Johannes Huntsman may not be a familiar name to patrons of art in Second Life when reading it here – but if I mention that he’s actually the founder of Kultivate Magazine and the Windlight Gallery, then recognition will immediately drawn, the new moniker he carries being the result of SL’s Name Changes capability.
As a Second Life resident, Johannes’ support of the arts over the years has been indefatigable, from the magazine and gallery through to supporting multiple charity events to co-founding has own fund-raising organisation, Team Diabetes of Second Life, he is a veritable powerhouse. He is also an exceptional gifted photographer and artist – a fact that can be attested to with a visit at the Kiku Gallery curated by Suzanne Logan during April / early May, for that gallery is currently hosting a stunning portfolio of pieces by Johannes that are – without any exaggeration – quite breath-taking.
Encapsulated in what is itself a charming boutique gallery space are 15 large-format image images, with a supporting collection of 8 smaller pieces, Naturescapes is an honest tour de force for Johannes’ ever-evolving breadth of styles with his art, offering as it does pieces that appear to enfold both second Life and the physical world. As the name suggests, this is a series of images focused on nature’s beauty, with three pieces offering painted coastal views that may have started life as photographs.
The collection is mostly presented in colour, but with five monochrome pieces, two of which have a marvellous quality of having been etched. Other pieces have the clarity of pencil drawings or the gentle tones of watercolours or the richness of oil paintings. Each individual item has a natural beauty, but I confess to being particularly drawn to the studies of a puffin and a dog – with a bias towards the former, if only because like many people, I have a peculiar fascination for those little alcids.
Whether painted directly or the result of post-processing, these are all pieces that carry a depth of life that instantly draws the observer into each one. Meanwhile, the eight smaller pieces are in fact three collections of pre-sized, pre-framed pieces that would grace any Second Life home; one contains three miniatures of the coastal sail scapes, the second the trio of flower paintings and the third an exquisite pair of monochrome photographs of birds.
A genuinely engaging exhibition, well worth visiting.
- Kiku Gallery (Amatsu Shima, rated Moderate)