Back in late 2021, I revisited Lam Erin’s Cherishville, which at the time was dressed for winter. Unfortunately I didn’t blog about it at following my visit for assorted reasons, and by the time I did hop back to refresh my memory, I knew I’d be better holding off until the region had been redressed for 2022. So when Lam re-opened for spring 2022, I made sure to hop over at the earliest opportunity, and this time make sure I completed a write-up, even though by doing so, I was leaving almost exactly a year between covering Cherishville in these pages.
At that time of my 2021 visit, Cherishville presented a coastal setting that perhaps leaned towards being somewhere in North America more than, say, northern Europe (although it could perhaps have been part of the latter). For this year’s spring, the setting shares some of that past life; it again has a waterfront area, this a little more established than in 2021 in terms of the working buildings that back the wharves, although at least a couple of the the boats also offer a link back to that former build.
However, this time I’d say that we I to hazard a guess as to where this iteration of Cherishville might be were it to exist in the physical world, I’d likely point more to Europe and perhaps the Baltic coastlines of the northern European counties, simply because of the overall styling on buildings, landscape and vehicles. Although that said, there are elements that suggest we could be in North America, perhaps somewhere around the great lakes, rather than on the coast.
To the south of the region a single-track road loops around a small town nestled on the upland to the region, the upper reaches dominated by a chapel with what appears to be a rather extensive manse sitting alongside it, the tall tower of an ancient stone gatehouse sitting just across the intervening passage of the road. Down slope from these, the houses and shops are partially furnished to give them a sense of depth and life from the roadside, but the chapel and the buildings around it that share the hilltops are shells, their presence also giving depth to the setting but without burdening viewer with yet more to render.
The land to the north of the town is largely flat and broken by the passage of waters that drop from just below the town to cut a broad, rocky path north and west until they meet a substantial opponent in the form of a humped rise of land which forces them to branch west and north in order to reach more open waters, which a further, narrower channel even tracking back eastwards.
This narrower streams splits the region’s northlands into an island on their own, home to large, wood-build house that sits upon it as a further empty shell reached by a single, frail-looking bridge. The L of the house are positioned so the wings look west to the low, stubborn hill that forces the river’s waters to split, and the windmill that sits upon it, sails turning lazily. Reaching this windmill most directly is best achieved going via the wharves on the region’s west side. However, at some point in the past, it appears some started putting together a very makeshift bridge to cross the rocky waters between house and hill, leaving it unfinished and apparently abandoned.
Extending northwards and bounded on one side by the broader passage of the river whilst end at the banks of the east flowing stream, is a tongue of land, a branch of the single-track road winding into it. Here, guarded by the dropping arms of weeping willows and the hunched forms of aged trees, is a place given over to festivities lights having been strung from a central raised post to a ring of posts surrounding it. Caravans and makeshift shacks have been circled here, tables and benches of food and drink scattered between them in readiness for music and dancing. All that is missing are the revellers themselves, frolicking through the knee-high grass – although even without them, the imagination conjures the sounds of bows and penny whistles giving life to a happy tune.
This is a setting that has been put together with the photographer in mind – hardly surprising, given Lam is himself an accomplished landscape photographer – with details large and small awaiting discovery and lending themselves to lens, angle and lighting, all set under a spring sky with clouds lit by the Sun. For those who love photographing SL architecture, there is particularly a lot to appreciate within this version of Cherishville, as I hope the images here show!
That said, the very fact there is so much detail packed into the region means there is a lot for the viewer to tackle, particularly if you’re running with settings at the high-end for photography and are not on a high-end system. At the time of my visit, there were also some rough edges that could do with some smoothing as well – some elements floating in the air, some prims / mesh elements with overlapping textures (the stone courtyard around the chapel, and part of the waterfront area), a car sitting somewhat sunken in the road; but these can be ignored with suitable camera angles (if noticed at all), leaving the region ready to be appreciated.
With thanks to Shawn Shakespeare for the reminder.
- Cherishville (Neomah, rated Moderate)