Art that’s Almost Blue(s) in Second Life

Vibes Gallery: Almost Blue(s) – Anaya Oneiro and Tutsy Navarathna

Almost Blue(s) is an ensemble exhibition featuring the work of 16 artists brought together in the gallery spaces at Vibes Gallery, curated by Eviana (eviana Robbiani).

The introduction to the exhibition speaks pretty much for itself – and is expanded upon in the halls itself.

Because blue is favoured by so many people, it is often seen as a non-threatening colour that can seem conservative and traditional. Blue brings to mind feelings of calm or serenity. It is often described as peaceful, tranquil, secure and orderly. Blue is often seen as a sign of stability and reliability.
Vibes Gallery: Almost Blue(s) – Peachy Holst, Hermes Kondor and Kiron

The artists participating in the exhibition comprise:

  • Theatre 7: Kimeu Korg, Meilo Minotaur, Shane Spero, Sonic and Karma Weymann.
  • Theatre 8: Peachy Holst, Kiron, Hermes Kondor, Anaya Oneiro and Tutsy Navarathna.
  • Theatre 9: Mya Audebarn, Evie Heights, Matt Marcus, Jo Molinaro, Ooxooi and Cate Vogel.

The majority of the artists offer two or three images that encompass the overall blue theme, with the majority of the images taking the form of avatar studies, some of which use blue tinting / lighting to convey a mood / emotion (as with Jo Molinaro. Mya Audebarn or Anaya Oneiro) or offer a narrative frame for a story (e.g. Matt Marcus or Tutsy Navarathna). Some sway toward broader tonal pieces to convey emotion / ideas (e.g. Kiron or Ooxooi), whilst all offer an engaging and richly diverse series on pieces that demonstrate individual talents to the fullest.

Vibes Gallery: Almost Blue(s) – Mya Audebarn, Cate Vogel and Jo Molinaro

Adding a sense of emotion and depth to each of the theatres are additional words – the lyrics from Almost Blue by Elvis Costello, the represents of music through the colour blue – or, if you prefer, the description of the tones musical instruments in terms of the colour blue -, which serve to add a further layer of interpretation to the pieces on display.

With pieces that both contract and compliment whilst reflecting and interpreting the central theme through multiple ideas, forms and narratives, Almost Blue(s) is an engaging exhibition set out within a gallery space that doesn’t leave you feeling overwhelmed by the pieces on display.

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Milena’s Masks in Second Life

The Carbone Studio: Milena Carbone – Masks

Masks. Whether physical or otherwise, have always been a part of humankind’s multi-faceted cultures, and also a part of life itself.

Every day we use masks of one form or another, whether we recognise this fact or not, as a means of projection and / or as a means to try to shape how others perceive us (for example: the manner in which we project ourselves at work, is not the same as how we present ourselves among family; who we are in courtship is not necessarily reflective of who we are going to be in marriage, and so on).

We use these masks so subconsciously, that the majority of times we’re not really aware of them. Even when we are alone, we will often adopt and outlook or frame of mind to mask the anxieties and fears that might otherwise plague us. However, there is another way we use masks: to hide that which we do not wish to see. Whether it is the homeless man asleep on a park bench or the images of war and strife on the television or those fears the come upon us in the night,  we mask them out out by focusing our attention elsewhere in the park or in the room or in our thoughts, so we are no longed plagued by what we are seeing / thinking.

The Carbone Studio: Milena Carbone – Masks

It is these latter uses of masks – the tuning out, the looking elsewhere, and on on – that Milena Carbone uses as the central theme to her latest exhibition, called simply Masks, and which is currently open within her personal gallery space at the Carbone Gallery.

I wanted to explore our relationship to the mask, an object that dates back to the beginnings of time mankind … to ask the question of the masks that we do not see as masks; what hides our sight, our anxieties, our fears, ours disgusts; what hides the real that we do not wish to see. 

Milena Carbone

Offering a series of nine images (together with support texts and quote) in the minimalist style that Milena executes so well, Masks explores our subconscious use of masks and projection in a manner that is both stark and richly nuanced, each with layers of narrative to be peeled away.

For my part, I found myself drawn to The Tyranny of Truth, with its triple layering of ideas of courtship, the manner in which “truth” can be used as means to enforce authoritarianism (look at the stance of the figure in white), or an inconvenience to be denied, shied away from (the attitude of the masked figure), together with We’re Fictions and Burned Out.

