Camels and Chameleons with Cica in Second Life

Cica Ghost: Camels and Chameleons, November 2022

November brings with it another foray into whimsy with Cica Ghost, as she offers an installation entitled Camels and Chameleons – which you have to admit is an interesting combination of beast and reptile!

As with recent installations from Cica, this one is extreme easy on the eye to view and offers gentle exploration on foot. The largely flat landscape offers a desert-like suggestion with adobe-style walls and structures for the most part not too far removed from the kinds of environments one might reasonably expect to find both camels and the desert varieties of chameleon common to the more arid parts of Southern Asia. These are interspersed with cacti which, whilst not common to the lands in which camels might be found, are certainly found within the more arid parts of the California, into which Chameleons have been introduced.

Cica Ghost: Camels and Chameleons, November 2022

Of the two types of creatures, the camels are the most numerous, with two of the three recognised “true” species represented: the single-humped Dromedary (aka Arabian camel), which accounts for around 94% of all camels and which is common to the Middle East, the Sahara Desert, and South Asia, and the two-humped Bactrian camel, common to Central Asia, including the historical region of Bactria, and also found in remote areas of north-west China and Mongolia.

Exactly which species of Bactrian is represented isn’t entirely important, but given their short-haired nature, I preferred to think of them as being the rarer Wild Bactrian of China / Mongolia. The chameleons, on the other hand, are fewer in number, and I can’t help but feel Cica perhaps missed a trick in not blending them more with some of the landscaping / other features within the setting (allowing for their size, of course).

Cica Ghost: Camels and Chameleons, November 2022

I qualified the structures within the setting above, because whilst most of them are styled in a manner in keeping with the desert / arid environments in which camels tend to be found when roaming free, there is a rather novel structure towards the centre of the installation. Comprising blocks and towers that are, at first glance vaguely reminiscent of a Middle-Eastern fortification, it also has a slight other-worldly feel to it, with some of the blocks suspended in mid air on horizontal planks bridging the gaps between other blocks, and many of them sprouting deadlock-like growths of cacti from their tops.

Rounded out with another quote from Dr. Seuss, Camels and Chameleons also includes a range of  places to sit and / or dance (including on a camel or tow!) and offers a further opportunity to appreciate Cica’s art in a whimsical and light setting.

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