For those who have visited and enjoyed Cica Ghost’s region-wide art installations in Second Life over the last decade plus, her build for April 2023 may well raise a sense of nostalgia and memory, whilst retaining its own originality.
Happy Town, which opened on April 7th, 2023, presents a whimsical townscape with a rather unusual feature: everything in it appears to be made of, or covered by, sewn and stitched fabrics, or has been knitted. The land sits as a patchwork quilt, buildings appear to have wall coverings which have been sewn onto them, indoors and out. Even the trees are strangely two-dimensional, their tops looking like snare drums over which green baize has been stretched and onto which flowers have been sewn, before being sat on their sides atop hemmed and sewn trunks. Even the sky appears to be a grey blanket into which the clouds have been stitched like so many patches to cover holes or tears.
It is an engaging and imaginative setting, a place where only the citizens appear to be organic – and even these are not human. Instead, this is a town apparently populated by anthropomorphic cats who tend happy-go-lucky sheep, chickens and pigs whilst also working as the local mechanics. And even then, I’m not sure the sheep or chickens are actually being “kept” so much as also being local inhabitants.
True, they might for the most part be clustered in what might be taken for a central meadow, along with their barns and hen-houses whilst hemmed in (so to speak!) by a low fence with a single opening; but equally might this not also be the local park where the locals have simply come for some weekend fun? Certainly, the hi-fiving chickens seem to be having fun and the sheep – whilst possibly not related to Shawn the Sheep, look as capable as him.
The buildings are a curious mix – some on the ground, others up on stilts, some as wide as they are tall, some with pipes entering or exiting them. It is here that for those of us with long memories might feel that hint of nostalgia, as there is something about Happy Town this brings forth memories of Cica’s 2014 Small Town. This is further aided by the presence of the little cars and the road winding through the town. While both are different in nature to those of Small Town, sitting in one of the cars and setting out along the road brings back memories of driving around Small Town.
As well as the car to drive (you can be sure they are roadworthy thanks to the cats looking after them!), Happy Town includes places where you can dance, places to sit, ladders to climb, and a little theatre where another memory from Cica’s past builds: one of her animated stick figures as seen in the likes of Ghostville offered as a movie to be enjoyed.
Delightful and light, Happy Town will be open through April for people to enjoy.
- Happy Town (Mysterious, rated Moderate)