][Octopussy][ goes Cuba in Second Life

][Octopussy][ goes Cuba; Inara Pey, July 2019, on Flickr][Octopussy][ goes Cuba, July 2019 – click and image for full size

We were led to ][Octopussy][ goes Cuba on the recommendation of Shawn and Max, discovering in the process a sun-drenched tropical island with a lot to offer visitors.

A joint design by FleurLaRosa and WillkinThos, this homestead region is adult rated and does embrace nudity and adult activities – providing the clearly stated rules are followed; but this should in no way put people off paying it a visit, as there is a lot to appreciate.

][Octopussy][ goes Cuba; Inara Pey, July 2019, on Flickr][Octopussy][ goes Cuba, July 2019

This is very much a place of two halves, visually. There is the tall, rocky plateau of the island, and the low-lying beaches stretching out to the west and curling around to the south. The former is home to the main landing point, sitting towards the centre of the region, and a gaily-painted village location that sits above it.  The village, with its 50’s style cars and bright colours is obviously intended to evoke the Cuban feel suggested by the region’s title.

There might be a tendency to make allusions to James Bond given the region’s name, and certainly, the British spy has been to Cuba and other tropical locations, and in places the Octopus logo found the island kind-of offers suggestions of an inverted SPECTRE symbol. But really, any alignment of the region with Bond is purely in the imagination. Instead, this is a place for photography, fun and music.

][Octopussy][ goes Cuba; Inara Pey, July 2019, on Flickr][Octopussy][ goes Cuba, July 2019

The latter is catered for at several points around the island, but perhaps most obviously in the underground ][ Octopussy ][ Lounge. This can be found through the tunnel to one side of the landing point, and has is unique visual appeal. This makes imaginative use of the [Original] the Spa – Black edition by Abiss to provide an underground club space designed to give the feeling of being underwater; large screens around the walls present videos of fish swimming among rocks and coral, and the floor of the dance floor is, in part, glass sitting over coral and water through which more fish swim.

A set of steps connect the landing point with the broad western beach, which offers plenty of space to sit and relax in the sun, as well as broad walks extending out over the shallows to reed-covered sand bars. These are home to both birds and waterfowl, and offer more places to relax and enjoy company or the scenery.  One of these board walks extends well out to the north-west, offering visitors the chance to gain an off-shore view of the island – although it conveniently connects to the local rum bar should anyone get thirsty! For the more active, the board walk from the south beach connects to a wooden dance floor complete with line dancing options.

][Octopussy][ goes Cuba; Inara Pey, July 2019, on Flickr][Octopussy][ goes Cuba, July 2019

Two paths from the landing point lead up to the little village, the longer of them passing a little shrine and a place to sit before arriving at the village square. This offers another place where  music and dancing can be enjoyed, or for those who prefer, the opportunity to enjoy the local outdoor bar. A smaller square off the north-east corner of the village plaza provides access to a sunny, cliff-edge terrace, a wide path cut between the rocks inviting exploration.

This path reveals it actually runs along the far side of a box canyon that quickly opens up, in part separating the north side of the island’s uplands from the village. Water flows outward from the bottom of the canyon and a rope suspension bridge offers a means of crossing it from the north-east corner of the village. Follow the path as it slopes gently downwards and it’ll take you to a little log bridge spanning the canyon’s water just before it tumbles over high falls. The path then leads back to the landing point (but don’t miss the little look-out point!), making for a nice loop around the upper reaches of the island.

][Octopussy][ goes Cuba; Inara Pey, July 2019, on Flickr][Octopussy][ goes Cuba, July 2019

][Octopussy][ goes Cuba is a region rich in detail, including the support sound scape, and which also has its own sense of fun – including the late Stan Lee enjoying a twirl on one of the dance floors! His presence, and that of others dancing and static figures also help to add a little depth to the island, making it feel occupied even if you’re a lone explorer.

All told, an attractive region with much to offer visitors and nicely photogenic; whilst exploring, keep an eye out for the little gift envelopes waiting to be found.

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The art of Silence in Second Life

Nitroglobus Roof Gallery: David Silence

Officially opening on Saturday, July 13th, but available for preview at of Nitroglobus Roof Gallery curated by Dido Haas, is Silences, featuring the art of David Silence.

Dido is justifiably proud to have been able to persuade him to present his first solo exhibition at Nitroglobus, and Silences demonstrates he has considerable skill in constructing scenes that present a moment in time belonging to perhaps a larger story canvas, and for evoking emotional and intellectual responses through his work.

After returning from a long absence, SL became for me a tool to discover, recognise things of myself without filters without masks. I use Silence to capture emotions, which we can find with attention in an avatar. In this first exhibition … the intention was to see myself, to strip myself of myself, look at myself from a distance, naked, try to understand me and show me during this phase of my life.

– David Silence, discussing Silences

Nitroglobus Roof Gallery: David Silence

Thus it is we’re presents with a series of marvellous images, predominantly of David’s avatar, each of which engages the eye and mind on multiple levels. Given there is something of a metaphorical stripping away of preconceptions of self and the influence of how one might wish to appear to the rest of the world, many of the images feature naked, or near-naked avatars; their nudity perfectly reflecting the idea of the stripping away of ego and self (it also means, as an aside, some of the images might be considered NSFW).

Whether it is intentional or not, the images are displayed in such a way as to suggest grouping by theme. Along the southern arm of the gallery, for example, are images pairing David and his model (Dido?) in a manner suggestive an exploration of self and relationships – who are we with those closest to us?

Meanwhile, along the gallery’s north facing wing, are a pair of images that are suggestive of an exploration of self without the masks we so often wear, and the questions of who we might actually be, beautifully suggested through the presence of owl and zebra head, as they lead the way further around the gallery and its exploration of self before returning to the studies of self and companionship.

Nitroglobus Roof Gallery: David Silence

In this way the images engage the intellect, encouraging us to consider matters of self, identity and generate a degree of personal reflection. But alongside of this, many of the images have, as noted, a broader canvas of narrative in which we can become engaged. Again as an example, take the initial three images feature David and his model on the southern wall of the gallery; these present a story of a relationship that paints itself in our thoughts: who are the couple? What are the thoughts they are each holding? What is the cause of the apparent tension evident between them? And more.

Thus, Silences is a richly engaging exhibition, powerful in the ways in which it engages the eye and mind, the dark tones evident in many of the pieces simply serving to draw us deeper into them. With its official opening at 13:00 SLT on Saturday, July 13th, featuring music by Gitu Aura, this is yet another Nitroglobus exhibition that should not be missed.

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