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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Grauland (Liberia Isle, rated Adult)