It’s been a while since my last visit to Rainbow Painters Art Gallery, operated and curated by Timo Dumpling and Patience Dumpling (Patience Roxley), and there have been some changes made since that last visit, of which more below. However, I was specifically drawn by to the gallery following the August 26th opening of the latest themed exhibition there, this one on the subject of Black and White images.
More than 50 artists responded to the call for pieces the gallery put out ahead of the exhibition, and this has given rise to a remarkably diverse exhibition that spans Second Life photography, photography from the physical world, line drawings in pencil, graphite and India ink, and paintings, with subjects ranging from still life, portraits and avatar studies to landscape and nature studies, reflections on art, and pieces touching on the abstract.
I did not see any catalogue of artists as being supplied when I dropped in, although individual displays do carry a name board for the artist for it. I’m also not sure on the overall criteria for submissions quotas; some artists have 4-6 images on offer (some even more!) others just one or two. However, both of these points make the exhibition a place to be explored at length in order to see of all of the art on offer. Further, the sheer volume of artists involved also means that there are bound to be displays and pieces offered that will appeal to anyone interested in art in Second Life.
Given there are over 50 artists participating, I’m not going to list everyone here – doing so can all too often sound like a space-filling litany. I will say there there is a good cross-section of names that will likely be familiar to many who visit galleries and exhibitions in Second Life (Matt Thompson (Mth63), Eta (Etamae), Sheba Blitz, Angel Heartsong, Chuck Clip, Therese Carfagno, Ilyra Chardin, for example), together with names that may be new to some or at least perhaps not generally noted as participating in art events – I was particularly delighted to come across a trio of pieces submitted by friend and colleague, Erik Mondrian, whilst Sandralee Palianta’s collection of exquisite Sharpie Pen drawings simply captivated me.
It always feels unfair to single out just two or three artists from such ensemble exhibitions, simple because of sense of favouritism that results – but then, art is subjective. This being the case, and without any casting of shade on those I don’t mention, I will say that I found Sandralee’s work compelling not least because of the etching-like quality contained within each piece, and the balance of light and dark to be found within all of them, from the deco-esque “Lady” pictures through the plant and flower studies.
Angel Heartsong’s quartet of avatar portraits, meanwhile, held my attention for the manner in which they breathe life into their subjects in a way that colour avatar studies, no matter how well processed after the fact, can often miss; while alongside Angel’s work, Viktor Savior’s set of Japanese style wall hangings complete with verses in Russian and English, equally held my eye for the simplicity and complexity within them.
Truth be told, it’s hard not to be engaged by each display offered within the gallery as you come to it, but I will say that of them all, one piece in particular quite took my breath away – and I cannot even properly attribute it!
Together We Stand by Heather (I can give no more than this as the artist’s name is not provide when editing the image, only those of Timo and the frame’s creator) is an utterly perfect black-and-white study that encompasses so much: balance, framing, angle, motif, narrative, depth of field, use of vignette and chiaroscuro techniques, lighting and shadow, and more, to present an utterly and genuinely exquisite piece that (sadly) is not offered for sale, but which fully deserves all the admiration it receives.
As noted at the top of this piece, there have been some changes at Rainbow Painters since my last visit. The first of these is the Rainbow Painters Maze – which as the name implies, is a walk through a maze in which pieces from a number of artists is display and which can all be seen in turn by going the wrong way through it (check the arrows on the floor!). The second change (for me at least!) is that a pair of gazebo-style structures that respectively house a display of art and poetry by Mountain String and another selection of pieces by various artists. Both the maze and the gazebos sit to the front of the main gallery, flanking either side of the events stage and the gallery’s landing point, and can nicely round-out a visit to the gallery.
- Rainbow Painters Art Gallery (Chadara, rated Moderate)