Interpretations of genres at Blue Orange in Second Life

Blue Orange Art Project 5: Stabitha and Talullah Winterwolf

I was stunned to discover it’s been over 2½ years since my last visit to Ini Inaka’s Blue Orange music and arts venue.  True, for part of that time, the space seemed to be quiescent, but the gap has meant I may have come close to missing the 5th of the Blue Orange Art Projects, given it opened at the start of the 2021.

These Art Projects bring together an ensemble of 2D and 3D artists and creators from across Second Life, who are invited to display their work as something of a contiguous, semi-thematically linked series of displays and installations to be found throughout the seemingly random jumble of display spaces – a layout which encourages careful exploration in order to discover all of the art.

Blue Orange Art Project 5: Eupalinos Ugajin (left) and Olympe 

For the 5th Art Project, Blue Orange brings together Amanda (aht1981), Andromeda (pehi61), Chibbchichi, Tx (ThierryTillier), Eupalinos Ugajin, Gitu Aura, Grady Echegaray, Kleines Sternchen, Mistero Hifeng, Olympe (Olympes Rhode), Stabitha (What88 Zond), Talullah Winterwolf, Tx (ThierryTillier), Venus Adored and  Xirana (Xirana Oximoxi). Together they present a mix of 3D elements (perhaps only 1 per 3D artist) and 2D art displays that have been put together around the theme of four core art movements: Dadaism, Surrealism, Avant-garde and Expressionism (with a lean towards German Expressionism of cinema in the Weimar Republic, 1918-1933).

Each of the artists has been left free to adopt whichever of these movements they find personally appealing, with some touching upon more than one, and others folding-in additional artistic statements. for example, Xirana’s Children in War, and Andromeda’s compositions (some of them interactive – by sure to touch the stars of the constellations) on the subject of astronomy / stargazing.

Blue Orange Art Project 5: Gitu Aura

The latter may not initially appear to fit in any of the four movements. But when you consider the marvels of the cosmos around us, and how they can present a juxtaposition of realities (our own finite span of years compared to the seeming endless enduring of the universe around us); the manner in which some of us illogically assign the happenstance alignment of distance celestial bodies as seen from Earth with some kind of mystical power that affects our lives, and yet we can create images of painting of them which match our ability to photograph them, then the alignment between astronomical images and surrealism starts to become clearer, particularly when you add the fact the way they evoke emotional experience rather keeping us focused on the physical reality of everyday life, and the link gains further strengthened.

Elsewhere, Olympe marvellously captures aspects of Avant-garde together with elements of surrealism through her fractal paintings that are richly captivating in form and colour. In the space below, Tx celebrates the irrationality and photomontage of Dadaism in the company of Amanda, who leans more towards Expressionism – as does  Grady Echegaray in the neighbouring room, whilst also borrowing from the art of collage (also to be found within Cubism).

Blue Orange Art Project 5: Xirana

This is a exhibition that should be explored carefully and without rush; there are multiple ways through the various exhibit spaces, not all of which may at first appear obvious (look for the arrows and the signs). Venus Adored, for example, has an immersive 3D experience that touches on all four movement, but can be missed by the unwary if the sign and  arrow inviting people to walk through a wall are not spotted.

Venus’ exhibit is also one that requires both Advanced Lighting Model (ALM) and shadows to be enabled in order to appreciate it fully; elsewhere it is probably best to have ALM enabled (Preferences → Graphics → Advanced Lighting Model checked), but it is not necessary to have shadows enabled throughout.

Blue Orange Art project 5: Mistero Hifeng (foreground) and Talullah Winterwolf

Richly mixed,  Blue Orange Art Project 5 makes for an engaging visit.

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Landscapes, avatars and digital dreams in Second Life

GenovArt June 2021: Deyanira Yalin

I made a return trip to the GenovArt Galleries, curated by Juna (Junanuj) to continue my promised explorations of the Glass Hall there, after my initial visit to the B&W Hall last month (see: Four artists for June at GenovArt in Second Life).

My visit came just after the opening of the new ensemble exhibition within the hall that features the work of Jamee Thomson (Jamee Sandalwood), Vanessa Jane (VanessaJane66), Deyanira Yalin and Eyes Kirschtaria (varutina).

