Lizbeth Morningstar is relative newcomer to Second Life, but is making her mark as both a photographer-artist and – as from November 26th, 2022 – a gallery owner and curator, with her Starborn Gallery.
Located on the southern coast of Geata V and with a beachfront setting offering space to host exhibition opening events, the gallery utilises its own shared environment for ambient lighting, and it is recommended visitors set their viewers to Used Shared Environment (World → Environment) so that it is used when viewing the art on display. The building itself – designed and built by Lizbeth – presents two display wings, one of which features selections of Lizbeth’s own work, and the other to guest artists who will be displaying at the gallery on a rotational basis. For the Gallery’s opening, Pedro (PedroGlande) is the guest artist.
SL is such amazing world for photography inspiration. I Love Photography; for me, it is the Fusion of mind and scenery. I take photos to express my feelings. My photos vibes varied by flowing mood. Self-Healing is the theme of this exhibition.
Taking photos in SL is my Self-Healing, Self-Meditation process. You may find a sense of purification or calm in these photos. I want to breathe fresh air and embrace sunshine in both RL and SL. Let’s take a soothing step to recall the light of our lives.
– Lizbeth Morningstar
Despite her relatively recent arrival in Second Life, Lizbeth has fairly immersed herself in the world of Second Life art and photography, developing an approach and style that is both eye-catching and somewhat unique. Many of her images are semi avatar-centric, in that her own avatar is featured within her pictures; however, they are not avatar studies in the traditional sense of that term. Instead, they are what might be called “life studies” in which her avatar (or one of her pets!) is seemingly caught in a natural moment so that while our eyes are drawn to both avatar and / or pet, it is the setting as a whole that gives the image both context and sense of spontaneity that counters the fact it has been posed and post-processed.
In many of her images, Lizbeth opts for a combination soft focus and depth of field to bring her avatar to the fore, with her colour palette tending towards softer tones. This gives many of her pieces a slightly dream-like effect, helping her work to be instantly recognisable.
In the second wing, Pedro presents Transmute, a collection of images which also feature his avatar. However, rather than being individual narrative pieces, the images in Transmute are offered under an over-arching theme: our relationship with (and perhaps, the discovery of) our relationship with nature and natural things.
Within these images, we find Pedro within natural woodland settings, exploring, relaxing, and exulting in the natural cast of tress, woodlands and tall grass. These are pieces that use angle, focus and post-processing to enormous effect to present single-frame, tightly focused narratives, each beautifully tied to the core theme; a theme also framed by the lyrics from Pendular by the Brazilian indie rock group Scalene.
The one exception to all this can be found at the rear of the hall’s lower floor. It takes the form of a small photo studio complete with a chair for posing and three greyscale self-portraits of Pedro in various poses on the chair. The images are engaging, their greyscale tones providing a level of natural reality in a manner which colour renders would require much more intrusive post-processing to achieve. I’ll be honest, I had hoped the chair within the little studio would offer a series of poses so that visitors might try their own hand in capturing themselves whilst seated / standing on it and thus experiment with their own artistic expressionism, but alas, the chair had (at the time of my visit) just the one pose.
It is always pleasing to see new artists and new galleries appear in Second Life, and I certainly look forward to witnessing further exhibitions at Starborn and in witnessing Lizbeth’s evolving journey as a Second Life photographer-artist. And now that I’ve been properly introduce to Pedro’s work, I hope all be able to witness more exhibitions where he is a focused artist.
- Starborn Gallery (Starborn, rated Moderate)