In checking back through my visit history, I was surprised to see the last time I dropped into L2 Studio & LHOOQ Gallery, the Full region held and operated by Lindini2 (Lindini2 Lane) and Jessica (jessicabelmer) was in 2016.
Surprised, because the region – the home to Lindini2’s store and Jessica’s art gallery respectively – used to be on my list of places to visit semi-regularly due to it being highly attractive and subject to periodic changes, and I enjoyed dropping-in semi-regularly to see what had changed. So this being the case, I took a trip to see had things are today.
No landing point is enforced, although one is defined – and used as the SLurl here – that brings folk down in the gardens between the L2 store and the LHOOQ gallery, allowing quick access to Lindini2’s creations (including teleports up to the demo areas in the sky for her buildings) and to appreciate Jessica’s art
The gallery and store are located on the largest island in the region, where they sit within the south-east corner, forming two of the biggest structures within the setting. The gallery in particularly is impressive, its design light and airy, the two floors offering plenty of space for Jessica’s work to be displayed in a fairly large format.
Surrounding them, the gardens and land beyond are presented as a something of a wildling environment that is both managed and also left to grow fairly free: manicured cypresses mixing with shaggy fir, the grass mixing with scrub and rock whilst being maintained more by the munching of sheep than by any bladed means. It’s an effective, natural environment that climbs westward to where a Japanese teahouse sits within stone walls, the passage through its grounds literally forming the gateway between east and west
The teahouse is not the only structure to be found when wandering the paths around the studio and gallery, nor are the sheep the only animals waiting to be found. Some of the former are obvious, others take a little more discovery as they meander around and climb up and down through the landscape. The easiest to follow will lead you to an old gazebo, the way up to the teahouse close by; others might take you to a folly guarded by foxes or a little fenced garden offering a way down to a shingle beach and a view out to the north-west, or off to the north-east side of the land, of which more anon.
Nor are the foxes and sheep alone in claiming the wildling setting as theirs; horses wander the grasses. An attempt has been made to cultivate a small part of the wildling, but I did find myself wondering how long it might last, given the way some of the sheep appeared to be eyeing things!
The store and gallery are balanced to the south-west by a house with garden and outhouses. A narrow neck of rock connects this headland with the rest of the main island, pools of water feeding waterfalls on either side.
Such is the design here that it is hard not to avoid the feeling the water – whilst crossed by a hump of rock – is there to form a natural barrier to indicate the house and gardens beyond are perhaps private property, a feeling added to by the steep shoulder of a hill rising between the falls and the house beyond that is sans obvious path up or around its slope. There are no signs to confirm this, but is did leave me a little circumspect in my wanderings so as not to trespass, just in case.
To the north, the region is given over to settings that showcase Lindini2’s houses. The first of these is laid one in a manner suggestive of Dutch waterways, although the houses are perhaps more North American in styling. Water forms a narrow basin with walled sides and cobbled road surfaces surrounding it and a pair of little bridges arching over it. Four house sit on the cobbled ways, while across a narrow channel of water, a low-lying, sandy island offers a beach-like setting for more houses.
The final element of the landscape is a little town are that sits sandwiched between the island houses and the store and gallery. Located on its own little promontory, it balances the hill-top teahouse in having a Japanese vibe to its styling (perhaps with the exception of the little hi;;top greenhouse overlooking it, set is it is form a spot of very English afternoon tea!). There is a wealth of detail packed into this little town that it makes for its own entirely photogenic spot.
Finished with multiple touches that help bring a sense of life to it, from boats on the water to the animals and birds and the various places visitors are encouraged to sit and pass the time, L2 Studio & LHOOQ Gallery is richly detailed and a visually engaging visit. The layout allows exploration to be carried out in a single visit, over a course of days, depending on your mood.
However, all this does come at a price; the the vast majority of the region’s land impact has been used, so there is a lot of mesh and textures for the viewer to handle, which can impact performance, so depending on your settings, you my need to make some adjustments. I found it a lot easier to get around by turning off Shadows when exploring, and only using them for photographs.
Even so, I would say the region remains enticingly photogenic, and is well worth a visit be shutter bugs, and Jessica’s photography stands as a very worthy reason for patrons of SL arts to also hop over and visit.
- L2 Studio and LHOOQ Gallery (LHOOQ, rated Moderate)