The art of Suzanne Graves and AL in Second Life

Selen’s Gallery: Suzanne Graves

I’m a little behind in my art blogging (and blogging in general), so I’m getting to this article a little later than intended, having originally hoped to get it out over the last weekend in July because it is something of special event in Second Life, featuring as it does the 3D work of Suzanne Graves, with a special exhibition of 2D art by Selen’s father, AL.

Having opened at the ground level on Selen’s Gallery, operated and curated by Selen Love (Selen Minotaur), this untitled installation features the 3D piece by Suzanne Graves, whose work has been featured in exhibitions at such august institutions as the University of Western Australia and Linden Endowments for the Arts and at arts hubs such as Sinful Retreat.

Selen’s Gallery: Suzanne Graves

Here, Suzanne presents a series of 3D sculptures with a lean towards the surreal. Some are static, others are animated with either moving parts or shifting colours – and in some cases, both.

Created entirely using prims, sliced, cut, twisted to create almost organic forms, these pieces are a remarkable celebration of natural form and the richness of geometry, bound together in an expressive environment created by Selen. However, to see them at their best, it is strongly recommended that you do so with the viewer’s Advanced Lighting Model enabled (Preferences → Graphics) is enabled, and you utilise the environment settings Selen has created for the gallery space (World → Environment → Use Shared Environment).

Set one side of the Suzanne’s pieces is the glass pavilion where AL’s artwork is displayed.

A physical world artist, AL works in oil acrylics, and the 15 pieces presented here have been selected by Suzanne, who encouraged him to consider Second Life as a further means to show his work – and this exhibition represents the first time he has done so.

AL’s primary inspiration in terms of genres is that of surrealism – and that is certainly to be found within these pieces, as are touches of abstractionism. He is also an experimentalist, sometimes using paint pouring to produce pieces.

As the name suggests, this is a technique – or rather, a series of techniques – primarily used with acrylics, where the paint is “poured” onto the canvas, rather than by using a brush. However, it is not simply a case of taking the paint and just tipping on to suitable medium (e.g. canvas or paper); not only do the paints require different approaches to how they are diluted in order to alter their viscosity and the degree to which the will flow, it also involves a range of techniques to assist in how they are blended and mixed, either as a part of the pouring process, or before they have dried, to develop a finished result.

Selen’s Gallery: AL

These mixing techniques are many and varied – pouring a batch of colours into a single container with one or more outlets, and letting them pour through as the container is gently swirled to mix them, or pouring them individually either directly onto a surface or a base colour / tone and then using assorted tools (such as a hairdryer!) to mix them / form patterns within them, and so on.

Several examples of the technique sit among the pieces presented within the exhibition at Selen’s Gallery, some of which are combined with more direct surrealist over-painting to produce the most richly colours and engaging pieces. Other pieces are more “traditionally” produced, folding in both surrealist elements and  / or abstract painting.

Selen’s Gallery: AL

All of the pieces by AL are for sale, but rather than being offered at a fixed price, they are offered on the basis of “pay what you will” by means of a tip jar just outside the entrance to the gallery pavilion (the pieces themselves are offered at L$0), and Selen will ensure gratuities are passed to her father.

Visually captivating, demonstrating both the power of prims in artistic expression and also offering a view of physical world painting techniques which may be unfamiliar to many, this is a exhibition not to be missed. And while visiting, don’t miss the teleport point just outside the pavilion to reach Selen’s gallery on a sky platform, home to her own art.

For those curious about paint pouring, check the video below.

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One thought on “The art of Suzanne Graves and AL in Second Life

  1. I visited the exhibits yesterday, and just wanted to add that I think it was the first time I saw you in-world in the pixels, Inara. 🙂 I guessed you were taking photos to blog about it, so didn’t interrupt you.


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