Opening at 13:00 SLT on Thursday, October 17th, 2019 is a joint exhibition Signs of the Zodiac, featuring the photography of Mara Telling and the 3D art of Impossibleisnotfrench (aka Harry Cover), presented at ArtCare Gallery. I was kindly offered the opportunity to visit the exhibition ahead of the opening by Carelyna, the gallery’s curator, and Harry, whose work I’d only recently encountered at Ladmilla’s THE EDGE Gallery (see: Art and inspiration in Second Life) and had immediately become enamoured of it, so I was delighted to take up their offers.
As the title of the exhibition suggests, the theme is very much about the zodiacal constellations that have long been a part of human mythologies (alongside the constellations as a whole) and the subject of the pseudo-science of astrology. However, whether or not you identify with astrology or not is beside the point here; this isn’t an exhibition related to that subject per se. Rather, it is designed to offer a combination of pictorial representations of the 12 zodiacal signs and models of their twelve related constellations.
Mara Telling (Sign of Zodiac: Cancer) and Harry Cover (Sign of Zodiac: Leo) first met in June 2019 and became friends immediately. They’ve inspired each other from the very first chat and found out that they share a similar sense of humour and values. The idea for Signs of the Zodiac came up as Harry was looking for new themes for this mesh egg creations. Why not showing all signs of zodiac from the view of a mesh-creator AND a photographer?
– From the introduction to the exhibition
For her interpretations of the 12 signs of the zodiac, Mara notes that she had originally been planning on props and costumes for each sign, but in the end opt to go sans props and instead rely on just her avatar, her camera and a set of custom poses.
My own opinion is that she made the right choice; unencumbered by props and adornments, each image is a wonderful personification of the sign it represents. Some have a marvellous minimalism about them – Libra and Virgo, for example, are perfectly represented by the simple placement of arms and hands. Others offer a more evocative interpretation, as with Leo and Sagittarius, while several – Cancer, Pisces, Capricorn and, of course, Aquarius – fold into them the elemental aspect of their nature.
Harry’s eggs offer miniature reproductions of the twelve constellations of the Zodiac, presented in two sizes per constellation. Clicking the top of an egg (if not open) will reveal the constellation rotating gently above a smaller version of Mara’s image of the zodiac sign, providing the link between the two.
He notes that this collection of eggs is something of a departure for him; until now his eggs have been informed by his own experiences with life from childhood onwards. As such, there has always been something of a personal connection to his work – one that actually enfolds anyone viewing it, both in terms of offering the observer the opportunity to share in his memories through an egg and, possibly, through recollections of their own past an egg my trigger.
Given the much broader canvas of this exhibition, he admits to moving outside his comfort zone. Not that I think he has anything to worry about; each egg is also captivating and, for anyone familiar with astronomy, each constellation is clearly identifiable (even when rotated to fit its egg, as some have been), making these collectable pieces, perfectly finish through the inclusion of Mara’s art.
Included with each display is a vendor through which you can purchase a set of two eggs and 2 images for each star sign. In addition, Two information givers are available for each sign; when clicked one will offer to take you to further information on the constellation, the other to further information on the zodiac sign.
Presented beneath a dome of a starlit sky, the floor of which offers a familiar zodiacal ring centred on the Moon, Signs of the Zodiac is engaging to the eye whatever your level of interest in astrology or astronomy. The opening on October 17th will feature singer Lisa Brune, and DJ Jan Ross, and the exhibition will run for approximately 3 months. For those particularly taken by any one of the 12 signs, each is available for purchase in a pack comprising 2 versions of the image by Mara and the two versions of the constellation’s egg by Harry.
- Signs of the Zodiac, ArtCare Gallery (Prychek, rated Moderate)