GenovArt June 2021: Jamee Thomson (Jamee Sandalwood)

Both Jamee and Venessa are highly regarded for their landscape images of Second Life, and rightly so. Although neither is constrained to just this form of art, it is the core of the pieces they present on the lower and upper levels respectively of the gallery.

Each of them has a considered eye for their work, perfectly balancing angle, cropping, lighting, post-processing and finishing to produce truly memorable pieces that both reflect the region in which they were captured and offer very individual views of Second Life.

GenovArt June 2021:  Vanessa Jane (VanessaJane66)

Deyanira Yalin has been active in Second life since 2007, but I believe that this exhibition is the first time I’ve encountered her work; a fact that is to my loss, as her art is simply marvellous.

It is also said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I believe that my art is the product of cumulative dreams and visualisation. I get joy if the beholder finds something unique to him or herself that may be hidden or may be an illusion. I do not know if I am an Artist or a dreamer who likes fiction and dreams, but what I believe is inspired by all of the above.

– Deyanira Yalin, describing her art

GenovArt 2021: Deyanira Yalin

A graphic designer by training, Deyanira has had her work exhibited in Mexico City, and her involvement in Second Life has enabled her to fully embrace the digital art form – a fact more than demonstrated at GenovArt.

These are truly extraordinary works that fold into them digital collage, suggestions of abstract art, surrealism, pop art and  – notably those images in the rear section of her exhibition – a tremendous depth of narrative.

GenovArt 2021: Deyanira Yalin

As such, I would respond to Deyanira’s musing on whether she is an artist or a dreamer by saying there is no either/or – she is both, and she is also a weaver of dreams and teller of tales through her work.

Eyes Kirschtaria is another artist whose work I do not believe I’ve previously encountered.

GevovArt June 2021: Eyes Kirschtaria (varutina)

Hailing from Japan, he presents a magnificent series of male avatar studies at GeovArt, all of them deeply rooted in fantasy and the imagination, and each ready to weave its own tale of heroes and / or villains, warriors and princes, magicians and hunters, and more.

Rich in colour and depth, several of these works beautifully blend what might be seen as western fantasy and oriental tales and influences, whilst others offer more traditional oriental tales in the making or enfold touches of science-fantasy (who cannot see shadows of the Dune series hiding within 15, for example?).

GenovArt June 2021: Eyes Kirschtaria (varutina)

With its rich diversity of talent and content, the June exhibition at GenovArt’s Glass Gallery exhibition should not be missed.


A Variation in Art in Second Life

Janus II Gallery: Etamae and Imaginary Footprints – Variation

Saturday, June 12th saw the opening of Variation, a joint exhibition of art by Eta (etamae) and Imaginary Footprints.

Hosted at the Janus II Gallery at Chuck Clip’s Sinful Retreat, Variation is the second such collaboration by the artists I’ve visited, the first being Memories of a Forgotten Reality (see: A Foreign Reality in Second Life), which I found to be an absorbing exhibit both in style and its collaborative development – and the e same can be said of Variations.

Supplied without exposition by the artists, Variation appears to follow the approach seen with Memories, with each artist starting with a single piece before passing it to the other, the back and forth continuing as the piece gradually evolve in accordance with the perceptions and thoughts of the artists.

Janus II Gallery: Etamae and Imaginary Footprints – Variation

However, where there was a central theme to Memories that likely focused each artist’s thinking when working on an image, the lack of stated vision apparent with Variation has offered perhaps far greater freedom,  with each piece becoming entirely framed within the individual thought processes and feelings of each artist as they worked with it. Thus, the focus of the art – and the exhibition as a whole, is the variation that marked the evolution of each piece.

The result is a collection of art that is broad in scope and potential interpretation. In terms of style and / or genre, there are pieces that might be said to have their roots in abstraction, others that lean towards expressionism or surrealism, and still others touching on abstract expressionism or digital etching. Not all are 2D or static;  the added 3D elements presenting a certain depth, particularly those that are placed alongside 2D images they appear to reflect.

