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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2 thoughts on “Art as a landscape in Second Life

    1. Thank you! I was banging my head on the desk trying to remember where and when I’d seen images of something similar!

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