Category Archives: SL Art & LEA

Call for entries: UWA’s Transformations in Second Life

The University of Western Australia looks likely to cease most of its presence in Second Life at the end of July 2017. However, before then the long-time patron of arts and artistic expression in Second Life is running one more major art exhibition, and recently put out a call for entries.

“Our final show is to be titled “Transformations” and is about beginnings, endings, transitions, change,” UWA’s art curator FreeWee Ling stated in the announcement. “The theme is deliberately vague in order to allow for the broadest possible interpretation. It is intended to highlight the technologies of SL as a medium for creative expression. We especially want work that reflects on the past in SL and/or imagines the future of virtual art.”

Those wishing to apply to be a part of the exhibition are invited to subject one piece in any or all of the following categories: 2D art, 3D art and / or machinima (so entrants can subject up to 3 pieces, one in each category). The closing data for entries is 23:59 SLT, on Sunday April 30th, 2017.

It is important to note that this event is an exhibition and not a UWA challenge / competition. There is no judging panel and there will be no prizes offered. However, official exhibition catalogue will be published on-line as part of the UWA Studies in Virtual Arts (UWA SiVA) journal series.

General guidelines for entries are:

  • As noted above, artists may submit up to one entry each in 3D, 2D, and/or machinima (up to 3 entries in total). Collaborations are encouraged, so if you participate as a named collaborator on any entry, you may also submit a separate entry as an individual.
  • Land Impact limit for 3D work is 300. Sound and light emitting objects should be carefully crafted in consideration of other nearby entries. Objects that might impact other nearby entries may have to be placed on a platform to isolate it. In such cases a poster and TP device will be placed in the gallery. Any entry with excessive script lag may be refused or returned for revision.
  • 2D entries should reflect the theme and must be images substantially created in SL. Post-processing (e.g., Photoshop effects) should be kept to a minimum.
  • Machinima entries can be of any length or subject matter as long a they are substantially produced using SL as the primary medium and conform to other criteria listed here. A poster and/or screen shot will be placed in the gallery and in the exhibition catalogue along with a link to the machinima.

For the full entry guidelines, including how to submit your entry, please refer to the call for entries blog post. All enquiries, concerns, etc., about entering the exhibition should be addressed directly to FreeWee Ling, who has final say on any issue.

Good luck to all who enter!

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Molly Mirassou’s Studio M in Second Life

Hi, I’m Molly.  I’d like to invite you to my very first gallery exhibition. I am new to the world of SL photography and through a strange and unexpected series of events, I find myself with a warehouse gallery space for a month, and the need to fill it with (hopefully) beautiful things. I hope you can come for a visit!

So reads the invitation I received from Molly Mirassou concerning her first exhibition in Second Life. As I’m always keen to see work by artists who may not have (yet) had the exposure others have gained through their time in SL, I was only too happy to hop across and take a look.

As the invitation notes, Molly’s exhibition, simply entitled Studio M, can be found inside a large warehouse building rather than the more usual gallery space. Seven large format pieces are displayed against the walls, with the floorspace and a raised wooden area occupied by easel-mounted pieces.

The pieces on display is a broad mix, from avatar studies (self portraits, I believe), through architectural and art studies (notably Mistero Hifeng’s sculptures, which Molly has photographed to great effect) to landscapes. Most of the pieces appear to have minimal or no post-processing and simply utilise windlight settings. As such, they are refreshingly clean in style, crisply capturing their subjects.

She may be new to SL photography, but Molly clearly has an eye for subject and angle – something which can clearly be seen in the likes of Burning Cathedral (which I believe is a capture of the cathedral at Chouchou), the untitled Studio m alongside it, and, facing them, the powerfully evocative Enough, which can be seen at the top of this article.

