Second place for STÖMOL at digital film festival


STÖMOL, the feature-length science-fiction move produced entire in Second Life, has been awarded second place in the 2020 SUPERNOVA Digital Film Festival.

The film, written, directed, produced and starring Huckleberry Hax, together with Caitlin Tobias, Ylva, Boudicca Amat, Anthony Wesburn and Mich Michabo in leading roles, was one of a number of entries to the festival that were wholly filmed in Second Life and which were open to viewing on-line throughout the festival’s almost month-long run.

The film gained numerous plaudits from those at the festival for its style, content, story arc and composition, including founder and Creative Director Ivar Zeile. It was runner-up to #21XOXO, “a stylized window into the zeitgeist of youth and pop culture,” by Sine Ozblige, and earned a prize of US $750 for Huckleberry and his team.

I was stunned when I watched STÖMOL for the first time. I’ve seen some Second Life animations – we’ve really supported artists that are working in that platform over the years – and I didn’t believe I was going to be taken by a feature length film made in Second Life, but Huckleberry absolutely delivered the goods.

Ivar Zeile, Supernova founder and Creative Director

Very special and deserved congratulations to Huckleberry and his team for STÖMOL’s runner-up status at the festival, it was well deserved. I hope that – as nerve racking as entering this festival was to him – this award will spur Huckleberry to continue filming, and we will get to see the sequel and the answers to the question posed by the film’s end credits (nope, not going  to spoil it for those who haven’t seen it! – but if you are interested, my own review of the film can be found in Second Life’s STÖMOL: a review).

Other pieces filmed in Second Life and featured in the festival were machinima by Erik Mondrian, and a piece by Tizzy Canncci.

Erik had a total of three pieces accepted by the festival, comprising his CalArts Master of  Fine Arts thesis For the Light of Other Shores, a marvellous 10-part series, selected for the Director’s Choice programme of the festival; together with Tripping through Skyscrapers, his video journey through Gem Preiz’s Skycrapers installation ,and Cetatea Poenari, recording a visit to the region of the same name, and both of which featured in the festival’s Everything Abstract-Sonic programme.

For her entry, Tizzy submitted Out of Isolation Came Forth Light, a recording of a performance by artist SaveMe Oh that took place in CapCat Ragu’s installation entitled Isolation, displayed at Ribong Gallery’s Artspace 1789.

I’d also like to offer my congratulations to Tizzy and Erik for entering their work for the festival. I know that Erik had a certain amount of trepidation in making his submissions, but his work  – which I have the privilege to be able to discuss with him and write about (see Erik Mondrian: master of fine arts in and beyond Second Life) as well as follow via You Tube – full deserves recognition through a wider audience.

Film Links

Milly Sharple’s Meanderings in Second Life

Meanderings: Milly Sharple at The Janus Gallery

Milly Sharple is a remarkable artist, creator and patron of the arts in Second Life. An artist and photographer in the physical world, she has always enjoyed art and artistic expression, particularly that of fractal art, a technique she started using in 2005.  It’s a medium in which she has gained deserved recognition: she has sold pieces around the globe, had them used as book and CD cover art and as promotional material, and has had her work used on the face of the bank cards issued by an Indonesian bank. Her work has even brought her to the attention of Salvador Dali’s protégé, Louis Markoya, who asked her to collaborate with him.

Milly was perhaps one of the first artists to bring fractal art to Second Life after she joined in 2008. Gaining familiarity with the platform, it became a place where she understandably wanted to exhibit her work, and following her initial exhibitions, she started receiving multiple invitations to display her work. She thus became immersed in the Second Life arts community, establishing her own gallery and also the Timamoon Arts Community, a place where artists could find a gallery home and like minds, and over the course of four years, she grew Timamoon into one of the most successful arts communities in Second Life.

Meanderings: Milly Sharple at The Janus Gallery

For her incredible and expressive fractal art, Milly uses the Apophysis software package, which allows her to create soft, flowing, liquid effects that sets her work apart from other, more rigidly geometric fractal art with which we might be familiar as it is displayed in Second Life. This approach gives her work a stunningly organic look and feel, rich in life and often encompassing the intricate beauty of the Mandelbrot set.

However, Milly is not constrained to only producing fractal art; as a mixed media artist her expressive range is broad and deep – and I have long been an admirer of this aspect of her work as much as I am her fractal art. Indeed, I’m honoured to be able to have a copy of what I regard as one of the most engaging pieces of art in my modest personal collection -her  Woman with Cat – hanging on the wall at our SL home. As  with her fractal work, Milly’s mixed media art couples a rich use of colour with an etching-like finish to bring individual pieces to life in the most incredible manner.

Meanderings: Milly Sharple at The Janus Gallery

I mention all of this because Milly has a new exhibition of work currently being hosted at Chuck Clip’s Janus Gallery, which opened on September 27th.

Meanderings brings together all of the above elements of Milly’s art and adds to it with a selection of her black-and-white portrait studies in a captivating microcosm of her talent. On display are seven large-format fractal pieces (with the patterns of two repeated on benches in the gallery’s two halls, and a third mirrored and inverted in the foyer that so blends with the décor, it might easily be overlooked), eight monochrome portraits and eight mixed-media pieces that are – without being in any way superlative – utterly stunning.

These latter pieces bring together all aspects of Milly’s art: her fractal work, her skills as a portrait artist and her  expressiveness as a mixed media creator; there is a richness of life about them that is utterly absorbing, Similarly, the depth of life in the black-and-white portraits cannot fail to hold the eye; these are pieces that, whether inspired by real people or their images, or have been drawn entirely from Milly’s imagination, not only capture the likeness of the subject, but offer a very real sense of their life essence. Further, these monochrome pieces share a strong sense of narrative flow that can also be found within each of the mixed media pieces, thus presenting a thematic thread to connect them, whilst their arrangement around two of the much larger (and richly organic) fractal pieces offers a natural visual connection to them.

Meanderings: The Mystic and The Flirt (with its hint of Kate Bush) two of the entrancing mixed media pieces presented by Milly at The Janus Gallery
Taken together the three styles of art present within Meanderings offer a rewarding introduction to Milly’s art for those unfamiliar with it whilst also offering a unique thematic and narrative flow through the differing mediums, making this both an engaging and outstanding exhibition.

SLurl Details