The Linden Homes at Bellisseria can be used for many things besides a house; so long as commercial activities don’t take place within one, people are limited only by their imaginations. So it is that friendly cafés, information centres, hang-outs, group centres and more have sprung up across the content – as have a number of boutique art galleries. I’ve had occasion to visit a couple of the latter in 2019, and the opening of two new exhibitions in April gave me cause to hop back once more.
Like myself, Diamond Marchant has an interest in space flight and astronomy, a fact that first drew me to her Beckridge Gallery in July 2019, when she was presenting an exhibition celebrating the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11’s landing on the Moon (see: Celebrating Apollo 11 in Second Life and Sansar). For April 2020, Diamond presents Yellowstone Boardwalk, an exhibition of her own photographs taken in Yellowstone National Park over a 10-day period in June, 2019.
Yellowstone is famous for many things: being the first U.S. National Park (if not the first in the world), for its mountains and waterfalls, its geysers and hydrothermal system, and the incredible richness of its flora and fauna. As such, it is a place that allows people to create marvellous images of sweeping vistas, tumbling falls, rugged mountain ranges and towering peaks, and to film its fabulous array of wildlife.
Sitting atop a vast caldera some 72km by 45 km, sitting over a massive magma chamber thought to be 60 km by 29 km and up to 12 km in depth. This chamber powers much of the geologic activity within the park, and gives rise to a dynamic environment of heated pools, fumeroles and more, with paths through these living location by the use of board walks that both protect the landscape and the tourists visiting it.
It is from these board walks that Diamond has produced a series of images that convert the setting into wonderful fractal-like scenes that show the hidden energies that lie below ground and seen only by the wisp-like venting of gas and steam. The make for a fascination portfolio of photographs, beautifully rounded-out by two of those sweeping vista style shots that capture the enormity of the park’s open skies.
The Hoot Suite Gallery, curated by Owl Dragonash meanwhile, offers an exhibition of Second Life art by Awesome Fallen.
Surrealistic is tone, rich in colour whether dark or light, Awesome’s work often has a dream-like feel to it, sometimes tinged with whimsy and at others by fantasy – but it is always carries a sense of depth and story. All of this is very much in evidence across the two floors of the Hoot Suite, the upper floor featuring a quartet of avatar studies that mix of fantasy and whimsy. The rooms on the lower floor can be found pieces that demonstrate the more surreal nature of Awesome’s work. Together, upper and lower floor offer a compact, engaging cross-section of her art.
Yellowstone Boardwalk will, I believe, remain open through the spring of 2020; Awesome Fallen’s exhibition will remain open at the Hoot Suite Gallery through to May 11th, 2020.