The Carbone Studio: Milena Carbone – Masks

These latter two in particular framed – and to me – the ideas that whether we are aware of it or not, we frame ourselves in so many masks we risk losing ourselves within fictional projections and that when all has been peeled away of the masks in which we shroud ourselves, nought by a shell of whom we might have been remains. In this, We’re Fictions and Burned Out brought to mind two further quotes which might also frame this exhibition along with the Banksy quote (itself a variation on Wilde’s more famous comment on masks) Milena uses with the exhibition, and those quotes are:

You wear a mask for so long, you forget who you were beneath it.

– Alan Moore

And:

We all wear masks, and the time comes when we cannot remove them without removing some of our own skin.

– André Berthiaume

Masks is a carefully understated exhibition that actually has a lot to say.

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Happiness in Cica’s Garden in Second Life

Cica Ghost: Garden, May 2022
Happiness is a butterfly in my garden.

This is the sentence Cica Ghost uses to introduce visitors to her latest installation in Second Life, entitled Garden. It’s an expression that brings to mind a couple of thoughts, both of which aptly apply to Cica’s build.

The first expression comes from taking Cica’s words as given. For who can look upon butterflies on a summer’s day as they flutter around the blooming plants of a garden seemingly at random with brightly coloured wings catching the sunlight or raised like gay sails as they rest upon leaf, flower, or branch, and not feel a sense of happiness and joy?

Cica Ghost: Garden, May 2022

And within this setting there are butterflies a-plenty, hovering here and there over an expanse of clover and grass and flowers that tower over visitors like trees, and within which watering cans stand like (and indeed, have become) houses. Along with the butterflies, ants are also at work – more particularly, at play. Some chat with the butterflies, some sit upon the bent stalks of flowers or clover, waving for us to photograph them, whilst others perform feats of acrobatics in order to get up onto taller stalks!

Caught beneath a hazy teal sky, this is a wild corner of a garden with trails winding between tall flowers and clovers to lead visitors to places where they can sit and observe or join in a happy little dance alongside butterflies or ants, or – if they accept Cica’s gift at the landing point – drift along beneath their wings of their very own wearable butterfly.

Cica Ghost: Garden, May 2022

Garden is a simple, charming setting, where not even the trio of huge cats are out to cause trouble; instead, they are happy to converse with a little caterpillar who appears to have missed out on the opportunity to snooze its way to butterfly status in a chrysalis – and one of the moggies is even happy to have avatars take a seat on its back!

The other expression Cica’s description for Garden brought to mind is perhaps a little deeper:

Happiness is like a butterfly – the more you chase it, the more it will elude you. But if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.
Cica Ghost: Garden, May 2022

Granted, this may well not be what Cica had in mind when writing her description for the installation, but it nevertheless fits her garden, because right now with all the bleakness of news and headlines surrounding us in the physical world, we could all do with a little happiness. With its charm, simplicity and plethora of careful inhabitants, Garden presents an opportunity to turn our attention away from the things that crowd our thoughts, allowing that happiness to settle on us like that butterfly alighting on our shoulder.

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Nara’s Forgotten Ghost in Second Life

Art Korner: Nara Ghost – Forgotten Ghosts

Currently open within Frank Atisso’s Art Korner hub is Forgotten Ghosts by Nara Marcus (Nara Ghost), a quite captivating series of black and white studies that are wrapped within a personal theme whilst each piece carries its own narrative mood – although I very much doubt what is offered in terms of theme and narratives will be lost on any of us, as Forgotten Ghosts very much holds up a mirror into which we can all gaze.

Life can be a complicated thing. We can have periods when everything seems to be ganging up on us: tasks take longer to complete than expected, or become overly onerous; moods plummet; people around us all appear to be operating in their own gloom; worries about just about everything – life, work, health, kinds, parents, finance, etc., – seem to build themselves into insurmountable peaks all around us, and so on. But then circumstances change, and we find ourselves bursting through them, with life becoming brighter, lighter and something to be enjoyed – yet even when this happens, those darker times haunting us and perhaps informing us.

Art Korner: Nara Ghost – Forgotten Ghosts

These latter times – when feeling good, but the shadows are lurking – are the moments Nara explores within Forgotten Ghosts, part of the exhibition title reflects her avatar’s name, thus emphasising the personal perspective contained within the 16 images on display, something further emphasised in her use of urban environments for the images in reflection of the fact she is from a city background.

These are all images that have been carefully posed and constructed – and quite beautifully so – to capture the personal moods Nara wishes to convey. However, their brilliance lies in the fact that while personal to her, they each carry a richness of mood, emotion and / or narrative with which anyone viewing these pieces can identify. This is likely because, as Nara notes herself when introducing the exhibition, we tend to be more driven by the things that haunt us than those that don’t.

Every day, I try to live a healthy and happy SL, but the darker and moody vibes seem to be easier to connect with and drive me to create. I hope you appreciate it as much as I did, like the entire process and the end outcome.

