Third annual “RL Photo Festival” announced

Photographer Nils Urqhart is organising the 2021 “RL Photo Festival” – you can see his work at his Art Gallery Rill’Arts

The Third “RL Photo Festival” (formerly  the Annual International RL Photography Festival) will take place between Wednesday, March 31st, 2021 and Sunday, April 25th, 2021. organised by photographer Nils Urqhart, and  hosted at the Helvellyn Gallery).

The festival is intended to be a celebration of artistic photographic  expression for the physical world, and is open to anyone from across Second Life with an interest it, or passion for, photography. All submissions should meet the following guidelines:

  • Submissions must be original photographs recorded in the physical world (to images captured in Second Life or computer games).
  • Submissions may be in colour or black and white, and may be on any theme,  and in accordance with the following criteria:
    • All content must be family friendly. Submissions can depict the human form in all of its forms, but any content with nudity must be presented tastefully.
    • No sexually explicit imagery will be tolerated (and will be returned).
    • All content must be in keeping the the requirements of the Second Life  Terms of Service and Community Standards.
  • Images may be offered for sale (there is no fee or commission for any sales), and participants are free to promote their SL and RL presence as a part of their exhibition.
  • Submissions for participation should be made to Nils Urqhart in-world.
  • All submission must include:
    • Four sample photographs in the form of individual textures of at least 512×512 pixels resolution.
    • All textures must have the following permissions: Copy, No Modify / No Transfer.
    • The textures must have the photographer’s avatar name (NOT display name) in the Name field and image title in the Description field.
    • If desired, submissions can include a photographer’s biography note card.
    • Submissions can be made in the form of a single note card containing image textures and biography – please do not forward them as boxed items.
  • The deadline for submissions is 23:59:59 SLT on March 20, 2021.

Successful entrants will be contacted with details of their location within the exhibition space. Up to 20 LI may be used per display, and entrants are responsible for the layout of their images. The four images sent as a part of the  submission process must form a part of the exhibit.  It is requested by the organiser that scripted items are not used.

For further information, or should you have any questions concerning the festival, please contact Nils Urqhart.

2021 Home and Garden Expo in Second Life


The 2021 Home and Garden Expo (HGE) in support of Relay for Life of Second Life and the American Cancer Society, opens it gates on Saturday, February 27th and runs through until Sunday, March 21st. Taking place across nine regions (Hope 1 through 9), the event offers some of the finest in home, garden, and furnishing designs available across the grid.

With multiple exhibitors taking part, the event offers something for anyone who is looking for a new home, ideas for furnishing and décor, wishing to improve their building (or other) skills, or who just wishes to keep abreast of the latest building / home trends in Second Life.

As always, the Expo there will be a range of events and activities, including entertainment, focused on the main stage at Hope 1, talks and presentation focus on the auditorium at Hope 3, artists, auctions, breedables. and more.

Home and Garden Expo 2021 – main stage

Once more returning the the event is the Home and Garden Decorating Competition, which this year offers fourteen different builds, including two of seven different styles, including beach houses, tiny homes and one with a distinctively Mexican style. These will be made available to fourteen finalists, who will have a 350 land impact allowance with which to decorate a both a house and its garden.

These finalists will be chosen by a raffle draw and will be assigned one of the fourteen houses, based on their preferences. Finalists can be individuals or teams, and must decorate their house in keeping within its style, and must include at least three purchased from RFL vendors at the Expo. With winning design will be decided on the basis of a popular vote by those attending the Expo.

The time line the competition is thus: entries for participation to be submitted by the end of Friday, March 5th, with selected finalists able to decorate their houses been noon SLT on Saturday, March 6th and the end of Friday, March 12th. Voting will then take place between Saturday, March 13th and Wednesday, March 17th with votes cast via donations make through the kiosks placed outside of each house. The winner(s) will be announced on Thursday, March 18th.

Home and Garden Expo 2021 – auditorium

The full shopping guide for the event is now available, and further information on events, entertainment and associated SLurls are/will be available via the Home and Garden Expo website.

So, do be sure to drop in the the Home and Garden Expo, tours the houses, look at the furnishing and enjoy the entertainment – and feel free to drop a donation or two into the RFL kiosks, even if you’re not in the mood to purchase anything, and help support ACS and RFL of SL in their world-wide endeavours.

