Currently open at the 22 Art Space in Bellisseria, operated and curated by Ricco Saenz and Randy Firebrand, is a joint exhibition by Melusina Parkin and Whiskey Monday – the latter making a return to Second Life’s art scene (and the platform as a whole) after an extended absence.
Individually, Melu and Whiskey are two of SL’s most evocative photographic artists, each with a very individual approach to, and style of, visual narrative; and with Dialogues: Patterns, People, their work is combined in a manner intended to encourage the viewer to consider both the distinctiveness inherent in their work as individuals, and the manner in which their work is complimentary / complementary in the use of themes, focus, and presentation, allowing a “conversation” between the artists and the observer to develop.
In all, each artist presents ten images that have been split into two distinct collections. In the ground floor of the gallery the images are focused on the theme of Patterns, with Whiskey and Melu each presenting four pieces on the subject; on the upper floor the theme of People, with the artists here presenting five works apiece in their respective rooms.
The two sections of the exhibition are then linked by a self-portrait provided by each artist – what might be a joint introduction to People. However, these are two pieces that also set up a conversation of their own, offering as they do reflections on the artists themselves. Within Melu’s it is possible to comprehend her contemplative approach to art, whilst Whiskey’s offers whispers on the intimate self-reflection that is a theme of her work, and the manner in which she so often offers up a reflection of her nature and identity whilst also maintaining a protective distancing between herself and her audience.
Within Patterns, Melu and Whiskey present images that play with the idea of repetition with variance. They offer something of a mix of the abstracted and the direct. Common themes of patterns can be found within individual pieces by each artist, allowing a certain dynamic to exist between them. Take Melu’s Colors 2 and Whiskey’s Choose, for example. Each stylistically uses doors (those of a lockers in one, and the doors of cells in the other), and through both we’re offered commentary on possession, self, restraint, freedom, isolation, reward and secrecy, each piece reflecting off of the other to present new ideas and interpretations.
For People, the narrative threads offered by the artists are less abstracted and more direct. Here ideas more than device conjoin individual images in each of the two rooms, allowing the flow of narrative to flow between the open doorway between the two areas.
Some time ago now, Ricco joined with artist Boudicca Amat to present an experiment in art entitled The Photo Game, in which pairs of artists were invited to select images from each other’s portfolio for display in a joint exhibition, and offer thoughts on why they selected the pieces (see: The Photo Game in Second Life and The Photo Game in Second Life: Proph and a Pey).
With Dialogues, Randy and Ricco have brought together two exceptionally talented artists who expand on that concept through the use of theme and unwritten narrative, thus taking the idea of artistic dialogue in an entirely new and engaging direction.
- The 22 Art Space in Bellisseria (Grenouille, Bellisseria)