Raglan Shire, Second Life’s Tiny community once again throws open its doors to people from across the grid as participating artists and visitors to the annual Raglan Shire Artwalk.
This year marks the 14th Artwalk, which opened on Sunday, May 12th, and runs through until Sunday, June 16th. 2019. The event offers an opportunity not just to appreciate a huge range of art from both the physical and digital worlds, but to also tour the Shire regions and enjoy the hospitality of the Raglan Shire community.
A non-juried exhibition, the Artwalk is open to any artist wishing to enter, and has minimal restrictions on the type of art displayed (one of the most important being all art is in keeping with the Shire’s maturity rating). All of this means that it offers one of the richest mixes of SL art displayed within a single location in Second Life, with 2D art is displayed along the hedgerows of the Shire’s pathways and tree platforms overhead and 3D art among the community’s parks.
Each year attracts over a hundred SL artist – and this year is no exception. The depth and range of art on display is guaranteed to keep visitors exploring the paths and walks around the through the hedgerows – and if walking proves a little much, there are always the caterpillar rides to ease the load on the feet.
Also, teleport boards are provided to help people find their way around the exhibition spaces, while balloons which offer rides around the region and through the art displays. However, given this is an opportunity to visit and appreciate Raglan Shire, I do recommend exercising your pedal extremities and doing at least some of your exploration on foot – just keep in mind people do have their homes in the regions as well.
Given the number of artists involved, there isn’t a published list of participants, but anyone interested in the world of SL art is bound to recognise some of the names of the artists here. The Artwalk is also a marvellous way to see art from both our physical and digital worlds and for catch artists both familiar and new to your eye. Just don’t try to see it all at once; the Artwalk is open for a month, which gives plenty of time for browsing and appreciating the art without feeling overloaded. Also, not all the artists set-up ready for the opening weekend, so visits spread over the month helps ensure you don’t miss anything.
All of the Raglan Shire Artwalk regions are rated General)
Back in April, Miro Collas pointed us in the direction of Killary, a homestead region design by Morena Tully, and which is inspired by the “only fjord in Ireland”, Killary inlet (or harbour), on the Connemara coast of Galway, Ireland.
Those who know Connemara know it to be a place of rugged beauty with many places to captivate the eye and the heart. Lying to the northern end of Connemara, Killary sits on the border between the counties of Galway and Mayo, and is an incredibly striking location, a deep, glacial valley that now forms an inlet served by the likes of the Erriff, Bundorragha and Bunanakee rivers.
For her design, Morena encapsulates Killary’s winding mix of hills and water-filled inlet in a rugged design that is striking in its simplicity and desolated nature. In doing so, she perfectly captures the way in which the region’s inspiration faces off against the wild and capricious Atlantic, which can be prone to throwing wind, rain and storm at Ireland as she looks westward, giving parts of her coastline a hardened look; a large of tough grass and shrubs where trees have to brace themselves against incoming storms.
The look of the region is such that its naked bleakness perfectly frames Morena’s aim for the region, which she describes as:
Simple, minimalist, easy. Clear thoughts seem to happen with just land, water, and sky. Sometimes it’s OK for a place to be just a place.
This is a place that really needs no description. Rather it is a place to be experienced – a place to come to when quiet solitude is what you require. While the design might be minimalist, with its scattered trees and sheep, and the stone buildings and ruins that give the region a sense of age, there are places scattered throughout the landscape that encourage visitors to sit and stay awhile, whether they are in the company of friends or simply spending time with their thoughts.
Which direction you take from the landing point is entirely up to you; as it is positions on the northern (“inland”) end of the inlet cutting into the region, going east or west will take you along either of the two arms of the U-like landscape. Either route has points of interest, be it the high hill crowned by the circle of a broken wall, or east to where the ruins of a small church sit and a lean-two offers shelter for the island’s sheep.
However, you will want tread both routes, simply because they invite exploration. Also, when you do so, you might discover the wooden treasure chests scattered across the land. Each of these is guarded by a simple riddle. Left click to read the riddle and supply your answer. If your answer is correct, each chest will open and offer you a gift. If your answer is incorrect – you can try again 🙂 .
Morena notes this may be her last region design. While I don’t remember visiting any of her past designs, Killary demonstrates I’ve probably been missing out; so I hope I’ll have to opportunity to see more of her work in the future.
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, May 12th, 13:30: Tea-Time at Baker Street
Caledonia Skytower, Savannah Blindside, Da5id Abbot and Kayden Oconnell once again open the pages of The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes, the final set of twelve Sherlock Holmes short stories first published in the Strand Magazine between October 1921 and April 1927.
This week: The Adventure of the Lion’s Mane
It is a most singular thing that a problem which was certainly as abstruse and unusual as any which I have faced in my long professional career should have come to me after my retirement, and be brought, as it were, to my very door. It occurred after my withdrawal to my little Sussex home, when I had given myself up entirely to that soothing life of Nature for which I had so often yearned during the long years spent amid the gloom of London. At this period of my life the good Watson had passed almost beyond my ken. An occasional week-end visit was the most that I ever saw of him. Thus I must act as my own chronicler.
