Art as a landscape in Second Life

Grauland; Inara Pey, March 2019, on FlickrGrauland – click any image for full size

Grauland is a homestead region held by JimGarand and home (in the sky) to his M-1 Art Poses, is one of the more unusual locations I’ve visited recently.

Described simply as a “photogenic sim”, it is actually far more than this; I would describe it more as a setting that presents art as a landscape.

Grauland; Inara Pey, March 2019, on FlickrGrauland

The landing point looks out over a section of coastline mindful of the Giant’s Causeway in County Antrim on Northern Ireland’s northern coast: Cube Republic’s marvellous Basalt columns step down to the sea before stretching out over the water in a slender finger. Several more frame the landing point, which includes a teleport up to the M-1 store.

Grauland; Inara Pey, March 2019, on FlickrGrauland

Sitting above the basalt, and split into two plateau-like areas, the rest of the region offers an intriguing mix. Directly behind the landing point, and across a road apparently emerging from a tunnel beneath the taller plateau, sits a large concrete structure, the home to a striking concrete block maze forming a large, and striking statement of modern art which in some ways reflects the columnar basalt coastline.

Grauland; Inara Pey, March 2019, on FlickrGrauland

This block theme is continues on the upper plateau, reached via cement stairs built into a steel frame. These lead to a large courtyard area guarded by whitewashed walls and a large, modern hall-like building. More cement blocks sit within the courtyard, extending into a part of the building itself, which forms a gallery space.

At the time of my visit, the gallery was home to a minimal exhibition of striking photographs by Jim himself. However, the gallery is designed to be more than just a home to art; along with the courtyard, it is very much a part of the artistic sweep of the region.

Grauland; Inara Pey, March 2019, on FlickrGrauland

Overlooking the courtyard is an industrial-like tower topped by a cabin. The industrial nature of the tower reflects that of the steps leading up to the courtyard, providing a further sense of continuity in the setting. Apparently open to the public, the cabin offers a bird’s-eye view out over the region.

Nor is this all. Throughout the region are marvellous art-like installations: great concrete swirls surround oak and persimmon trees, while rusting metal shapes sit on a terrace looking out to sea, the ruins of an abandon shack on the coast below them as large spheres float over the water. Elsewhere are smaller artistic elements: a caravan of turtles, a sculpture by Silas Merlin, knots of rock also forming statements of their own, doors hovering above the water… A further concrete-walled maze sits in the lee of the courtyard’s plateau, the walls again offering an industrial feel, together with an expression of graffiti.

Grauland; Inara Pey, March 2019, on FlickrGrauland – click any image for full size

Simple yet elegant, minimalist yet rich in detail. Grauland is a fascinating and very photogenic region and a place where it is easy to spend a lot longer visiting than you might think would be the case on first arriving.

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Rituals, aliens, poems and a rebellious rogue

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, March 31st: 13:30 Tea-Time with Sherlock Holmes’ Greatest Hits

As voted for by Seanchai fans, followers and listeners. This week: The Adventure of the Musgrave Ritual, first published in 1893 in The Strand Magazine, and re-published in 1894 in book format as part of the collection The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes.

From The Adventure of The Musgrave Ritual, an illustration by Sidney Paget, 1893.
From The Adventure of The Musgrave Ritual, an illustration by Sidney Paget, 1893.

“There are cases enough here, Watson,” said he, looking at me with mischievous eyes. “I think that if you knew all that I had in this box you would ask me to pull some out instead of putting others in.”

“These are the records of your early work, then?” I asked. “I have often wished that I had notes of those cases.”

“Yes, my boy, these were all done prematurely before my biographer had come to glorify me.” He lifted bundle after bundle in a tender, caressing sort of way.

“They are not all successes, Watson,” said he. “But there are some pretty little problems among them. Here’s the record of the Tarleton murders, and the case of Vamberry, the wine merchant, and the adventure of the old Russian woman, and the singular affair of the aluminium crutch, as well as a full account of Ricoletti of the club-foot, and his abominable wife. And here — ah, now, this really is something a little recherche.”

Thus Holmes introduces Watson to one of the cases his took on before the two became friends, one involving an old acquaintance from Holmes’ university days, Reginald Musgrave, a vanished butler and maid and the mysterious Musgrave Ritual. Just the Seanchai Team in the Fireside room to learn more!

Monday, April 1st 19:00: The World Of Ptavvs

Gyro Muggins returns to Larry Niven’s Known Universe to read the first novel Niven ever set within it  – given it was actually he first full-length novel. Within it, he lays many of the seeds, human and alien that would come to define that universe, its characteristics, traits and races.

A reflective statue is found at the bottom of one of Earth’s oceans, having lain there for 1.5 billion years. Humanity’s experiments with time manipulation lead to the conclusion the “statue” is actually an alien caught within a “time slowing” field.

Larry Greenberg, a telepath with highly developed and honed abilities is asked to participate in an attempt to make contact with the alien. This involves Greenberg and the “statue” being places within a single time slowing field, the effect of which is to nullify the one shrouding the alien.

The the new field in operation, Greenberg finds himself in the company of Kzanol, a member of a race called the Thrint. Powerfully telepathic, the Thrint once rules the galaxy pure through their mental powers and the ability to bend the minds of others to their own will. However, in the time that Kzanol has been trapped the result of a malfunction aboard his ship which forced him to abandon it and fall to Earth protected by the stasis field of his space suit, the Thrint were facing a revolt by all the races they had enslaved.

As a result of this, the Thrint had determined to wipe out every race in the galaxy using a thought amplifier. Now, his own mind mixed with that of Kzanol, Greenberg sets out with the alien with the aim of using the weapon to enslave every mind in the solar system…

Tuesday, April 2nd 19:00: The Fairy Tree

An original story written and read by Caledonia Skytower.

Wednesday, April 3rd 19:00: It’s Poetry Month!

Join Aoife Lorefield, Corwyn Allen, Kayden Oconnell, Ktahdn Vesuvino, Caledonia Skytower and possibly more in a celebration of National Poetry Month as they read some of their favourite poems and verses. Have a favourite of your own? Bring it along and one of the team will read it!

Thursday, April 4th

19:00: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Part 2

With Shandon Loring. (Also in Kitely grid.kitely.com:8002:SEANCHAI).

21:00: Seanchai Late Night

Late night Sci-Fi-Fantasy from some wonderful on-line ‘zines and podcasts, in a relaxed late night atmosphere with Finn Zeddmore.