Silence and Freedom: the art of Anke Zamani

Flossify Gallery: Anke Zamani

Just off Route 9 as it passes over the Silvercreek Bridge in the north-west of Jeogeot, sits a small island shoulder between the mainland and the largest island within the continent’s great bay. Among the buildings snuggled into the island’s small space is Flossify Gallery, owned and curated by Joss Floss (Jossinta).

The gallery is devoted to promoting “the work of SL photographers working in a naturalistic or experimental style,” with exhibitions generally running through each month. On Saturday, February 2nd, the latest of these exhibitions opened, featuring the work of Anke Zamani.

Flossify Gallery: Anke Zamani

Spread across the three floors of the gallery, Anke presents a series of 27 photographs, predominantly landscapes / nature or studies of art. The majority of the pictures appear to have had little or no post-processing, which in this era of PhotoShop, GIMP et al, makes for a pleasant change, presenting as they do images witnessed as with the eye itself.

This makes for a charming, quite natural exhibition, with each of the pieces offers catching a moment in time to which we can all relate, from sunrises / sunsets through to reflections of time in solitude and / or meditation. Several of the images focus on the work of Mistero Hifeng, and I found these to be particularly captivating; no doubt in part because of my own bias towards Mistero’s work – but it is also very much also due to Anke’s skill in capturing the pieces and their surrounding emotion.

Flossify Gallery: Anke Zamani

An attractive exhibition that can be visited directly (and you can keep up with news on exhibitions at the gallery by joining the Flossify group through Joss’ profile) or as a part of a trip around the highways and byways of Jwogeot.

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Voir: art and environments combined in Second Life

Voir Gallery: Wild Weed – Calypso Applewhyte

One of the more unusual gallery spaces to be found in Second Life is that of the Voir Gallery complex, created and operated / curated by Frenchy25, and home to both his art and that of his SL partner, Caly Applewhyte (Calypso Applewhyte), as well as featuring exhibitions by other artists.

Quite where to begin a visit is a little difficult in a quarter region space that boasts some eight gallery areas, each one uniquely defined. This being the case, I’ve arbitrarily selected The Canyon top, an outdoor area to one side of the parcel, offering foot access to the majority of the exhibition areas.

The Voir Gallery and exhibition spaces

From here it is possible to walk along the broken landscape of Merdopolis, passing a tribute to the art of Donald Judd in Marfa, Texas along the way, to where a decrepit road bridge spans a narrow gorge. Cross this, and it will  lead you to down a ramp and along a street to The Garage (currently without an exhibition), or by way of metal stairways, either back along the canyon’s side to a tunnel-like exhibition space, or up to the Voir Gallery proper (of which the aforementioned garage forms the lowest level).

The Voir Gallery and the tunnel below and alongside of it both currently house Frenchy 25’s vividly evocative imagery; beautifully post-processed avatar studies and landscape scenes. In addition, and just outside the main entrance to the Voir, are steps down to The Underground, currently displaying more of Frenchy25’s art.

Voir Gallery: Frenchy25

If you prefer, there are two other routes to be taken from the Canyon top landing point. The first is down the wooden steps tto the floor of the canyon itself, and thence by way of a small street scene to the Wild Weed. This is a wonderfully steampunk themed exhibition space (take the stone steps down through the clouds of the “sky”), home to a recently opened and engaging exhibition of images by both Frenchy25 and Caly.

Alternatively, if you take the route along the Canyon top from landing point to the broken road bridge, but turn right, rather than stepping onto the bridge, you can make your way up to an outdoor seating area warmed by a brazier, and then down a fenced road to where a shuttle pod awaits (note that a similar pod is also available in the Wild Weed steampunk area). Climb into the pod, and it will carry you further aloft to the SS25 facility high in Earth orbit, offering both another place to explore and the opportunity to appreciate more of Caly’s and Frenchy25’s art, as well as pieces by 3D artists. A shuttle pod on the outer edge of the station will also return you to the launch platform above Topaz Square – or if you prefer, a teleport disk system links the two.

