Isadora and Morlita at Diotima Gallery

Diotima Art Gallery: Light in the Labyrinth

Currently on display at Diotima Art Gallery curated by Redi (Red Bikcin), is a shared exhibition of art by Isadora Alaya (Otcoc) and Morlita Quan. While very different in form, the two exhibitions are perhaps drawn together through something of an abstract edge to each of them.

Located in the front part of the gallery space, Isadora present 14 images under the title Light in the Labyrinth. These offer a mix of themes – landscapes, images of art in SL, avatar studies – all of which are joined by a use of colour that tend to set them apart from the more “usual” style of landscape or avatar study we’re all perhaps familiar with. This gives some of them the “abstract” edge to which I refer.

Diotima Art Gallery: Light in the Labyrinth

It really is this use of colour that makes these pieces striking. I particularly found myself drawn to Savannah Flow and Tell You What’s Lost. The former is a glorious piece in tone, lighting and depth that brings the elephant to life in a most fascinating way. The latter, meanwhile, presents in both image and title a perfect reflection of one of SL’s most original regions,  Whats Lost Spirits (about which you can read more here).

With pieces like these and the stunning monochrome Powder Drift (Night Before Zazenkai), Isadora’s Light in the Labyrinth is an absorbing display of art.

Diotima Art Gallery: Morlita Quan – Dissonances

For Dissonances, Morlita Quan contrasts her images to those of Isadora by presenting them within a white space that sits opposite of the dark setting for Light in the Labyrinth. In doing so, she draws a subtle link of connection between the  two exhibits.

I’ve long been an admirer of Mori’s beautifully fluid and organic abstracts, and the twelve pieces offered here fully demonstrate both the organic and abstract look and texture to her work. Abstract the images may be, but the influence and inspiration of nature is evident within each piece presented here, the majority of which lean towards monochrome, while those incorporating colour do so in a soft, subtle and – dare I repeat it again – organic manner. The fluidity of the pieces is largely self-evident; several of the pieces are liquid in their form, and this is further added to by the wave-like animation evident in the floor.

Diotima Art Gallery: Morlita Quan – Dissonances

The choice of title for this exhibit is interesting. Dissonance means a discordant combination of sounds or a lack of agreement. Yet within these pieces there is a harmony waiting to be found. Yes, on first look, the pieces – particularly the two laying on the end wall of the hall – may seem jarring; however, the very nature of these pieces, the intricate curves and patterns of circles tends to wash any sense of discord to one side.

Together, Light in the Labyrinth and Dissonances made for a worthwhile shared exhibition and visit.

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A visit to historic Boardman in Second Life

Boardman – click any image for full size

There are many historic sites scattered around Second Life, some better known than others. Svarga (read here for more), for example, or The Man, Governor Linden’s mansion, the Ivory Tower of Primitives, to name just four. Then there are places to celebrate the history of Second Life, such as the SL Historic Museum (read here for more) and Maps of Second Life (read here for more).

One of the historical location that perhaps doesn’t get much of a mention outside of the Destination Guide is Boardman, one of the earliest experiments of a themed community established in Second Life that dates back at least a decade, and which is now overseen by the Boardman Preservation Society.

Boardman

It’s a fascinating curio to visit; a living reminder of how Second Life once was. A prim build, formed around a network of little roads and sidewalks, in which sits a little suburb setting of houses and community buildings: a town hall (complete with a picture of Jack Linden, former head of the Land Team who departed LL at the end of 2010), a church, and ice cream parlour. The roads are shaded by Linden trees from the library, while the houses – although largely empty – sit within their own little lawned gardens.

Being an early example of community building in Second Life, Boardman is subject to some of the earliest zoning requirements in Second Life. These can be obtained from the information kiosks scattered around the town and in assorted signs, and date all the way back to January 2003, which itself makes them an interesting read.

Boardman

A central (literally as well as figuratively) feature is an open air market space. This was specifically established to allow Boardman residents to sell their goods – as long as they were within the required guidelines – via a 13×8 metre stall. It is at the market that some names and logos can be found that will have a certain resonance among long-term Second Life residents: Sion Chickens (although none of them are around!) and Adam Zaius for example. There are even some vendor boards still present and working! You can, however, pick up Mr. Greggan’s Whimsical Full Perm Freebies, for a look back at SL mechanics circa 2007/8.

As well as exploring, visitors can take a walk to the waterfront and try their hands a few games or simply enjoy the Sun. While you’re there, say hello to Captain Nomad as he builds his new boat.

Boardman

Boardman may look dated when compared to modern mesh builds, and the total ban on even limited terraforming to smooth out the land in places can result in some buildings looking oddly placed. However, as a site of historical reference, it makes for an interesting and diverting visit.

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