Theme for art exhibitions is not a new idea – many, many art exhibitions are built around a theme, whilst individual works are frequently used by artists to express an idea or ideal or theme, often with a defined commentary. Such themes can be complex and layered; hinted at, rather than openly expressed, offering their audience suggestions to prod their own cognitive faculties. Others are more direct in tone and theme, presented as a direct commentary – or simply as a celebration.
Ode to Snowmen falls cleanly into that last category. Presented by CK (Ceakay Ballyhoo) at the NovaOwl Sky Gallery, curated by curated and operated by ULi Jansma, Owl Dragonash and CK herself, this is an unbashed celebration of winter snowscapes and the joy and humour found within the creation of snowmen.
Naturally split between the two levels of the gallery, the exhibition features images of snowmen CK has found in her travels across Second Life, from the massive sculpture at the heart of Linden Lab’s Winter Wonderland through to snowmen (and snowwomen and their children!) getting up to all sorts of activities and mischief from simple family portraits to skiing (yes, some snowmen have legs!) to peeping in through windows to see what is going on in those warm places which we love but are anathema to snow folk.
With the floorspace covered in snow and dotted with paintings and drawings of snow-laden fir trees and snowmen, this level of the exhibition also stand as a reminder of the immersive storytelling installations CK used to build in-world, often working with artists such as Silas Merlin and CybeleMoon (Hana Hoobinoo).
The upper floor of the exhibition features a set of seven watercolour paintings by CK celebrating winter landscapes. Collectively, they offer views which bring to mind lyrics from songs like Walking in a Winter Wonderland and (for me, as I love its haunting tones – particularly in Isao Tomita’s evocative version) Debussy’s Des pas sur la Neige (Footprints in the Snow), itself said to have been inspired by a painting of a winter snowscape.
From snow-covered paths guarded by denuded trees standing to attention on either side, to frozen ponds suggesting an invitation to go skating, and signs pointing the way to trails lying just out-of-sight relative to the painting, these are all warm, inviting pieces which call to the fore childhood memories of the wonder of snow and (perhaps for some) romantic walks through pristine fields of snow with a loved one. All of this is overseen by several snowmen painted on one wall, and several on the floor which blend nicely with one of the paintings.
A fun, easy-on-the-eyes exhibition presented in a timely manner for the holiday season, Ode to Snowmen will be open through until the end of December 31st, 2022 – so get your visit in soon!
- NovaOwl Sky Gallery (Novatron, rated General)