Voir Gallery: SS25

The shuttle pod is just one of the many interactive elements to be found within these gallery spaces. The cubes celebrating Donald Judd’s work, for example, include poses, while the art on display in the Wild Weed and be appreciated by sitting in the steel bucket suspended from a helium balloon, or sitting within the elevator car (although be careful here! Clicking the car when seated will cause it to rise, and it’s not quite aligned with the upper platform 🙂 ).

Should you find travelling on foot a little confusing, also note that there are teleport boards scattered throughout the parcel – although they may not be at all the locations described here. A typical example of these boards is at the Canyon top landing point, by way of an example.

Voir Gallery: SS25 – Calypso Applewhyte

The Voir gallery spaces make for an engaging visit, and offers something of a journey of discovery is seeking out all of the art on on display.

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Cica’s Drawn Town in Second Life

Cica Ghost: Drawn Town

I first came across Cica Ghost’s work as a result of Honour MacMillan writing a piece on Cica’s animated stick figures, displayed at LEA 13 from September 2012 through March 2013. Later in 2013 I visited Cica’s Rust, and fell in love with her work, which I started covering from Ghostville onwards.

I mention this because her latest piece, Drawn Town, which opened on February 1st, 2019, in some ways brings my acquaintance with Cica’s work full circle. Within it, she brings together both her familiar 3D design style and an echo of her drawings and stick characters.

Cica Ghost: Drawn Town

Set against a midnight sky and black sea, Drawn Town presents just that: a town surrounded by fields of flowers, all of which appear to have been drawn in chalk on a black board. Or perhaps a better description would be a white-on-black drawing raised from the pages of a pop-up book.

It’s a simple, delightful setting. Star like flowers rise from the darkened ground, mirroring those rising from many of the chimneys of the finger-thin houses. Roads and alleys pass between the houses and buildings, thier routes simple horizontal lines on the ground, while plazas are marked out like white-on-black chequer boards.

Cica Ghost: Drawn Town

Also scattered around and in the town are little black-and-white cars, available for anyone to jump into and start driving (just turn off your AO should you do so).  Also to be found are some of Cica’s familiar motifs: her cats, her little stick characters occupying various windows, and places to sit – such as a little café like setting in a town square, or benches by the fields of flowers.

Wrapped in a wonderfully apt quote by Maureen O’Hara, “In the beginning it was all black and white”,  Drawn Town is wonderfully whimsical, light and endearing. As per most of Cica’s builds, it will remain open through the month. Do be sure to visit!

Cica Ghost: Drawn Town

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Art and artists at La Maison d’Aneli

La Maison d’Aneli: Xirana

Now open at La Maison d’Aneli Gallery, curated by Aneli Abeyante, is an interesting ensemble art exhibition featuring the work of Nabrej Aabye, Xirana (Xirana Oximoxi) and Betty Tureaud.

A writer and artist in the physical world, where she is known as Núria Vives, Xirana presents Women Artists XVI-XIX, intended to both showcase the work of ten female artists from the 1500s through to the early 1800s. In particular, the exhibit is intended to illustrate “the difficulties they had to deal with to be recognised as professional artists”.

La Maison d’Aneli: Xirana

The ten artists in question are presented with a portrait by Xiranna, together with (for the most part) 2 of their paintings. The critique they faced is designed to be evidenced by the male silhouettes passing comment in speech bubbles.

However, how representative the comments are to critiques the artists may have faced is perhaps questionable. For example, the idea that Élisabeth Sophie Chéron was unknown as a painter in her lifetime is hard to reconcile with the fact that while alive, she was acclaimed as a gifted poet, musician, artist, and academicienne. I found myself having similar niggles around the presentation of several of the other artists as well (notably Mary Beale and Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun – with the latter, it is not unfair to say many artists, regardless of gender, depended upon the patronage of royalty and / or the rich).  The flip side to this is the controversy of accreditation of Judith Jans Leyster’s work is pretty on-the-nose. As such, in lieu of notes from Xirana outlining her view on how these artists faced prejudice, I would suggest taking time to Google them and draw your own conclusions.

