Wednesday May 10th 2023 saw the opening of a new exhibition of work by Wicked Eiren at the Heartsong Erotica Galleries owned and curated by Luanamae Heartsong. Entitled Ocean’s Dance, this is a small but utterly captivating selection of black-and-white / monochrome pieces is located in the West Gallery at Heartsong. All of the images feature the-artist-as-the-model, and all convey and emotional depth and narrative strength.
I first encountered Wicked’s avatar-focused SL photography in June 2022, when Dido Haas hosted Body Language/The Invisible Woman, an intensely powerful visual narrative focused on Wicked’s life as someone suffering from Complex Chronic Disease – also known as Central Sensitivity Syndromes (CSS) and it resultant psychological impact, in terms of both the condition and the reaction of others around the sufferer to their situation, it can cause (see Art and Complex Chronic Disease in Second Life).
Her condition has not robbed Wicked for her zest for life; she is passionate about the things she enjoys, and as a practicing Buddhist, she does her best to offer a positive, loving outlook in her interactions with all living things she encounters and refusing to allow the demands of CCD / CSS deny her her womanhood as much as she can.
This attitude is very much present within the images presented within Ocean’s Dance, a selection of 16 greyscale images, six of which are reproduced as split monochrome works on three free-standing displays, all of which feature oceanside settings. All are deliberately untitled (other than the name of the exhibition and a number), there only supporting text coming in the form of a single-stanza ode in celebration of the ocean’s call. In this, Wicked notes:
As a creator, I like the image to transcend the viewer into a memory or emotional that is purely of their own intimate personal journey inspired by my work [and] not to be formed from any “title” I might place on it. So please step in and don’t be afraid to dip your toes!
– Wicked Eiren
By leaving the pieces so open to interpretation like this, Wicked does indeed invite us to go where our thoughts opt to walk as when look at the images in this series – a freedom enhanced by the fact that there is not explicit order to viewing the pieces; just enter and appreciate and let go of your imagination.
For me, Ocean’s Dance is once again a celebratory story; the freedom visible in each of the pieces, be it expressed by pose or windswept hair or expression or scudding and seemingly roiling clouds or the foaming splash of a wave, is only too apparent. These are pieces that speak to the core desire of being free in and of oneself to express a vitality and sensuality of life and desire free from labels and unencumbered by thoughts of how the resultant images speak to an audience.
I could continue to was lyrical about Ocean’s Dance, but honestly, and as with Body Language/The Invisible Woman, this is an exhibition which deserves to be seen first-hand.
- Heartsong Erotica Galleries (Cira, rated Adult)