Art from a lockdown in Second Life

The Glinka Gallery: Lockdown Botanica

Idrial Difference (Idrial Ghost) is the owner of, and creator for, _-FAS-_, the store of plants & fantasy avatar attachments inspired by nature. He is also a 2D and 3D artist, and his most recent exhibition recently opened at The Glinka Gallery, operated and curated by Wolfgang Glinka.

Lockdown Botanica is a series of images from the physical world he produced during 2020’s first pandemic lockdown period, mixed with some of his 3D mesh creations.

As the title of the exhibition might suggest, the images presented within the exhibit are all of plants, flowers, leaves, fruit and  – with one piece – birds. All are beautifully presented in soft watercolours, with the majority of the pieces focused on a single fruit or flower that is presented against a pure white background that encourages the eye to  focus purely on the shape and colour of the subject without any distraction.

The Glinka Gallery: Lockdown Botanica

This approach elevates each piece from being a simple painting of a fruit or flower to being akin to a portrait as engaging as any portrait of a person or avatar, with the subtleties of form and colour playing as important a part in defining each subject as readily as the lines and expression on a face in a human portrait.

The two exceptions to this approach are Grapes Portrait, and Garden Tales. Both are again offered with plain white backgrounds, directing the eye and mind to focus on their subjects, the small grouping of the former giving a suggestion of life through its familiar depiction of grapes, the latter clearly suggestive of life and vitality through the presence of the two Cyanistes caeruleus.

Whwn viewing these pieces, with their lone focus on a specific item, rather than depicting each as sprays of flowers in a vase or a selection of fruits in a bowl, that brings to mind thoughts of the lockdown in which they were created. There is a sense of isolation and separation about each piece that is reflective of the sense of being separated from friends and family. Again, in this, both Grapes Portrait and Garden Tales stand a little apart, offering a view of times in the future when we will again be able to gather together with friends (Grapes Portrait) or spend time with someone we hold particularly close, but have been unable to see (Garden Tales).

The Glinka Gallery: Lockdown Botanica

Rounded out by 3D cacti, water lilies, tree stumps and more (make sure you touch the eggplant for a gift), Lockdown Botanica is an engaging exhibition by a creator and artist.

SLurl Details

A return to Armum in Second Life

Amrum, January 2021

In 2019,  we made our first visit to Amrum, the Homestead region presented for public enjoyment by Sunrise (Sunrise Avalanche) – see Amrum in Second Life. A lot has happened since then – most notably the fact that Armum has relocated, and has undergone at least one makeover. Back in 2019, our first visit to the region came at the suggestion of Shawn Shakespeare  (SkinnyNilla), so there is a certain serendipity in the fact a return visit in January 2021 also came after Shawn nudged me about it.

Sympathetic, charming, cosy and photogenic island…with many hideaways…time for feelings…dancing…time for two…waves..lonely beaches…riding….dreaming…meeting with friends…talking….

– from Arum’s About Land description

Amrum, January 2021

The current iteration of Armum contains a number of echoes of the version we visited just under two years ago: it retains its Adult region rating and the hint of BDSM activities (although not in a manner liable to put people off visiting), whilst the overall look of the setting retains the idyllic feel of a near-tropical region. Its open spaces means it remains welcoming to those who want to wear a horse and take a ride around the island.

The landing point lies towards the middle of the region and immediately reveals its sandy, open nature. The entire island is low-lying, the sand broken by scrub grasses, shrubs and relatively young Terminalia catappa, aka sea (or beach) almond. From the landing point, visitors are free to roam where they will.

Amrum, January 2021

The two main buildings on the island make for obvious destinations, each being a short walk from the landing point. The nerarer (and larger) is clearly visible to the north, and forms a large blockhouse style building. Flat-roofed and relatively high-ceilinged, its interior offers a cool relief from the outdoor warmth, the three rooms it provides simply furnished whilst still presenting a cosy retreat in which to enjoy the company of others, with further seating available on the outside deck that separates the house from a rectangular outdoor swimming pool.

To the south-east, the second house sits partially screened from the landing point by a line of sea almonds. It occupies roughly the same footprint as the first house, but offers more interior space that, thanks to the interior windows between the rooms, has a very open, airy feel. It is also somewhat more cosily furnished – although BDSM items form a more obvious part of is décor together with noticeably items and images.

Amrum, January 2021

This second house additionally shares the south-eastern end of the island with  a single-room cabin that sits as a sauna / bath house, whilst the shallow cove they both face makes for a little private beach bracketed by rocky outcrops extending into the water.

Further around the west side of the island, and again a short walk from the landing point, sits a trio of little beach houses that each offer a place to relax, while further still along the sweep of coastal sands and facing due west, sits another single-room cabin with an open deck for music and dancing sitting alongside it.

Amrum, January 2021

The buildings and decks are not the only places to sit;  there are numerous outdoor opportunities as well – beach chairs, hammocks, and off-shore folly on its own sand bank, blankets, and so on, some of which are watched over by the local sheep. All offer opportunities for people to relax and unwind within the island’s boundaries. There are also various details to be found, indoors and out, that further help retain Amrum’s reputation as a photogenic spot, with the entire setting nicely rounded-out by a suitable sound scape.

SLurl Details

  • Amrum (Secret Love, rated Adult)