Back in 2015 I first encountered the 3D of Ciottolina Xue, a gifted, self-taught sculptress working in blender (and who also has an excellent eye and hand for producing 2D art pieces). The encounter was entirely by chance: I was attending an exhibition of Mistero Hifeng’s work with a rooftop garden setting when I came across two small pieces that, whilst as skilfully crafted as Mistero’s pieces, did not have the familiar feel of his work – and closer examination revealed their actual creator.
Following that encounter, I wanted to see more of Ciottolina’s work, and started talking to her about exhibiting her sculptures. When I was asked to fill-in at short notice with an installation at LEA after an artist had been forced to drop out due to illness, I could think of no-one more with whom I wanted to share the space – and thankfully, she accepted, adding incredible depth to my garden / house / 2D art exhibition.
Since that time, Ciottolina has gone from strength to strength, exhibiting her work at galleries and events across SL, often folding into her work social and political commentary that is often powerful and evocative, as well as producing many lighter pieces that can be enjoyed in any environment (we have a number of her pieces that always form a part of our gardens wherever we set-up home).
Officially opening on November 14th, but currently available for people to enjoy is one of her smaller exhibitions, Of Bots and Blossoms, that is taking place at The 22 Art Space in Bellisseria. This is another boutique gallery that offers an alternative use for Linden Homes within the Bellisseria continent, and is curated by Rico Saenz and Randy Firebrand. It is a setting that is ideally suited to Ciottolina’s work, offering two environments – indoors and garden – in which to display the two parts of her exhibition.
The Blossoms aspect of the exhibition is to be found, appropriately enough, in the garden – which is where I’d recommend a visit starts. There, scattered across the lawn are a series of sculpted rose blossoms in which can be found scenes evoking all the joys of birth and the raising of babies and very young children. Playfully and light, the five pieces on display share the garden with one of her thematic pieces Hope, which is a quite magnificent invocation of that emotion, and of love and protective caring.
The latter piece is overlooked by the first element of the Bots part of the exhibition: a quintet of little robots (which, for no Earthly reason I could fathom other than perhaps the sense of mischief they have about them, put me in mind of Despicable Me’s Minions), sitting on the porch roof.
The open door below them invites visitors into the house, where more of these charming automatons can be found appreciating art, reading the news paper, having a conversation with a most unusual fish and perhaps at risk of getting a little carried away with interior decorating (painting the walls is one thing, but it looks as if someone is considering whether the sofa also needs a lick of fresh colour!). With a vignette in each room, this is again a delightful presentation of Ciottolina’s work, while indoors and out, the two elements – blossoms and bots – work well together as a complete exhibit.
Open through until February 14th, 2021, Of Bots and Blossoms is an engaging and delightful visit.
- The 22 Art Space in Bellisseria (Grenouille, rated Moderate)