The House that Love Built in Second Life

The House That Love Built

Archetype11 Nova, currently using the name Lex Machine, recently opened his latest region design on his Full private region of Solveig. Entitled The House That love Built, it is once again a most eye-poppingly imaginative design that completely captures the visitor’s attention and holds it with a fascinating mix of art nature, the expected and the unexpected that is both marvellous witness and difficult to describe.

With his previous two builds, Archetype11 presented vistas that were incredibly visual, rooted deep in the imagination and with a recognition that in Second Life, expression can more-or-less free-form – but which also carried something of a massage to fit the times in which they were built (see Inside mR J’s HoUsE in Second Life and Isolation’s Passengers in Second Life). That House That love Built also carries something of a theme, but one that comes from an altogether different direction.

The House That Love Built
It’s not usual for me to do such a build … Ana [his SL partner, Anastasia Nova] challenged me to show love with a build; this is the result. it was outside my comfort zone.

– Archetype 11 describing The House That Love Built

The result of this is an incredibly diverse build in which can be found so much that, despite being so varied in content with new scenes seeming to open up at every turn, nevertheless clearly carries the themes of love and sharing throughout.

The House That Love Built

Spread across a rolling landscape rich in trees, flowers and grass, these scenes may at first appear to be chaotic, or at least random, in placement and tone. Gigantic figures here, a house on the water there, cars either wrecked or being repaired lie scattered about; an overgrown yard, a barn decorated in expectation of a wedding, an old school house, rivers of bright flowers winding through the the rich green of the grass, and blossom hugs the branches of trees to contrast with the greenery of others.

When first seen, the theme of love may be hard to discern; but it is there, perhaps most clearly in the barn that awaits a wedding, a clear sign of the joining of two lives into a union borne by love and affection. But so too can be it found elsewhere, such as within the house over the water. Lit from without, its lamps glowing in the evening light in greeting and warmth, the space within sits empty – a promise of the times to come when it will be jointly furnished to become a home for those living within,a personal place of love and sanctuary.

The House That Love Built

Similarly, the yard outside might speak to the passage of time and the acceptance of individual hobbies – such as a passion for rebuilding powerful cars; while up on the hill a short distance away sits a little schoolhouse. Tired and ageing it might be, but might it also not stand in reflection of childhood loves and the first innocent hints of romance?

Then there is the setting itself – the cast of the late evening Sun, the softening colours of the sky as they blend with the gentle tones of the blossom in the trees and the wash of colour in the winding trails of tall flowers. All give an air of love’s enchantment across the land, while the little spots to be found across it – a piano here, a swing there; a panic spread beneath a parasol, a boat sitting quietly out on the water, the artist’s retreat on its little island – all further speak to ideas of love, courtship, togetherness and sharing.

The House That Love Built

And then, of course, there are the statues; rising across the western side of the landscape, they are hard to miss. From great horses frozen in time as they thunder across the land to female figures caught mid-dance or pose to those wreathed in a fine net or shadow and completed by a couple in one another’s arms, these all stand magnificently within the landscape, adding to its ethereal mystery and yet very much a part of it in tone and style.

Even when apparently fragmenting or incomplete, these massive statues add a further depth to the setting. They present a magical scene through which to wander, a place where unicorn roam. Beneath and around their great forms lies a richness of fairytale and romance that extends even to the the ageing cars sitting amidst the tide of flowers surrounding them and under the shadow of old awning.

The House That Love Built

This is a place where even fears can be subdued: up on a hill sits a head with blank eyes staring wide and mouth open in a primal scream. Liquid Fear may well be its title, but the glass butterflies rising from it remind us that even our deepest fears can be be calmed through the presence of one we love.

I became enamoured with Archetype11’s build from the moment I first set foot in his original Hotel California build some two years ago now. Since then, everything he has produced and shared with us has allowed me to partake in the most incredible of creative journeys, each building on the last. So much so that I can say entirely without hyperbole, that his region designs are some of the most visually engaging, imaginative and photogenic to be found in Second Life. They are also, thanks to the subjects he cares to embrace, some of the most deeply personal to be found in SL, a fact that again draws the visitor into them to a point where they are places the open heart and mind does not so much visit, but participate in.

The House That Love Built

There is so much more that I could say about The House That love Built – such as the small, but evident nods to past builds -, but really, given it is a place to be experienced first hand, please do go and see it for yourself and take the time to allow it to reveal its stories to you.

SLurl Details