Revisiting Ahiru in Second Life

Village of Ahiru, April 2022 – click any image for full size

Just about four years ago I visited the Village of Ahiru, a full region themed along Japanese lines with the About Land description indicating the inspiration for the build is the Edo period – although as I noted at the time of my original visit, whilst the core inspiration for the region – home to the Blue Lotus Okiya geisha group – might well be Edo, it is not actually set within that period, as the modern touches to the public areas of the region tend to reveal. Given that four years have passed, I decided to jump back and see what might have changed.

A mixed public / private setting, the landing point for the village is located in the sky, where general information can be found together with free male and female kimono outfits for those who want to dress more the part for a visit. A map of the region just across the landing garden provides both an overview of the region’s layout  – including the locations of the 15 private residences to be found within the village – and click-to-TP labels to the major public areas.

While 15 private residences may sound like a lot for a region, they are all located on the east and southern sides of the region and away from the majority – but not all – of the public spaces.

Village of Ahiru, April 2022

The parcels for the private homes come in a number of sizes, allowing them to be grouped together without feeling crowded, with the positioning of a couple of public spaces between the main groupings helping to give a further sense of space around them. Most of the houses sit behind hedges and fences, the entrances to them marked by green rental boxes, making them easy to identify (and avoid) – although some of the smaller units are directly approachable along the public paths, so keep an eye out for their green rental boxes on their walls.

The majority of the public areas for the region are located on the north and west side, where a large island is home to the Blue Lotus Okiya theatre, a garden area, the Osen / Oden and the Ochaya tea house, which still commands part of the high grounds in the region. The latter is a custom build for the region, and offers a classic Edo take on these traditional tea houses with their strong ties to geisha. It also looks down to where the Osen and Oden sit.

Village of Ahiru, April 2022

The main building of the latter appeared to me to be larger this time around than with my original visit, but this could just be my imagination. Certainly the familiar indoor and outdoor pools remain ready for guests. The grounds of the Osen form one of the areas where confusion between public and private areas within the region can occur: an open gate and path lead from the pools at the back of the facility and around a shoulder of rock to one of the smaller rental units – although it is hard to appreciate it is a private abode at first glance.

Reached via bridges, the major residential spaces are mixed with a pair of little eateries and are dominated by the Ahiru temple and shrine. This is located straddling the crown of the highest hill within the region. It is separated in part from the private homes by a finger of water curling around the base of the hill, helping to form it into a headland with water on three sides in part fed from the falls dropping from the hill’s cliffs. A single bridge provides the means to reach the temple.

Village of Ahiru, April 2022

On the west side of the region sits a largely artificial island nestled between the public spaces to the north and the residences to the south. It is connected to both via bridges, and I refer to it as “largely artificial”, as the larger potion of it forms stone terraces, one just above the waters and the other raised on arches which hide a small dock below them.

The terrace above is set aside for dancing, while the more natural part of the island forms a series of stepped flowerbeds down to the water that are mirrored across the water on the northern island as the land here also steps down to the region’s inner waterways. Facing the terrace island to the south and well clear of the private homes is a small commercial area sitting over stone quays and paths that end in more wooden wharves.

Village of Ahiru, April 2022

Camming around, I noted that at least one of hidden areas of the region remains, but appears to have been cut off from access. Whether by accident or design, I’ve no idea. However, whilst somewhat redressed since my original visit, Village of Ahiru retains its natural beauty and appeal, making it a worthwhile visit.

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2022 Raglan Shire Artwalk in Second Life: call to artists

Raglan Shire Artwalk 2021

The Raglan Shire Artwalk is one of the staples of the SL art calendar, and for 2022 the 15th Artwalk will take place between Sunday, May 15th and Sunday, June 19th, inclusive.

A popular event among artists and residents, the Artwalk can see over 150 artists displaying their work – 2D and 3D – across the regions of Raglan Shire. All the displays are open-air, with 2D art is displayed on hedgerows in and around the regions, while sculptures and 3D art is displayed in a number of designated areas, all of which allows visitors to both appreciate the art and explore the Shire regions.

A Call For Artists for the 2022 event has been issued for those wishing to participate, and key points about the exhibition are as follows:

  • It is a non-juried show.
  • Artists can display more than one piece if they wish.
    • 2D (“flat” art pieces will be awarded a maximum of 15 LI, and individual pictures should be 1 prim, including the frame.
    • 3D art (sculptures, etc.), will be awarded a maximum of 500 LI for up to three pieces of work. Artists are requested to state the LI per piece in their application.
    • Sales of art are allowed.
  • Types of art supported by the show are: representations of RL photography, painting, drawing, printmaking, collage, and digital fine art that can be displayed on a prim;  and SL photography, manipulated SL photography and SL sculpture.
  • Pictures of RL crafts, such as beadwork, leatherwork, etc., are not part of the show’s  definition
  • All the above art forms are welcome, but should be rated PG / G – so no nudity, please!
  • Group membership will be required in order to display work.
  • Tip jars and floating text are not allowed.
  • Questions and enquiries should be forwarded via note card to Artwalk Director Karmagirl Avro, or Artwalk Assistants Kayak Kuu, Linn Darkwatch, or RaglanShireArtwalk Resident.

Those wishing to display their art should complete and submit the Raglan Shire Artwalk 2022 Registration Form by no later than 21:00 SLT on Tuesday, May 10th, 2022.

Raglan Shire Artwalk 2021

Event Dates

  • Tuesday, May 10th: applications close at 21:00 SLT.
  • Tuesday, May 10th: Notification of exhibit space location issued to artists – note that hedgerow space for 2D artists is on a “first come, first serve” basis.
  • Friday, May 13th (after 09:00 SLT) and Saturday May 14th: Artist set-up days.
  • Sunday, May 15th: Artwalk Opens.
  • Sunday, June 19th: Artwalk closes.
  • Sunday, June 19th (after 21:00 SLT) through Tuesday, June 21st: takedown of works.

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