I confess that Vibes Gallery, curated (I believe) by Eviana Robbiani, is a place that I’d not come across until I received an invite from Storie’s Helendale (GlitterPrincess Destiny) to attend her latest exhibition there – one of three that can be experienced within the somewhat grunge-like gallery setting that offers an appeal of its own.
Storie’s often tends to take the more unusual / thought provoking as the theme for her exhibitions, and this – although brief in some respects – is no different. Entitled Athazagoraphobia, it takes its title from what is perhaps one of the least talked about human phobias: fear of being forgotten or of forgetting others. It is often associated with the families / loved ones of Alzheimer’s/dementia patients, who fear their loved ones will forget them eventually, but can be encountered elsewhere, and in the form of a fear of being forgotten by those we love after we have passed.
In this, athazagoraphobia has a role to play in our digital lives. What happens if we leave SL, will those we have known be remembered? How long will our work / activities here help hold us in the minds of others? Even if our work remains, will it help people to recall us, as the people responsible for that work? What happens if someone we know decides to leave Second Life? will they continue to think of us, to recall our friendship, our company? Will we live on in their thoughts?
Through words and images, this appears to be the element of athazagoraphobia Storie’s explores in this small, but evocative exhibition. In it, she uses images to offer the suggestion of fading memories and words to question how we might be recalled, to bring in the focus the desire to be remembered, to be more than a fading memory or the name assigned to an image or object. It’s a dark subject – emphasised by Storie’s request that a dark windlight setting is used when visiting – but it is also one hauntingly brought to life through her images.
I retained the same windlight setting – Phototools No Light, although Midnight will also work – to view Evolution, an exhibition by Lexia Kohime. In difference to many avatar study exhibitions, the focus of this exhibition is the male portrait: close-in head studies present in a range of finishes: colour, monochrome and sepia finishes, these are fascinating pieces, each rich with its own life, a capturing and framing of the nature of the subjects.
The exceptions to the pieces sit to one end of the gallery space, where a smaller selection of female avatar head studies can be found. I confess that, as engaging as the male studies are, I found several of these to be more coptivating. Not because they are of female avatars (I have no bias either way when it comes to avatar studies), but because I found four of them to be rich in the kind of narrative I love to discover within images.
The final exhibition – which commenced in mid-May 2019, and so might not have much longer to run – is an ensemble selection featuring Aurora Donner, Zoota Manota, Petra Messioptra, Meilo Minotaur, Marina Munter, Armand Parks, Erika Xaron, Patrick of Ireland and Rodnoc.
Again entirely focused on avatars, perhaps the best way to describe the theme of this selection is “colour”; each piece contains a colour palette and / or tone that immediately draws the visitor into it.
With three engaging exhibitions offering a richness of art and avatar studies for May / June, I look forward to returning to Vibes Gallery to witness future exhibitions.
- Vibes Gallery (Wanderers Retreat, rated: Adult)