Janus II Gallery: Etamae and Imaginary Footprints – Variation

In terms of subject matter, the best place to start is to paraphrase a comment by Eta’s SL partner, Jos:

The only perspective that will be objective is your subjectivity.

That is to say, such is the depth to which these pieces speak, the only way to hear what they might say is to witness them for yourself and and let your own eye and emotions frame your perception / understanding of them.

However, with that in mind, I  will say that I found Variation suggestive of a dream state – something enhanced by the overall environment in which Eta and Imaginary have framed the exhibition. A condition wherein the conscious mind is at rest and the subconscious is steady processing all that it has been a party to. Such processing can give rise to bright and dark moments (dreams and nightmares), and similar moments might be found within these piece, tugging and twisting our thinking and emotions into a state of variation.

Janus II Gallery: Etamae and Imaginary Footprints – Variation

Superbly produced and presented, Variation is a marvellously absorbing exhibition.

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Kultivate 6th annual Spring Art Show in Second Life

Kultivate Spring Art Show, 2021

Currently underway until Sunday, June 13th, 2021 is the Kultivate’s Magazine 6th annual Spring Art Show in Second Life, featuring the work of some 32 artists, supported by daily music events.

Kultivate Magazine is a publication about the cultural aspects of Second Life, its goal is to support art, culture, photography, music, and fashion. The brand includes the magazine, The Windlight Art Gallery, The Edge Gallery, The Kultivate Loft Gallery, Signature Gallery, AIR Gallery, the Select Gallery and the satellite Dene Gallery located in Rosehaven. In addition, Kultivate Magazine is the media partner and primary sponsor of Team Diabetes of Second Life, an official and authorised fund-raising team for The American Diabetes Association.

Kultivate Spring Art Show 2021 – Vita Theas

The participating artists for the  2021 Spring Art Show comprise: 4pril Resident, Amanda, Angel Heartsong, Anouk Lefavre, Cutewillow Carlberg, Dandilyon Jinx, Dawnbeam Dreamscape, Deynira Yalin, Elise Sirnah, Eucalyptus Carroll, Eve Petlyakov, Jamee Sandalwood, Johannes Huntsman, Kacey Macbeth, Kapaan Resident, Klint Kord, Lena Kopiak, Matt Thomson, Myra Wildmist, Ohara Takamori, Phoenix, Roxcee REesident, Sabine Mortenwold, Sandor, Sevant Anatra, Sheba Blitz, Slatan Dryke, Tempest Rosca, Vanessa Jane, Veruca Tammas, Viktor Savior, and Vita Theas.

The setting for this year’s event is a formal garden rich in the colours of spring, the artists all occupying individual greenhouses around the edges of the gardens, a broad footpath offering the way around.

Kultivate Spring Art Show 2021 – Vanessa Jane

Entertainment for the rest of the show- my apologies to John and Tempest for only getting to it as it reaches its mid-point – is as follows (all times SLT):

  • Thursday, June 10th
    • Daily Giveaways: 10 gift cards.
    • 13:00: live musician Ziggy Sixpence.
    • 14:00: live vocalist Jackie Lefko
  • Friday, June 11th:
    • Daily Giveaways: 10 gift cards.
    • 18:00: live musician Dee Timeless.
    • 19:00: live musician Thunderfoot.
  • Saturday, June 12th:
    • Daily Giveaways: five skyboxes by Inverse.
    • 17:00: live vocalist Aislen Sings.
    • 18:00: live musician J Lively.
  • Sunday, June 13th:
    • Daily Giveaways: two 3D Environment 360 view skyboxes by Inverse.
    • 13:00: awards ceremony.
    • 14:00: live vocalist Sarita.
    • 15:00: live vocalist Samm Quenda.
    • 23:30: Art Show ends.

So be sure to hop along and enjoy the entertainment and appreciate the art!

Kultivate Spring Art Show, 2021 – Sevant Anatra

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Anja’s Surrealism in Second Life

Nitroglobus Roof Gallery: Anja’s Surrealism

As a cultural movement, surrealism developed in Europe towards the end of the First World War, and is best known its visual art, music and writings that offer the juxtaposition of different realities to challenge the eye and the mind.

