I’ve been visiting Mareena Farrasco’s IMAGO art gallery in its various forms for the last few years (check the IMAGOLand tag in this blog). However, and as Shawn Shakespeare recently reminded me, I haven’t dropped in to see it since Mareena relocated and expanded its offerings using her IMAGOLand title.
The new location continues to offer art exhibitions – the galleries now located in skyboxes, rather than using the ground level’s open spaces as once was the case for IMAGO. Waht’s more, they share the sky with a number of other public areas which are connected to the ground via a teleport network.
The ground itself presents an open, low-lying island which is probably best thought of as offering a series of populated vignettes rather than having a contiguous theme stretching through it. There’s no set landing point, so I’ve arbitrarily selected a location nor far from the region’s centre, where sits a teleport disk and a directory of destinations (sit on the disk for the menu dialogue in order to TP rather than touching the directory).
Close by is one of the vignettes: an open-air dance floor and stage where an Animesh band is playing. Most of them appear to be engaged in a ballad of some kind, although one of the guitarists looks as if she’s off in a hard rock / metal riff of her own!
Beyond this stage lies a bar where patrons and staff are engaged in coming, greetings and reading – and thus the frame of the island is set: simply wander the landscape and you’ll come across much such settings, some large, others small. Some can be reached via the teleport system, but it’s honestly worth taking the time to wander on foot, as there are some that can be easily missed just hopping point-to-point. The use of static and Animesh NPCs helps to give the setting an interesting sense of life – particularly along the beach (although I wouldn’t recommend arguing with the seagulls laying claim to the little rowing boats – they are big enough to make their objections felt!).
When you feel you’ve seen all the ground has to offer, the teleport system can be used to reach the gallery spaces. At the time of my visit, these were home to exhibitions by Mareena and Carelyna (Carelyna Resident).
In Gallery 1, Mareena presents Painting the Summer, an utterly gorgeous collection of rendered paintings taken from around Second Life that capture the warmth and delight of slow summer days, both in subject and the muted tones used in their post-processing.
Looking through the images within the exhibition, I realised that Mareena and I are frequently drawn to similar focal points for our images – notably bicycles and rowing boats. However, Mareena has a superb talent not only for turning her images into watercolour-like works of art, she also frames them in a way that tells a story – a technique I have yet to come anywhere near achieving; these are painting that you feel you could simply step into and explore, or join her as she sits or stands in contemplation within some of them.
Red Alert is the title of Carelyna’s striking and evocative exhibit, occupying the second gallery space and featuring 15 large format images together with a series of oversized props.
It may at first be difficult to assess whether there is a central theme within this selection that reaches beyond the predominant use of red within all of them. However, closer examination of each image together with its title helps crystallise the theme of danger – hence Red Alert – each represents.
This danger spans the personal – as seen in the likes of Femme Flamme, with its essence of la femme fatale, Addiction, Alone With Myself with its suggestion of isolation and depression – to more global themes of concern such as global warming (Crying out for Rain and the Titular Red Alert) and ecological disaster (Burning Forest. some, like Never Enough…. appear to span both personal and global excesses (personal exemplified in the idea of spending too much time in the Sun; global suggested by the vivid red and the loss of our protective ozone).
Rendered in styles that range from painting to etching, and which mix elements of abstraction and expressionism, this is a genuinely stylish collection of images that can be appreciated both for the artistry involved in each piece and for the interweaving of ideas and expressions.
Beyond the galleries,the teleport network can also be used to reach a photographic studio(although props cannot be rezzed even by group members) and a little setting called Storyteller Burrow, which I admit I’m not clear on as to its purpose. These share the same platform with one another and a small club space, although the latter was not connected to the teleport system at the time of my visit., so many or may not be part of the main facilities within the region.
Art remains the primary attraction at IMAGOLand, although the ground level offers its own attractions as well. As such, I look forward to seeing what future exhibitions are unveiled here.
Broken Mountain is rated Moderate.