Currently on show at Raging Bellls’ Raging Graphix Gallery is a joint exhibition by Second Life partners, John (Johannes Huntsman) and Tempest Rosca-Huntsman (Tempest Rosca) entitled Yin and Yang.
It’s a title that reflects both the art on display and the artists themselves on a number of levels. At its most literal, the title reflects the fact that whilst opposites on several levels (e.g. male and female, the fact that they originate on opposite sides of the Atlantic, etc.), Tempest and John naturally combine to form a whole. There’s also the fact that all healthy relationships contain within them the ability to grow and change, for both sides to contribute to the whole – and through their art and other endeavours in Second Life this is very true of John and Tempest.
The title might also apply to their respective art: Tempest’s work is primarily Second Life focused, with a strong – if far from exclusive – lean towards avatar photography; John’s palette tends now to be a strong mix of art produced in the physical world that is then brought into SL. Thus, like yin and yang, there is a strong mix of what may appear to be different or even contrary forces (physical vs. virtual), which ultimately comes to form a whole.
This is certainly the case within this exhibition. With images presented exclusively in monochrome – again, something that might be a reflection of the black / white symbol of yin / yang – the pieces displayed here form a contrast that comes together towards the centre, allowing both halves of the exhibition to be seen as individual displays by individual artists, and also as a unified whole presented by a couple.
For her part and along the outer walls of the gallery, Tempest presents a series of images that have been taken in-world. Whilst they can be considered portraits, in difference to my statement above concerning her work, they are not of avatars but of objects – cars, a lifebuoy, a tram and a Hawker Hurricane.
Inanimate they might be, but thanks to their black-and-white nature, lines stand out clearly, giving each of her subjects a depth of life much as the lines and creases found on a face speak to the life within it and experienced by it.
Across the hall, John offers a collection of quite marvellous abstract and abstracted pieces, some of which appear drawn / painted and others produced with digital tools. All are striking in their form, with a sense of the dynamic presented through line and shape, and that sharply contrast with the more familiar subjects found within Tempest’s images.
Also to be found within several of these pieces is an organic element:, form the flow of a liquid substance complete with spheroid droplet, through the creation of a human face within the sweep of line and the patchwork of light and dark, to suggestions of crops and a desert seen from above, the former being brushed by the wind, the latter left as ripples formed by the winds of the past. Thus, these pieces also give a sense of life within them, and in doing so, they create a natural flow before the two halves of the exhibition, unifying them.
Having opened on February 6th, I believe Yin and Yang has a further week or so to run, and recommend a visit.
- Raging Graphix Gallery (Heatherwood, rated Moderate)