In terms of art, those embracing the movement initially tended towards scenes and settings that could appear unnerving – or at best illogical – that could bring together the ordinary and the extraordinary, the approach intended to allow the artist’s subconscious to express itself more than their conscious processes. Thus, pieces often feature the elements of surprise and that of and non sequitur, which tend to become the focus of their art when viewed, rather the being an expression of the philosophical movement surrealism was intended to be.

Nitroglobus Roof Gallery: Anja’s Surrealism

However, when well executed, surrealist art brings together a balance; a joining of the natural with the non sequitur, of colour with form and the subconscious of the artist with the imagination of the observer that is captivating and extraordinary to witness.

This is absolutely the case with the art of Anja (Neobookie), who is the artist of the month for June 2021 at Nitroglobus Roof Gallery, curated by Dido Haas. On display is the most stunning display of surrealist art it has been my pleasure to witness, one that fully embraces the core principals of the movement whilst encompassing broader photographic and artistic techniques and commentary.

Nitroglobus Roof Gallery: Anja’s Surrealism

Through her work, Anja is able to touch on subjects in her images in a way that is entirely non-directive. Take Free Willy, Survivors, and Wrong Shipping for example, with their subtle suggestions of our relationship with the world around us.

Elsewhere might be found commentary on the human condition – life and relationships – and an embracing of technique such as fata morgana and chiaroscuro that is simply captivating. But, and at the risk of repeating myself, it is important that you do not try to directly seek meaning in these pieces – rather allow them to talk to you, a Anja herself notes:

Do not try to understand all of the images shown, but just let them affect you. Even after two rounds of wandering, are you able to discover a pattern? Is there a common theme or common thread? Crazy, crazier, craziest seems to be the only connection and thing in common in this colourful collection of ‘Anja’s Surrealism’.
Nitroglobus Roof Gallery: Anja’s Surrealism

So, do take the time to drop into Nitroglobus through June and let Anja’s Surrealism to whisper its words to you.


June at Jamison Arts in Second Life

Jaimson Arts, June 2021

Having opened its door in mid-May, Jamison Arts is a boutique style gallery operated by Harlow Jamison (HarlowJamison), a long-term Second life resident enjoying a new lease of life within the platform.

Located in a  cosy building of a style popular with SL gallery owners simply because it naturally lends itself to being used as exhibition space, Jamison Arts offer two floors for displaying art, which might be used for joint or ensemble exhibitions or (potentially) for a focused exhibition of a single artist’s work

Jamison Arts: SabrinaCooke

For the May / June exhibition – which I’m getting to a little late, so my apologies to Harlow and the artists – the former is the case, with Harlow devoting the ground level of the gallery to a New Artist Showcase featuring the work of SL photographer SabrinaCooke, with the upper level split between the original art of Jaelle Faerye and original digital art by Aruba DeCuir.

The exhibition marks the first Sabrina has made in Second life – although she is active on Flickr and has displayed her work in the physical world. Centred on avatar studies and portraits, the pieces she presents at Jamison are an engaging selection of work that both captures the beauty and vitality of the Second Life avatar, and which off a masterclass in chiaroscuro for those who may wish to witness more after my last article on the subject.

Jamison Arts: SabrinaCooke
Nor is it solely chiaroscuro that is demonstrated here. Colour, lighting, focus, cropping, attention to detail – all are woven together into a series of images, each one of which forms its own single-frame story.

One the upper floor, the space is split between Jaelle and Aruba, with Jaelle presenting a series entitled Animals, a series of paintings on that very subject, with a particular focus on horses. The majority appear to be watercolours, and while I’d perhaps prefer to see them in a larger style if only to discern more of the detail within them, they are all pieces that are beautifully presented.

Jamison Arts: Jaelle Faerye

Aruba’s art is broad ranging, with “traditional” pieces vying for attention with more abstracted pieces and collages. Here she present a small selection of paintings that lean towards the latter, with several pieces offering text to get the grey matter working.

Offering three very different artistic styles that come together into a single engaging exhibition, Jamison Arts offers a richness of talent well worth seeing before the current exhibition draws to a close.

Jamison Arts: Aruba DeCuir

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