Thus begins the second of only two stories of Sherlock Holmes’ adventures to be narrated by the great man himself. As the opening suggests, Holmes is now in retirement in Sussex, where he meets an old friend whilst on the beach. Harold Stackhurst is the headmaster of a local preparatory school, and as the two men chat, one of the masters from the school, Fitzroy McPherson, staggers up to them, his torso covered in livid welts as if he had been whipped with a hot wire. McPherson manages to utter the words, “Lion’s mane,” before dying.
More mystery ensues when it emerges that McPherson was involved with one Maud Bellamy – much to the chagrin of her father and brother -, and he had a sometimes strained friendship with another of the school’s masters, Ian Murdoch. What’s more, Murdoch may have also once been a suitor for Maud Bellamy.
Is murder most foul in the air? Could hatred or jealousy be the reason? Is McPherson’s death the result of his involvement with Maud Bellamy? The mystery seems to become more perplexing when McPherson’s dog is found dead, apparently having suffered as agonizingly as its master. But is its discovery the clue Holmes has been seeking?
To find out more, be sure to turn up on time for a spot of afternoon tea at Baker Street!
Monday, May 13th 19:00: Paper Mage
Gyro Muggins reads Leah R. Cutter’s 2003 début novel.
Set in the Tang Dynasty of the Middle Kingdom (about the time of Charlemagne in Europe), the novel tells us of the adventures of Xiao Yen, a young woman training to become a paper mage, a sorcerer with the power to endow folded creations with the semblance of life.
Because her gifts are in demand for the protection they can offer, Xiao Yen must leave behind her beloved family and their village home and embark on a dangerous mission when she is hired to protect a caravan. Yet even as she departs, she has no idea that this looming adventure will shape the very woman she is to become.
The story follows two timelines, alternating chapters between the caravan journey, where one of her fellow travellers is a goddess who charges her with a dangerous quest, and the story of her childhood training, when she lay caught between her aunt’s plans and her mother’s plans to have her married off.
Tuesday, May 14th 19:00: Kaleidoscope
When a brilliant young violinist dies in a horrific accident, Madame Karitska has only to hold the victim’s instrument in her hands to perceive the shocking truth. But when an insecure wife asks whether her husband will abandon her to join a sinister cult, Madame Karitska–as wise as she is lovely–chooses not to reveal all that she foresees. And when an attaché case is suddenly dropped into her lap by a man fleeing a crowded subway, she knows it’s time to consult her good friend Detective-Lieutenant Pruden.
A nine-year-old accused of murder, a man dying a slow death by witchcraft– for the hunted and the haunted, Madame Karitska’s shabby downtown apartment becomes a haven, where brilliant patterns of violence, greed, passion, and strange obsessions mix and disintegrate with stunning, kaleidoscopic beauty.
With Caledonia Skytower.
Wednesday, May 15th 19:00: What We Wrote at the Faire
Among its many attractions, Fantasy Faire brings with it the Literary Festival (LitFest) – a celebration of fantasy Literature in all its forms. This include opportunities for those attending the Faire to write their own prose and poetry. Seanchai Library has been a leading participant in each year’s LitFest ever since the festival first appeared at the Faire – so why not come along as discover what some people wrote as a result of being inspired by the Fairelands?
Thursday, May 16th
19:00: Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Cave Girl
Waldo Emerson Smith-Jones was not overly courageous. He had been reared among surroundings of culture plus and ultra-intellectuality in the exclusive Back Bay home of his ancestors. He had been taught to look with contempt upon all that savoured of muscular superiority, such things were gross, brutal, primitive. It had been a giant intellect only that he had craved, he and a fond mother, and their wishes had been fulfilled. At twenty-one Waldo was an animated encyclopaedia, and about as muscular as a real one.
And so we are introduced to Mr. Smith-Jones, the unlikely hero of this novel, set within Burroughs’ Lost World series. Swept overboard during a during a South Seas voyage intended to ease his ill-health, Waldo finds himself carried ashore on a primitive jungle island, where all his book learning can’t help him survive, particularly in the face of the terrifying ape-like throwbacks to mankind’s early evolutionary history who live on the island, and from whom he continually flees.
And then he encounters – rescues, even, albeit mistakenly – Nadara, the titular cave girl. Regarding him a hero, she teaches him the arts of survival and her primitive language, taking him back to her tribe – who turn out to be Palaeolithic cave people. If he is to stay among them, Waldo must prove his worth by fighting the strongest. He opts to flee instead.
However, as he spend more time in the jungle, gaining in strength thanks to Nadara’s teachings, he finds himself unable to put her out of his mind. So much so that when a ship finds the island, he refuses passage aboard her. Instead, more sure of himself than at any point in his life, he sets out to find the cave girl who believes he saved her.
With Shandon Loring. (Also in Kitely grid.kitely.com:8002:SEANCHAI).
21:00: Seanchai Late Night
Contemporary Sci-Fi Fantasy from such on-line ‘zines as Lightspeed, Escape Pod and Clakesworld. With Finn Zeddmore.