Slink et al: Siddean shutters her brands in Second Life

Siddean Munro has been a long-term content creator in Second Life, having joined in 2007 (and as a point of trivia, is one of the few Second Life residents to have to also have an entry in IMDb!). She has perhaps been best known for the Slink mesh bodies, which have been popular among many Second Life users, myself included for that least few years.

As a brand, Slink has always been at the forefront of innovation in Second Life – notably with regards to mesh: in 2011/2 she released her mesh hands and feet – the latter of which, replacing the system feet, did much to ignite the mesh shoe market in Second Life – and the release of the first of her mesh body types, Physique Original, in 2014.

As such, the sudden announcement made on January 1st, 2023 that, with immediate effect, her Slink brand, together with her more recent Cinnamon & Chai body and her One Bad Pixel brand, have been shuttered, and Siddean herself has withdrawn from Second Life.

As a Slink Hourglass user myself – I moved to Slink from Maitreya on account of Slink being somewhat kinder on the viewer when it comes to rendering the body (and allowing for the complexities and quality of attachments and rigged meshes also worn, of course) – I admit to being shaken by the announcement. For those who made the move to Cinnamon and Chai, launched just 12 months ago, the news is likely to be even more of a gut-wrenching lurch.

However, before, anyone starts stamping feet or getting upset at the apparent forewarning (although I could be wrong about the latter), as Siddean offers good reason for why she has made her choice, and there are also a couple of points to bear in mind.

Following two stressful years of pandemic which I am sure we have all been affected by in one way or the other, I suddenly lost my mother in September of 2021, my grandmother in January of 2022 and my cat Cleo in June. I have been unwell and enduring a lot of chronic pain. I have to be very honest, my spark has dimmed a little and I no longer have the energy to pour into this business like I once did.
I’ve done a lot of soul searching over the last 18 months and have come to the very difficult decision that for my own physical and mental wellbeing, I need to move on from Second Life.

– Siddean Monro

In coming to this decision, Siddean also notes that the break is needed as she wants to focus on a new endeavour – as is her right, and we shouldn’t begrudge her this change in direction.

This latter point is doubly true in that while her decision is somewhat sudden in its implementation, it does not mean that it is the end of the road for the Slink ecosystem as a whole; the bodies still work, and there is a wealth of mesh and applier-based clothing still available on the Marketplace and in-world, the bodies still work with Bakes On Mesh, and so on. This isn’t all just going to vanish – so there’s no need for panic.

Of course, there is a risk that a major change with the avatar skeleton will “break” Slink avatars somewhere down the road on the basis that the avatars are no longer maintained – but there is as yet nothing on the horizon that threatens to do this – and it may never happen; as such, things are not going to vanish overnight. There is also a risk that creators entering the mesh clothing arena may opt not to support the brand and focus on Maitreya and Kupra, etc. However, the entire mesh clothing ecosystem has been skewed towards Maitreya, so this will unlikely make things any worse for Slink users. That said, things may be somewhat different for Cinnamon and Chai users, simply because of the newness of that brand; however, I’m simply not familiar enough with that body to know the potential repercussions, so will not speculate here.

As it stands, I don’t plan to move away from my Slink Hourglass any time soon – although I’m fortunate in that I have a Maitreya body “in reserve”, so to speak, so swapping away from Slink isn’t hard for me were I to decide to do so.

But what I will do here is pass on my thanks Siddean for all her work over some fifteen years in supporting Second Life users. I hope her new endeavour brings her as much success and – despite the rigours of the last 2+ years – all the enjoyment most of her Second Life has brought her.

With thanks to Soft Linden for the pointer. 

Hannah’s Dream Again in Second Life

Monocle Man Gallery: Hannah Starlight

Kicking off 2023 at Monocle Man Galleries, curated by Lynx Luga and Kit Boyd is an exhibition of art by Hannah Starlight entitled Dream Again – a fitting title to go with the start of a new year. It is an exhibition taking place in one of the newer galleries spaces Kit and Lynx are providing for artists within the Monocle Man facilities, being hosted within the Cabaret sky gallery.

This is an interesting gallery space, offered as something of a speakeasy-like cabaret club, tucked away out-of-sight of any passing authorities, reached by walking down a back alley and then climbing down into what appears to be a storm drain, but which is in fact the entrance to a “basement” club with wood panelled walls and deco-like electric lights.

Monocle Man Gallery: Hannah Starlight

Dream Again is a collection of 28 images, either mounted on the walls of the club or on easels located around the the columns and edges of the dance floor. Predominantly avatar-centric these are images rich in content and message – commentaries, if you will on life, love and expressing oneself, at least one of which I seem to recall from a prior exhibition (His Song), which does not in any way detract from the overall thrust of this exhibition.

Offered in a variety of formats, small and large, 4:3 through to fully panoramic, these are pieces which are all richly expressive and predominantly celebratory in nature. Given the time of year, some of the pieces might be seen as holding to the Christmas theme and ideals of faith: Here’s My Heart, Lord, The PrayerHe Carries Me, and  – perhaps most notably – A Baby Changes Everything. However, even while they may do so, they also speak to more secular interpretations; take A Baby Changes Everything: is it not true that a baby, whether of natural or divine conception, a miracle that truly changes everything for its parents?

Monocle Man Gallery: Hannah Starlight

Meanwhile, Beautiful Warrior speaks to the physical beauty of the subject, as we are drawn to look at her face. However, her pose, the placement of her arms in particular, speaks powerfully and eloquently to her inner strength in the face of what can be a terrifying and seemingly implacable foe – check the description of the piece for more on this.

Elsewhere within the collection, Hannah offers more direct celebrations on love, marriage and the joy of being able to freely express oneself and enjoy life. All are worthy of appreciation, although I confess that Light for Your Path drew me to it, not only because of its panoramic nature; whilst New Light, tucked away behind one of the columns, carries with it a simple, direct message of the power of new life, layered with the taboo nature of pregnancy as an expression of beauty (one might even say it offers a link to the other pieces with a divine lean to them: might the light of the Sun breaking through the clouds be taken as a spiritual reference to the light of God?

Monocle Man Gallery: Hannah Starlight

I’ll leave that for you to decide if this might be the case. In the meantime, I will say that Dream Again is a richly engaging exhibition, and it officially opens at 12:00 noon SLT on Sunday, January 1st, 2023 with a performance by Rogue.

SLurl Details

Monocle Man Caberet Gallery (Flying Fortress, rated Adult)