Flourish – click any image for full size
We recently received an invitation from Julz (Juliette Rainfall) to visit the latest region design she and her SL partner, Leaf (Peyton Darmoset) have put together. As the people responsible for creating the outstanding region designs of Cold Ash (read more here), Erebos Harbor (read more here) and Cloudbreak (read here), among others, we were keen to see their latest work.
Unlike most of their previous designs, Flourish is a commercial region, designed to be the home of the Flourish Studio and Salon S2 brands. However, this Full region is also very photogenic, as one would expect from one of Leaf’s designs.
Surrounded by dusty hills and mountains, the region is presented as a rugged desert setting, centred on a deep-sided lake, its shores largely cliff-like walls. Roads appear to cut through the landscape, passing across region and sim surround alike. One of theses point “into” the region and to the grounds of Flourish Studio, the other winds its way up the southern foothills to the Salon S2 store (which at the time of our visit had yet to be outfitted).
Desert it might be, but there is a lot going on here. The stepped foothills on the southern side of the region offer space to climb and explore alongside the Salon S2 building, the landscape here a mix of bare rock, scrub grass, cacti, creosote bushes and wild shrubs. Within it sit a water run-off and evidence of some old workings of some description. Wooden steps offer a route up and down the tiered rocks of the hills, with a hole in the fence around Flourish Studio – designed to resemble an outdoor market – inviting explorers into the store at it sits in the north-east corner of the region.
Follow the road west from here and it will lead you past a somewhat run-down motel, faced by a bus stop / fuelling point across the road, while away to the north the shadowy forms of high-rise buildings break the horizon, indicating the presence of a distant city. Might this be Reno or Las Vegas or somewhere else? That’s up to you to decide.
Alongside the bus stop is something of an artistic statement: an old outside broadcast van, its satellite dish pointing vacantly to the hills as it forms a backdrop to an array of old televisions, the screens of which have been painted with a variety of slogans, some of them with a lean perhaps towards political comments.
Close to this statement, a sandy path leads away from the road and between the rocks and boulders to point the way yo the top of the cliffs of the lake. Here’s under a large canvas awning, sits an events stage, the flat rock between it and the waters below offering room to dance, and a wooden platform built out from the cliff edge a place to sit. The the lake is fed by a tumbling waterfall, while narrow ribbons or sun-baked sand seem t0 offer narrow waterside beaches north and south, each reached by a path of hard-packed and parched sand.
More art can be found off to the west, along the road winding up to the Salon S2 store. Here, next to neat lines of solar arrays as they capture the Sun’s like, stand three large female torsos, giant mannequins, on which have been painted the truism Life goes on.
All of this presents a striking region with plenty of opportunities for exploration and photography, nicely rounded-off by an ambient soundscape.
- Flourish (Copper River, rated: Moderate)