Raglan Shire, Second Life’s Tiny community, has once again opened its doors to people from across the grid as participating artists and visitors to the Raglan Shire Artwalk 2021.
This year marks the 16th Artwalk, with the event running through until Sunday, June 20th, 2021. It offers an opportunity not just to appreciate a huge range of art from both the physical and digital worlds, but to also tour the Shire regions and enjoy the hospitality of the Raglan Shire community.
A non-juried exhibition, the Artwalk is open to any artist wishing to enter, and has minimal restrictions on the type of art displayed (one of the most important being all art is in keeping with the Shire’s maturity rating). All of this means that it offers one of the richest mixes of SL art displayed within a single location in Second Life, with 2D art is displayed along the hedgerows of the Shire’s pathways and tree platforms overhead and 3D art among the community’s parks.
Each year attracts well over a hundred SL artist – and this year is no exception. The depth and range of art on display is guaranteed to keep visitors exploring the paths and walks around the through the hedgerows – and if walking proves a little much, there are always the Shire’s tours to ease the load on the feet.
Also, teleport boards are provided to help people find their way around the exhibition spaces. However, given this is an opportunity to visit and appreciate Raglan Shire, I do recommend exercising your pedal extremities and doing at least some of your exploration on foot – just keep in mind people do have their homes in the regions as well.
Given the number of artists involved, there isn’t a published list of participants, but anyone interested in the world of SL art is bound to recognise many of the names of the artists here. The Artwalk is also a marvellous way to see art from both our physical and digital worlds and for catch artists both familiar and new to your eye. Just don’t try to see it all at once; the Artwalk is open for a month, which gives plenty of time for browsing and appreciating the art without feeling overloaded.
All of the Raglan Shire Artwalk regions are rated General)
I recently received an invitation from Trill Zapatero (Wynaz) to visit her latest creation, which has just opened to the public.
Operating under the banner Summer Quest @ Four Bridges, it is a two region estate (A Full and a Homestead) that she has spent the last four months working on. Now in the Destination Guide, it is a location that does, without any exaggeration, make for a simply stunning visit.
Those arriving for the first time should be delivered to the main landing point, located on an aerial platform over the estate. It is here that visitors will be able to join the estate’s Experience – a vital part of the visit, as it will enable seamless teleports between some of the locations within the estate, and this is key to getting to see everything the regions have to offer. It is also at the landing point that visitors can obtain the local teleport HUD, which also works through the experience.
The latter provides access total of 16 destinations within Four Bridges, thus providing a quick means of hopping point-to-point. However, to appreciate the estate fully, I strongly recommend setting time aside and using one of the teleport boards available at the landing point to reach ground level, and then set out on foot.
The setting is that of a mountainous region, the surround encompassing both regions forming a ring of high mountains while the regions themselves built up using landscaping kits by Alex Bader. This is quite stunning work, providing a high peak within the Homestead region, with with slopes descending into the Full region and rocky arms reaching out to circle a large, crater-like lake. And believe when I say that these words simply do not do the build any justice whatsoever.
A deep gorge extends outwards from the crater lake, splitting the land open as it runs south, gradually broadening until it passes through a narrow neck spanned by a humpbacked bridge. This bridge forms part of a lowland track that winds around the regions and climbs part-way up into their highlands to offer an extensive route to walk – or ride – around the the setting (those with a wearable horse can wear it, while there are horse rezzers to be found around the route for those otherwise on foot.
Throughout both regions are rope slides, climbs, places to sit both indoors and out, a major slope running down the side of Crazy Fox mountain that looks as if it is ideal for skiing and / or sledding when the snow falls, boats to sit upon or take out on the water, opportunities for swimming and more. Nor is that all – there are adventures to be found both underground and underwater.
The former of these comes in the form of two caves – Dack Cavern and Gwendolyn Cave. These can be reached by both the teleport system HUD or by finding their entrances and walking into them – providing you have accepted the local Experience at the main landing point, that is. Those who have will be teleported to the caverns proper, which occupy platforms over the regions. Of the two cave systems, Gwendolyn is the larger, offering a winding trail underground, complete with further teleport systems back to ground level that will delivered you to different points in the park.
For the underwater aspect to the park, scuba tanks mark points where people can slip underwater and swim among the fish – although currently, you’ll nee your own diving kit; the tanks and goggles provided will provide a link to a Marketplace listing for those who might wish to purchase their own.
What I particularly like about this setting is the walks and the climbs. Trill has gone to great lengths to create an environment that looks and feels natural, right down to the way the trails have logs to hold the dirt in place as they climb / descend slopes and the stone steps along some of the trails sit as if cut into the rocks and the way of flat surfaces of rock have been turned naturally into paths around cliffs. Even the wooden steps and platforms that can be found throughout the mountains and cliffs look and feel right in their construction and placement.
There’s a delightful magic about Four Bridges that makes a visit genuinely worthwhile, and the camp sites, the seats and swings, the cabins, lodges and other buildings scattered around high and low, together with the assorted activities – swimming, riding (horses and rope slides!), walking, diving, caving and exploring will keep visitors truly occupied; while photographers will appreciate the views and opportunities for capturing shots.