Sinners and saints, a new arts challenge in Second Life

UWA: Gratitude exhibition, December 2020 – Elle Thorkveld

At the end of 2020, Chuck Clip organised a special art exhibition intended to be a final farewell to the University of Western Australia (UWA) and its more than a decade-long patronage of the arts in Second Life (see: Calling artists: an exhibition to say farewell to the UWA in Second Life and Artistic Gratitude in Second Life).

While the last remaining UWA region remains present in SL (it has been anticipated it would depart the grid in early January 2021), the exhibition closed at the end of the 2020. However, such was the response to it that Chuck, together with co-organiser Mariposa Upshaw, has decided to continue the flame lit by Jayjay Zifanwe and the UWA by presenting and hosting occasional open invitation Art Challenges on a given theme.

The first of these will open at Chuck’s art-focused regions of Sinful Retreat and Angels Rest in July 2021, with the opening currently subject to confirmation. The theme will be that of Sinners and Saints, and submissions are now open.

Sinful Retreat and Angels Rest are mirrors for each other, highlighting the dichotomy of light and dark in art and humanity as a whole. We thought it appropriate that our first show should reflect that. Despite the terminology, you need not think in terms of Christianity. Sure, you could pick one of the seven deadly sins (Pride, Greed, Wrath, Envy, Lust, Gluttony, or Sloth) or virtues (Prudence, Justice, Temperance, Courage, Faith, Hope, or Charity) but we are not locking you into that in any way. We welcome all here, so if you are Buddist, Muslim, Jewish, Taoist, a Reiki Master, a member of the Church of Satan, whatever your belief system, or lack there of; submit two pieces, one for each side of the saintly / sinful coin.

– Chuck Clip, on the Saints and Sinners challenge

The challenge is open to 2D and 3D artists and to poets and writers, with those entering the challenge asked to submit two pieces, one depicting the side of light (or goodness, or saintliness or The Force, or whatever you might like to call it) and the other the side of “darkness” (or The Dark Side,  or sinfulness or wickedness – again, whatever you prefer to call it).

There are a few guidelines that those wishing to enter should observe:

  • Those participating must subject two pieces of art: one good/light and one evil/dark.
    • If  you only wish to submit is single piece, please contact Chuck Clip or Mariposa Upshaw beforehand.
  • Submissions can take the form of 2D or 3D or poetry on a prim, and individual pieces may not exceed a Land Impact of 200.
  • All pieces should be able to be interpreted by the casual viewer as being representative of the theme. Where the link to the theme is difficult to ascertain, this should be referenced in a note card accompanying the work.
  • The exhibition will remain open for a period of three months, after which pieces may be cycled in and out as part of the overall environment of the regions.

Submission Guidelines:

  • Completed items should be dropped into the Sinners & Saints Submissions drop box located at the Sinful Retreat landing point.
  • Submitted pieces should be accompanied by a note card with the following information:
    • Your user name (Not a Display Name, as these can change).
    • Titles of the submitted pieces.
    • Any required explanatory notes per the guidelines above.
    • Biographical notes on yourself.
    • A landmark to a location where more of your work might be seen and / or Flickr link.
  • If you are unable to submit you pieces and note card via the drop box, please place them all into a single folder entitled “Sinful Retreat Challenge” and pass the folder to either Chuck Clip or Mariposa Upshaw.
  • All submissions must be received no  later than Saturday, June 26th, 2021.

Questions concerning the challenge should be directed to Mariposa Upshaw or FallenAurora Jewell.

Landscapes at Imago in Second Life

Imago Gallery – Tresore Prada, February 2021

Currently open at Imago Gallery, owned and curated by Mareea Farrasco is an ensemble exhibition entitled Landscapes and featuring the work of Blip Mumfuzz, Carelyna, Michiel Bechir and Tresore Prada. Together they present views of regions and places within Second Life that encourage a desire to visit them whilst also allowing us a glimpse at them through the artists’ eyes and narrative framing.

Within the gallery’s lower floor left side hall, Tresore Prada offers thirteen pieces that might be said to reveal places within Second Life, but also the passing of the seasons from winter to summer and mixing cooler shades that might suggest spring and autumn.

These are pieces that all immediately draw the eye and offer a story;  whose house is that beyond the snow-bound bridge? Does it belong to the artist, or to a friend they were on their way through the deep snow to visit? Has the cat lying on the sun-warmed wall simply found a place to rest whilst wandering, or does it call the little cottage across a summery river home? What are the promises to be found off the canvas of each of the trio of images depicting little boats on or near the water? The threads of possible stories exist within each piece, simply awaiting you imagination to thread them together.

Imago Gallery – Carelyna, February 2021

Across the hall, Carelyna also presents a baker’s dozen of images, all of which have been processed and finished to offer a painted-like composition of the settings she has captured. Suggestive of a mix of oil and watercolour works, these offer some unique perspectives on popular SL destinations. Take Littlesquaw’s Midnight in Paris (which I wrote about back in November 2020) as an example; normally witnessed at night by visitors, Carelyna here offers a view across its rive Seine towards the Eiffel Tower rich in the colours and tints of an Autumn day. On the opposite wall, her take of Takoma presents a impressionist style take on the subject that brings to mind the likes of Turner’s The Fighting Temeraire.

The upper floor of the gallery is split between an open mezzanine area and a second hall running across the back of the gallery. The mezzanine is home to the display by Michiel Bechir, who offers a selection of eight images that stand not only as landscape pieces but also studies of the architecture of Second Life, with two focused as they are on a large manor house seen under different conditions with two more  presenting views of settings redolent of older parts of US cities like New York. Offered as both colour and monochrome images, this selection allows us to see the diversity of Michiel’s approach to, and presentation of, his SL photography.

Imago Gallery – Michiel Bechir, February 2021

In the rear hall, Blip Mumfuzz presents a series of images in her own inimitable style. Far removed from might be called “conventional”, they border on the abstract; rich in colour, their form taken by the rise of grasses against the sky, against a backdrop of open water or curtain of tress. Frequently flecked by by out-of-focus elements dotting the air above them, these are pieces that are very much reflective of the moment in which they were captured – the soft-focus elements suggestive of seeds caught on the breeze, carrying with the the promise of new life; the colours reflecting the fact that these are not images of places just seen, but places both seen and re-imagined by the mind’s eye in the same instant.

Blip’s exhibition is also semi-immersive: climb the steps and  walk the photo-mural of the stream;  imagine the coolness of the water about your feet and look out into the scenes on either side and both in front of you and behind you, and let your mind wander free…

Imago Gallery – Blip Mumfizz, February 2021

Four very individual and very captivating exhibitions well work dropping in to see.

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