Currently open at the Carmel Art Gallery, curated by Martha McFarren (Martha Damballar), is a cosy exhibition by Vanessa Jane (Vanessajane66), entitled Vignettes of Calas Galadhon – A Journey to the Spirit of Place.
As one might gather from the title, the subject of the exhibition is the Calas Galadhon estate, thirteen regions of fabulous open landscape that form a public park operated for all Second Life residents by Tymus Tenk and Truck Meredith and their dedicated team.
Now in operation for more than a decade (December 2021 actually marks the estate’s 12th anniversary), Calas Galadhon is one of the genuine gems in Second Life’s crown, and a place one can never tire of seeing. While its form may have changed over the years as it has grown (and occasionally shrunk), it has remained a place of endearing beauty; its regions both demonstrate the power of creativity in Second Life and the true magic of the platform’s ability to offer living, breathing spaces we can escape to and enjoy.
Rich in open landscapes and waters that can be explored on foot or horseback or boat, or flown over in a hot air balloon, the park contains many places large and small to discover, and is home to regular and seasonal events. While through its contiguous vistas, it offers a breathtaking sense of space and natural depth that is genuinely stunning to the eye. In this, it stands equal to any national park we might choose to visit – but with the added benefit that the freedom and magic are just keystrokes, not hours, away, and can be instantly enjoyed whenever we choose.
It is this sense of place that Vanessa has sought to capture in the pieces offered through her exhibition. Within the fourteen images presented in the gallery space, she reveals both the estate’s essential natural beauty and the hints of otherworldliness that is very much a part of its magic (and which is reflected in their names, drawn as they are from Tolkien’s mythology).
Offered with an artful touch of post-processing Vanessa presents these pieces as if seen through the eyes of a painter. Each one individually and uniquely captures an aspect of the park’s landscape, offering a hint of story for the observer to unfold. They are also collectively part of a whole, their individual stories coming together to offer an anthology of images that reveal the living spirit contained with the Calas regions.
Set within a space that Vanessa has also dressed in a manner that reflects the park’s glades and grasslands, Vignettes of Calas Galadhon – A Journey to the Spirit of Place richly illustrates the enduring beauty of Calas Galadhon and the manner in which it can capture the hearts and eyes of those who visit. As such, it is the perfect way by which those familiar with the park might recapture specific memories of their times within it, while for those who have yet to wander the park’s regions, the exhibition presents the ideal means to whet appetites and prepare the eye for all that might be revealed when exploring the regions themselves.
- Carmel Art Gallery (McFarren, rated Adult)