A journey through CybeleMoon’s Dark Wood

CybeleMoon: Dark Wood and Other Destinations

Now open at Savor Serenity is Dark Wood and Other Destinations, an exhibition of CybeleMoon’s always enchanting art. It offers a journey through her world, from woodland to coast, taking us past ethereal settings inhabited by children and creatures.

Cybele’s art ranges from portraits to landscapes, encompassing magical totems, hidden groves, wild glens, fairie circles, haunted woods, lonely shores and gardens of colour, light and shadow. Her palette offers us mixes of digital and real, gently mixed with tales and stories, children at play, picnic teas and enchanted children. All of which are offered within Dark Wood – and more besides.

CybeleMoon: Dark Woods and Other Destinations

Splitting the gallery into three spaces through the considered placement of wall hangings that carry images of their own, Cybele presents us with a gentle tour of her work. Within the centre area we are introduced to her waifs, a wonderful set of largely monochrome portraits of children, together with one of her marvellously layered digital pieces that comes landscape and child’s face to present a haunting story within, and video presentations of her work.

Bordering the central area are images of her woodlands and coastal scenes, her glades and more of her children – the latter often infusing several of her images with a sense of fae magic. For me, one of the attractive aspects of this exhibition is Cybele’s use of 3D elements with two of her pictures; these lead us into the art with which they are placed, making a part of their narrative. In this, it is exceptionally hard not to want to climb the wooden bridge in from of The Winter Path and attempt to follow the trail to see what lies beyond the distant bend that sees it pass behind shadowed trees.

CybeleMoon: Dark Wood and Other Destinations

Similarly, the use of a pool with small boat and lilies sitting upon the water that adjoins The Fairy Glen at Rosemarkie, adds a depth of narrative to the idea of fae folk the art presents, the face below the water suggesting a water nymph at play in the waters spreading outward from the glen and “into” the pool.

Evocative, rich in image, colour, tone and story, Cybele’s art is always a delight, and for those familiar with it or have yet to experience her work, Dark Wood and Other Destinations should not be missed.

SLurl Details

Beaming in to Aoshima in Second Life

Aoshima, February 2020 – click any image for full size

New Eldelyn is a garden world located on the far edge of the Circinus Stream. It is the new homeworld of the Kalimshari, following their exile from their home galaxy to the harrowing horrors of the void.

– from the “WikiDex, the free galactic codex”

This is the informative greeting given (via a holographic sign board) to arrivals at the landing station at Aoshima, a homestead region designed by Rydia Lacombe that is both a private home and a public space in which visitors are welcome to spend time and explore.

Aoshima, February 2020

It’s a nicely presented setting, carefully considered and with a flow that makes exploration pleasantly relaxing, starting with the feeling of having just landed after a voyage through space. This is achieved by playing the landing point at the foot of the boarding / cargo ramp of a vehicle modelled after the Star Trek Online Delta Class of shuttle (which in turn was derived from the Delta Flyer from Star Trek Voyager). Around the landing pad are all the signs that this is a busy centre of operations: cargo bins and equipment sit to one side of pad, a storage unit on the other, while small drones periodically arrive to collect or deposit more cargo boxes and carry out repairs.

Beyond the landing pad gateway sits a raised walkway offering access to piers extend over the water, ready to receive water craft  arriving from the seas  that lie beyond the surrounding atoll hills. Beyond the piers, a series of habitat units have been stacked, awaiting occupancy.

Aoshima, February 2020

Like the rest of the station, the landing pay and the habitat modules sit on decks raised above the all-encompassing sea, suggesting that while the station sits within a bay formed by surrounding islands, the land is far too rugged to allow any form of homestead to be established on it. Instead, the rest of the facilities sit on five more such pontoons, three of which are directly connected one to another and linked to the landing pad by a low-slung light bridge – note that if this isn’t apparent, touch the blue pad on the lag of the white gate at the water’s edge and facing the central group of structures.

The middle island in this trio appears to be a domed recreational / refreshments centre for the station’s personnel. it is bracketed on one side by a garden area with further habitat modules waiting to be pressed into service, and which forms a home for solar arrays that help provide the station with power. Some of this may well go to the industrial facilities on the other side of the recreational pontoon. Within this workspace are more modules, a greenhouse and silos, all watched over by a  – somewhat ominous – tower block. Lit from within but with frosted as if to hide whatever is going on inside, this sits on its own pontoon adjoining the industrial area, blue laser-like beams menacingly guarding the arched gateway between the two.

Aoshima, February 2020

The final pontoon sits beyond the recreational centre, another light bridge spanning the gap between the two. It presents a private dwelling surrounded by a garden of Earth-like plants combined with what appear to be local flora. Split over two floors, this accommodation is considerably larger than the modules found across the rest of the station, with plenty of space for those living within it.

Life is brought to the setting through the combined use of NPC characters that can be encountered while exploring – one of whom appears to subscribe to the idea that if it looks complicated, it probably needs a bigger hammer, – and by the numerous drones flying around the station, carrying boxes or welding equipment, together with the flyers that periodically pass overhead.

Aoshima, February 2020

Also overhead sits the ICV Kyrona, which appears to be a sublight cargo hauler (at least going by the stasis pods housed within it) that has been converted into something of a space-going home. Reached via a teleport disc within the cargo bay of the ground-level shuttle, the Kyrona is also open to exploration, the teleport disc in the stern compartment returning visitors to the shuttle when they have done so.

Aoshima makes for an engaging visit, with – as noted – plenty to capture the eye and camera. Finished with a suitable sound scape, it does have a smattering of adult items scattered around, but for the most part these are placed so as to be nicely tucked out of the way so as not to be obtrusive, and so should nod interfere with a visit.

Aoshima, February 2020

SLurl Details