La Maison d’Aneli: Nabrej Aabye

Across the hall, Nabrej Aabye presents a series of his vibrant paintings, split between those created in the physical world and those that appear to have originated with images captured in Second Life, all of which are framed by a story mounted on the wall in alongside the entrance to his display space.

These are all remarkable paintings, a good number abstract in nature, but all alive with colour and depth. Alongside  of the abstract are portraits suggestive of an origin within Second Life (Recto Verso and The Architect), while also to be found in the mix are animal studies, two of which also appear to have their roots in SL (The Elephants’ Dance and Refugees).

La Maison d’Aneli: Betty Tureaud

The final exhibit is a 3D installation by Betty Tureaud, which appears untitled. I’m note entirely sure how to view it myself so, and without wishing to appear in any way dismissive, I leave to visitors to define it for themselves.

Note: there are three further art displays on the gallery’s lower level for February; I’ll be returning to them in an upcoming article.

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Nostalgia in Second Life

DiXmiX Gallery: Mareea Farrasco

Nostalgia is the title of an exhibition by Mareea Farrasco that opened at DiXmiX Gallery curated by Dixmix Source, on January 26th, 2019.

Presenting twelve soft-toned images that perfectly reflect the idea of memory and nostalgia, this is a hauntingly beautiful display of art, each image almost heart-rending in its sense of wistfulness.

DiXmiX Gallery: Mareea Farrasco

Mixing landscapes with what might be regarded as avatar studies, clues to the pieces can be found within their title – Freezing Point, Islands, The Rain Army – which may suggest interpretation or may simply offer a clue to the story within. But what that story might be really comes down to your mood / frame of mind when viewing them.

Indeed, such is the personal nature of the images, to offer any interpretation here would be pointless; the most I can offer is the impact they had on me. Such as with Mer étale (Sea Spreads), a piece that to me captures both the loneliness we can feel in life – and the need we all at times feel of wanting to be alone.

DiXmiX Gallery: Mareea Farrasco

In this respect, were I to suggest a single emotion that seems to pervade several of the images offered, it would perhaps be solitude; this sense of being alone contrasting with a desire to be alone.

Given the depth of meaning present within these images, they each deserve study and time; they are pieces that should be considered, not just glanced at; absorbed, not just seen.

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Justine at Artful Expressions

Artful Expressions: Justine

Now open at Artful Expressions Gallery is a small, untitled exhibition of Second Life photographs by Justine Here (Justherforpix). Small though it might be, it is also a marvellous introduction to a photographer who – so I understand from talking to the Gallery’s curator, Sorcha Sanvean (Sorcha Tyles) – is unsure of her work. I’m not sure why; Justine has a remarkable eye for photographic composition and expression within our digital world.

Her skill is perfectly expressed in the six images offered for this exhibition. A mix of avatar studies and landscape images, each and every one of them is utterly exquisite. I’m often prone to discussing pictures in terms of the narrative they offer; I’m naturally drawn to doing so as words and expression drive me. Sometimes that narrative is rich, at others it is subtle. In these pieces it is simply extraordinary. Untitled, each piece naturally draws the eye and the imagination into seeing and telling a story about the moment in time – the moment in life so perfectly captured and framed with each.

Artful Expressions: Justine

And I do mean life; all six pieces breathe its very essence through their composition: the use of light, colour, tones, focus, depth. Similarly, the level of emotion conveyed in each piece is magnificent. These are not pictures simply to be seen; they offer themselves as works to be seen; they are images to be tasted and savoured; the stories within them to be experienced.

As such, I’ll say no more here – but I will urge you to go and see for yourself. This is a small, but truly elegant exhibition.

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