There are two very different exhibitions we recently visited. Each is being held within boutique galleries , and both are very different to one another, involving the of work of two very talented Second Life artists.
The first is People and Places, portraits by CybeleMoon, which is presented at the Liquid Sky Gallery, curated by Cassandra Ushimawa. It features, as indicated by the title, the remarkable photography of CybeleMoon (Hana Hoobinoo), featuring some fourteen marvellous photographs of people and places.
Those who read this blog regularly will know I’m an unabashed admirer of Cybele’s work; as I’ve previously noted, she is without doubt one of the most expressive fantasy artists in Second Life. However, for this exhibition, she presents a series of photographs all of which appear to have been taken in the physical world (although Remains of the Day might have admittedly originated in Second Life).
Predominantly black-and-white, although some are presented in soft tonal colours, and balanced between portraits and landscapes, these are pictures beautifully presented, each with its own story to tell – one or two quite literally, as touching them will offer a note card with an excerpt of a story. The portraits are utterly captivating in their depth of humanity and life, while the landscapes are marvellously evocative; the sheer wild beauty of the Ring of Brodgar is wonderfully caught in Cybele’s photos (see at the top of this article), for example, while Dublin is perfectly framed with Ha’ penny Bridge.
Orient Excess also presents fourteen images, all of them avatar studies, the majority semi-nude and focused on the eroticism of milder Japanese shibari / kinbaku rope bondage. As such, this exhibition might not appeal to everyone – but there is no denying the artistic expressionism available with each of the images presented within it, both in terms of the sensuality of the bound figure (whom I presume is Megan), and the overall framing, focus and tonal quality of each image.
The oriental element of exhibition is also contained within the overall setting presented across the two floors of the gallery. These furnishings reflect the Japanese and D/s / BDSM elements of the exhibition. In fact, they more than reflect: they are a part of it, adding further depth to both the setting and the theme. Shibari / kinbaku is about aesthetics; thus by incorporating Japanese décor elements into the exhibition, Megan is providing a further visual aesthetic to her work.
This makes for a fascinating exhibition, one that will remain open through until the end of February 2019.