indicated.

Sunday, February 3rd, 13:30: Tea Time with The Saint

Adventure came to him not so much because he sought it as because he brazenly expected it. He believed that life was full of adventure, and he went forward in full blaze and surge of that believe…

So reads The Man Who Was Clever, billed as the first graphic novel about Simon Templar, aka The Saint, aka The Robin Hood of Crime, and the creation of Leslie Charteris, when describing the man himself. Templar first arrived in literature in 1928, his career in print spanning almost six decades with Charteris, with later books and stories being written in collaboration with other writers.

His career in other media started in 1938 with the release of the motion picture The Saint in New York, and in radio in 1940 – with none other than Vincent Price most famously providing Templar with a voice from 1947 to 1951 on no fewer than three US radio networks.

However, it is probably as personified by Roger Moore on television between 1962 and 1969 that Templar is familiar to most. This series actually added to the library of The Saint’s literature, with a number of original scripts for the series – with Charteris’ approval – becoming short stories using his name as the author.

The Man Who Was Clever first appeared in 1930 as a part of the first collection of short stories about The Saint published under the title Enter The Saint. In it, Templar, the man who robs from the evil and heartless rich, and gives to the wronged and deserving poor, entered the world of graphic novels thanks to a story adaptation by Mark Ellis with David Bryant serving as illustrator. It marks the start of a new series of Tea Time adventures for Seanchai Library, with David Abbot, Corwyn Allen, Kayden Oconnell, and Caledonia Skytower.

Monday, February 4th 19:00: Hanta Yo: An American Saga

Gyro Muggins reads Ruth Beebe Hill’s extraordinary novel that is either loved or hated – and has certainly proven controversial since its first publication.

Lyrically written, the story is, at its core, a multi-generational saga follows the lives of two Indian families, members of the Mahto band of the Teton Sioux, before and during their first contact with the white man and his “manifest destiny.” Within its sweeping story, Hill attempted to fashion an epic, Native American version of Alex Haley’s Roots.

Allegedly based in part on writings translated from a Lakota Sioux winter account translated by a First Nation Sioux, the story is certainly cohesive and vivid. For those unfamiliar with the lives and rituals of the Plains Indians of North America, it makes for a fascinating and enlightening read.

However, to some in the Lakota, the book is seen as demeaning and misrepresentative – a fact Hill herself finds baffling. Whilst she fully acknowledges the story is a “documented novel” – a fictional story based on actual events – she also notes that she spent some 20 or more years researching Hanta Yo and carrying out hundreds of interviews with representatives of the Sioux, Kiowa, Omaha, Cheyenne, and Navajo tribes, including allowing them access to her manuscript to verify the historical elements from their standpoint.

Event today, in the year of the 40th anniversary since its first publication, Hanta Yo divides opinions. So why not settle down with Gyro to hear the tale first hand?

Tuesday, February 5th 19:00: The Time Keeper

The inventor of the world’s first clock is punished for trying to measure God’s greatest gift. He is banished to a cave for centuries and forced to listen to the voices of all who come after him seeking more days, more years.

Eventually, with his soul nearly broken, Father Time is granted his freedom, along with a magical hourglass and a mission: a chance to redeem himself by teaching two earthly people the true meaning of time.

He returns to our world – now dominated by the hour-counting he so innocently began – and commences a journey with two unlikely partners: one a teenage girl who is about to give up on life, the other a wealthy old businessman who wants to live forever. To save himself, Father Time must save them both. And stop the world to do so.

Join Caledonia Skytower and Kayden OConnell as they read Mitch Albom’s 2012 novel.

Wednesday, February 6th 19:00: The Jennifer Morgue

Corwyn Allen reads the second volume in the Laundry Files by Charles Stross.

Bob Howard is an IT expert and occasional field agent for the Laundry, the branch of Her Majesty’s Secret Service that deals with occult threats. In this second outing, Bob Howard finds himself dragged into the machinations and conspiracies of megalomaniac multi-billionaire Ellis Billington, The Black Chamber and The Laundry…

Dressed in a tuxedo (what else for a globe-trotting British Secret Agent?) and sent to the Caribbean, Bob must infiltrate Billington’s inner circle via his luxurious yacht. His mission? Prevent the Billington from violating a treaty that will bring down the wrath of an ancient underwater race upon humanity’s head.

Offering a wonderful pastiche on both the world of James Bond and a wonderful mimicking of Ian Fleming’s style of writing, Stross produces a novel that also evokes Lovecraftian overtones that is delightfully entertaining to read. In true Bond style, Bob is (reluctantly) partnered with an American agent – in this case a stunningly beautiful woman who also just happens to be a soul-sucking succubus from another dimension. Which, being the case, marks Bob’s mission somewhat differently to those of Bond: not only must he stop the bad guys and come through this at best shaken, he must totally avoid being stirred towards getting the girl…

Thursday, February 7th:

19:00: The Saga Of Koadalan

A Celtic legend told by Shandon Loring. Also in Kitely grid.kitely.com:8002:SEANCHAI.

21:00: Seanchai Late Night

With Finn Zeddmore.