– Nara Marcus (Nara Ghost)

Art Korner: Nara Ghost – Forgotten Ghosts

All of which make for an evocative and engaging display of art.

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2022 Raglan Shire Artwalk in Second Life

Raglan Shire Artwalk 2022

Raglan Shire, Second Life’s Tiny community, has once again opened its doors to people from across the grid as participating artists and visitors are invited to the Raglan Shire Artwalk 2022.

This year, the the event runs from Sunday, May 15th, through until Sunday, June 19th, 2022. It  offers an opportunity not just to appreciate a huge range of art from both the physical and digital worlds, but to also tour the Shire regions and enjoy the hospitality of the Raglan Shire community.

A non-juried exhibition, the Artwalk is open to any artist wishing to enter, and has minimal restrictions on the type of art displayed (one of the most important being all art is in keeping with the Shire’s maturity rating). All of this means that it offers one of the richest mixes of SL art displayed within a single location in Second Life, with 2D art is displayed along the hedgerows of the Shire’s pathways and tree platforms overhead and 3D art among the community’s parks.

Raglan Shire Artwalk 2022: Marcel Mosswood and Barry Richez

Each year attracts well over a hundred SL artist – and this year is no exception. The depth and range of art on display is guaranteed to keep visitors exploring the paths and walks around the through the hedgerows – and if walking proves a little much, there are always the Shire’s tours to ease the load on the feet.

Also, teleport boards are provided to help people find their way around the exhibition spaces. However, given this is an opportunity to visit and appreciate Raglan Shire, I do recommend exercising your pedal extremities and doing at least some of your exploration on foot – just keep in mind people do have their homes in the regions as well.

Given the number of artists involved, there isn’t a published list of participants, but anyone interested in the world of SL art is bound to recognise many of the names of the artists here. The Artwalk is also a marvellous way to see art from both our physical and digital worlds and for catch artists both familiar and new to your eye. Just don’t try to see it all at once; the Artwalk is open for a month, which gives plenty of time for browsing and appreciating the art without feeling overloaded.

Raglan Shire Artwalk: someone called “Pey” … 🙂

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All of the Raglan Shire Artwalk regions are rated General)

Art and a rock in Second Life

Onceagain Art Gallery: Penis Rock, May 2022

It might have a title the hints at something sexual / upsetting but Penis Rock, an ensemble exhibition that opened on May 7th, 2022 at the Onceagain Art Gallery curated by Onceagain (Manoji Yachvili), really isn’t – although it does have an “Adult” section and a slightly lewd rock formation outside of the exhibition space.

The exhibition has been inspired by a mesh rock formation that has a certain resemblance to a certain male appendage – and which, like said male appendage, can also change in size depending on how it is stretched. However, rather than being intentionally lewd or sexual, the images presented are, for the most part intended to be fun and raise a smile.

Onceagain Art Gallery: Penis Rock, May 2022

Growing out of an in-world rock climbing expedition to a location where the rock had been included, the exhibition presents images by Alex Amore,  Alsatian Kidd, Ambre Singh, Crash Landers, Eupalinos Ugajin, Loony Perl, Jack in the box, Kika Yongho, Madoka Kawabata, Manoji Yachvili, Mara Telling, Zakk Bifrandt and Zedillo. All feature said phallic rock in one way or another, and may either present the likes of a simple landscape in which a finger-like rock stands, or as trios of images intended to be considered side-by-side or as pieces intended to offer a story – or even present a degree of social commentary – such as Ambre Singh’s Schism of Faith.

Reading the titles of some of the images may be required in order to appreciate them fully; others might be appreciated simply because of their artistic presentation – such as with Manoji Yachvili’s Grauland trio (the rock in question recently appeared in one of the Grauland region designs and helped to formulate the idea for the exhibition).

Onceagain Art Gallery: Penis Rock, May 2022

In terms of “Adult” content, these images have been placed in a room of their own, clearly indicated by a neon sign as Adult Only. These are not overly sexual in nature – although there are some obviously suggestive pieces and also some avatar nudity. When it comes to humour, I confess to finding two more pieces by Ambre giving rise to smiles. These are, Overprotective, which speaks for itself, and her proboscis monkey-filled Houston We Have a Problem, which is offers a richness of humour from the monkey schnozzes and somewhat bewildered expressions of the simians that seem to ask, “Oi, why are you sniggering?” and they look out of the frame at us, to an entire 2001: A Space Odyssey vibe that seems to be going on thanks again to said noses and the rock rising in the background.

All told, a fun exhibition that should not be taken overly seriously, but within which the art is rich in content.

Onceagain Art Gallery: Penis Rock, May 2022

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