Exhibiting your SL photography can be a daunting proposition – we all harbour doubts and uncertainties about our abilities. Molly, however, shows a definite ability to capture mood and emotion. As such, I’m certain that while this may be her first exhibition, it will not be her last; I’m certainly looking forward to seeing more of her work, and witnessing how her technique develops and the directions in which it might take her. The current exhibition will remain open through until Thursday, March 16th.

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The Photo Game in Second Life

How many words is a picture is worth? Come and view a small selection of photographs by Boudicca Amat and Ricco Saenz. Read what they have both written about each other’s pictures – and then leave your comments, too!

Thus reads the invitation to The Photo Game, an intimate little display of art being hosted at Boudicca Amat’s An Uncertain Destiny (which you can read about here). And when I say intimate – I mean just that: a total of 6 images are offered, three by Boudicca, and three by Ricco.

As the invitation states, this is something of an interactive exhibition: visitors are invited to click the links either alongside or below each piece and read the comments, and also leave comments of your own.

The images by Boudicca have been selected by Ricco, who also offers his own view on each piece – and Boudicca has done the same with the three images she has selected from Ricco’s work. Each offers an analysis of the other’s work based on the approach taken – both technically and artistically – in producing each image.

Given that Boudicca and Ricco are both consummate artists, their comments also form something of an invaluable guide to technique and approach for those of us who are considerably less able in our ability to wield the camera and produce consistent, rewarding results. Thus, while small, this exhibition offer far more than at first might first seem to be the case, and makes for an extremely worthwhile visit. And if you haven’t done so before, take a little time to tour An Uncertain Destiny as well – you won’t be disappointed!

Addendum: you can read more about the exhibition and its future on Ricco’s blog – and it’s a recommended read!

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The Gardens by the Bay in Second Life

Now open to visitors is the Gardens by the Bay, a full region installation by Maddy  (Nibby Riddler), who is perhaps best known for her Eclectica homestead region designs (which you can read about here and here). It is a stunning installation, rooted in the physical world, but with its own unique flavour, and I am not exaggerating in the slightest when I say it is a must see.

The inspiration for the design comes from Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay, a nature park spanning 101 hectares (250 acres) of reclaimed land in central Singapore. First announced in 2005, it is designed as Singapore’s permier outdoor recreation space, and a spearhead in the drive to transform the city-state  from a “Garden City” to a “City in a Garden”.

Working with far less than 250 acres, Maddy has beautifully captured the essence of the Gardens by the Bay, reproducing many of its iconic elements. Central to the design is the magnificent Supertree Grove. Vertical gardens in their own right, rising up to 50 metres (162 ft) into the air, these massive structures are home to enclaves of unique and exotic ferns, vines, orchids and bromeliaceae. They also perform a variety of functions to support the gardens around them. Just as an elevated walkway connects them in the physical world, so to does a similar walkway loop Maddy’s Supertrees, allowing visitors to gain a panoramic view of the gardens below.

Linked by a series of paths, the ground level gardens bring together elements found across all three of the major areas of the original, encapsulating so much of beauty, fauna and architecture without the region every feeling overcrowded, A note card is provided at the landing point to help visitors navigate around, and I thoroughly recommend taking it and reading it before starting any exploration.

Another aspect of the original offered to visitors is a representation of one of the massive greenhouses, home to a rich and colourful spread of flora. The famous Audemars Piguet Floral Clock, unveiled on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of Singapore independence in 2015, is also represented, as are the giant silvery ants which younger visitors to Singapore’s gardens find so irresistible – and so much more.

With places to sit and admire, opportunities to dance and capturing the essence of all three major areas of the original, Maddy’s Gardens  by the Bay is – in a word – magnificent. While the images here are all taken with minor tweaks to the default windlight for the region, the gardens lend themselves perfectly to other windlight settings, and are exceptionally photogenic.

Absolutely not something to be missed, Gardens by the Bay will remain open through until the end of June 2017. My thanks to Maddy for the personal invitation she extended to Caitlyn and I to pay a visit.

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