Currently open at the Michiel Bechir Gallery, curated by Michiel Bechir, are three exhibitions of art indirectly linked by themes, making for an interesting excursion for patrons of art in Second Life. On the ground floor, and in the north and south halls respectively, are selections from the portfolios of Hazel Foxtrot and Pavel Stransky, each of whom offer pieces largely focused on landscape images.
Hazel’s work appears to be largely without post-processing, a fact that leaves them with a raw and – in an age where every image of Second Life is expected to be subject to PhotoShop and GIMP – refreshing naturalness to them. This is not to imply I have anything against the post-processing of Second Life images – such treatment can be used to add significant depth to an image or even transform it. However, it is refreshing to see images that have not been so treated, as they capture the places Hazel has visited as they might be seen on a first visit.
Across the gallery, Pavel Stransky also presents works also largely focused on landscapes, although in difference to Hazel, he does use post-processing. This allows Pavel to present his work in a variety of styles: oil painting, water colour, photograph – all of which are highly effective in their presentation and in given that depth mentioned above, to each and every piece in the selection.
On the upper floor of the gallery is Balance, a join exhibition by Jessamine2108 and Zoe Ocelot. Offering a mix of words and images, it is a reflection on the current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and its impact around the globe – but perhaps not in the manner you might expect. As has been noted in the news, the lock-down that has impacted the majority of the world has served to have a significant impact impact on pollution, leading to cleaner air within and beyond cities, and also cleaner water that can benefit humans and animals alike.
Thus, through images taken and selected by Jessamine2108, and the words presented by Zoe, the two artists to offer their own view of how the pandemic is affecting humans and Nature alike, with an emphasis on the idea that – as one of the natural brakes on human activity – the pandemic is helping to bring the Earth back into balance.
While that balance may be – in the scheme of things – short-lived overall, Balance serves as a reminder than Nature actually doesn’t require human kind; that – as the artists note – the rest of world moves on as humans huddle and hide in their corners.
And the link between the lower level exhibitions and Balance? All of them remind us of how important open spaces and the freedom to travel are to us and – hopefully – how much better we should be as caretakers of beauty present in the worlds around us.
- Michiel Bechir Gallery (Embrace, rated Adult)