Melusina’s Lonely Gazes in Second Life

Melusina Parkin – Lonely Gazes

Update, August 5th: Following the soft opening, Melusina and San are making changes to the exhibit and it appears the 3D elements of the image fames have been moved toe the rear of the image panels, so people see the “2D view” first, before walking around to see the faceted views.

Open at Ribong Gallery, curated by Santoshima, through August is Lonely Gazes, an exhibition of 24 images by Melusina Parkin, focusing on locations within Second Life.

Melusina is an artist whose work presents a fine blend of detail, space and minimalism, all carefully combined and crafted to present images that are elegant in their unique focus and rich in narrative and feeling. This is once again evident with this collection. However, within Lonely Gazes presents the 24 images in the most unique manner.

Melusina Parkin – Lonely Gazes

Each is framed as a photo-sculpture with two distinct sides. On the one (which tends to be facing the walls of the gallery, so may need a degree of camming unless you wall behind the displays) is a straightforward presentation of each of the image set against a black background.

On the other side of the frame is a further version of the image, overlaid with a truncated, transparent  pyramid with either a smaller version of the image, or a “window” looking “in” to the image. The result of this is that the observer can select different angles from which to view the image: the smaller image sits proud of the larger, giving the impression it is being projected onto the background

Melusina Parkin – Lonely Gazes

Those with the “window” element, meanwhile offer a frame through which the observer’s focused can be drawn into a specific part of the image, which can shift as we cam around, as if examining the piece through a lens. In addition, the side faces of pyramid presents individual facets of the larger image.

I never cease to be drawn to Melusina’s work and the way her images allow us to become storytellers. They always present the idea that they are a part of a much broader canvas, one that extends well beyond their borders. Thus, they invite our imaginations to create stories around them. With the way in which the images in Lonely Gazes, this is magnified tremendously – in much the same way the faux 3D presentation of the pieces suggests we are viewing a magnified image of a picture on a lens hovering over that piece, or that we looking through a lens allowing us to focus into a specific part of the landscape and its story.

Melusina Parkin – Lonely Gazes

Visual, engaging and imaginative, Lonely Gazes is another extraordinary exhibition from Melusina, and there is a formal opening featuring DJ Kara Mellow at 14:00 SLT on Thursday, August 8th.

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A touch of HollyWeird in Second Life

HollyWeird, Hotel California – August 2019

HollyWeird is the name he’s given to his latest design Schmexysbuddy has given to his Homestead region of Hotel California.

This is a region that tends to change on a monthly basis, which keeps visits fresh and interesting. We first visited in April 2019 – see: Welcome to the Hotel California in Second Life – and while I try to avoid writing about a region again so close to having previously blogged on it, Schmexysbuddy’s August design is so out-of-the-ordinary, it deserves both a visit and a write-up.

HollyWeird, Hotel California – August 2019

There is no obvious theme to the region, which is one of the things that makes it intriguing. There is a reference to the name on which it draws on, with the appearance of the famous Hollywood hillside sign in the north-east corner of the region, complete with the relay tower rising behind it. But does that make it unique? Well no – until you consider the giant fox that’s leaping into the air beside it.

And that’s just the start. Travel the region and you’ll discover the remnants of a fun fair lying alongside a field of giant plastic flowers (where I’ve arbitrarily opted to set the SLurl in this article). This points the way into the region, passing two huge walls – and two even bigger clowns. Fortunately, the latter aren’t the, “just wait there while I sharpen my meat cleaver” type of clown – they are the genuine  funny article. And if you touch one, he’ll happily play the maracas he’s holding, while the other will bang his snare drum.

HollyWeird, Hotel California – August 2019

The landscape itself maintains something of a thematic design with some of the past Hotel California designs by Schmexysbuddy: a semi-flooded and broken, complete with the ruins of buildings and elevated roads and a smattering of trees. Mixed within this are platforms topped by with the most unusual and garish buildings. They rise from the (shallow) waters like bizarre oil or gas platforms except where the former would have derricks rising from their backs, these have trees and windmills.

All of this makes HollyWeird immediately attractive – but there is far more. The fun fair, the platforms and the Hollywood sign and its fox form what are really mini-scenes within the region; vignettes if you will. And there are more to be found across the region, many of them focused on elements of art by the likes of Bryn Oh (including the flowers mentioned above), Cica Ghost and CioTToLiNa Xue.

HollyWeird, Hotel California – August 2019

There’s even a touch of science fiction and sci-fi movies that both folds into the Hollywood motif as well as standing on its own. This can be found to the south-west of the region, and includes “greys”, a flying spaceship, landed “flying saucer houses” and is completed by a collection of Cica Ghost’s characters either greeting or saying farewell to the ship overhead.

Most of the buildings and ruins within the region are empty  – but make sure you visit the old theatre, as it sits partially flooded. This contains a beautiful and simple vignette of pieces by Bryn Oh.

HollyWeird, Hotel California – August 2019

It is this art content and the vignettes and motifs it brings with it that I find particularly attractive within the region – particularly the way in which the details can suddenly pop out where you least expect them. These, combined with the sheer unusualness of the region make it a genuinely unique setting that really draws visitors into it.

Our thanks to Shawn Shakespeare for the nudge about this update to Hotel California.

HollyWeird, Hotel California – August 2019

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