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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- The House that Love Built (Solveig, rated Moderate)