Linden Endowment for the Arts: update

Storm Septimus, Untitled – LEA 28, March 2018

As I blogged in mid-July, the Linden Endowment for the Arts (LEA) as we currently know it is due to close at the end of August (see: Linden Endowment for the Arts to officially close). Following that news, I further blogged about a move to try and save – or replace – the LEA (see: LEA: more on the closure, and a move to save it).

Obviously, any move to save / replace the LEA would require the (preferably active) involvement of Linden Lab. In the meantime, Tansee Resident and Riannah Avora, the two artists who formed the in-world group to try to save the LEA have been collecting ideas and feedback from artists and those supportive of LEA, which have been supplied to them via note cards. On August 7th, Tansee contacted me to let me know of the current situation:

I will share with you that we have 33 note cards and I would say 90% of all the ideas presented are all the same, so we know that we are moving forward in the right direction.

One of the note cards received came via Scylla Rhiadra, who took up my request to collate comments put forward in the forum thread also on the subject – so I’d like to pass on my thanks to Scylla for doing that!

The Eternal Suspense, Giovanna Cerise - LEA 21
Giovanna Cerise, The Eternal Suspense – LEA 21, May 2015

Tansee also confirmed – as per comments made through the “LEA 2.0” group, that contact has been made with Derrick and Patch Linden, and a meeting has been set-up to discuss what the group has been doing and the ideas that have been gathered.

In the meantime, people have also contacted the Lab directly on the subject, which has prompted the following general reply:

Thank you for your expressed interest in the Linden Endowment of the Arts (LEA) program. As this program comes to an end we are considering our options to move forward with Arts Program support. Once a decision is made on how best to support the amazing talents within the Second Life community we will post a public blog so that everyone will have an equal opportunity for involvement.

Thank you for your support of The Arts in Second Life,

Linden Lab™

Tansee has dropped a line to Izzy Linden, from whose account the above was sent, to confirm the planned meeting is still going ahead and to ask if input from the group is still required / welcomed.

None of this means that the LEA will be “saved” of course, but it is encouraging that the Lab is considering matters internally, and is willing to hear from residents in the matter. As such, I’ll endeavour to provide further updates as and when possible / appropriate.

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Paper folding and letters in Second Life

The Sim Quarterly: Orizuru

The Sim Quarterly is a new artistic endeavour by Electric Monday. This homestead region is intended to offer artists a three month period in which to display their work.

Art and the virtual world, Second Life© are very similar —you are able to both find yourself and immerse yourself (and maybe even lose yourself) in something totally unlike what you already know. The experiences you gain help you grow and form new opinions about the world. That is what I hope this sim can provide over time. I am very excited to bring to you a quarterly art project by way of The Sim Quarterly.

– Electric Monday, describing The Sim Quarterly

The Sim Quarterly: Orizuru

For the first installation Electric presents Orizuru (“folded crane” or “paper crane”) by Kaiju Kohime with Electric Monday. With a focus on origami that plays into the use of paper as a writing surface and its use in  artistic expression, this is the story of two people who communicate entirely by letter and in the hope of meeting.

The landing point for the installation is in the sky, where an introduction can be found, together with a teleport down to the installation proper.  Here the story begins at a little pair of houses and an ice cream van, where two figures stand back-to-back, symbolising the story’s protagonists, Elise and Henri. Sheets of paper drop from the hands of the male figure, pointing the way to the water where the first two letters between the couple can be found.

The Sim Quarterly: Orizuru

Follow the stepping stones to the nearby island, and further pairs of letters between Elise and Henri can be found, their story unfolding on the written pages. Colours beneath the water tehn lead visitors onwards to more of the story as it unfolds across the installation.

Will Henri and Elise meet? That’s for those who visit to decide.  The landscape, meanwhile, with its folded cranes, origami birds and paper rocks and trees, with paper clouds floating overhead, presents a visually attractive setting in which to follow the story.

The Sim Quarterly: Orizuru

Those wishing to keep up-to-date with events at The Sim Quarterly can do so via the website and photographs can be submitted to the region’s Flickr group, which is also hosting a photo contest – details available in-world at the region’s landing zone.

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Images of Heaven is Second Life

Heaven

Heaven by Oema and Van Loopen is not a new exhibition, having been open since May 2019 – but it is one that will be closing at the end of August 2019, and I’ve been meaning to write about for a while. It is a multi-media installation involving hand-drawn images, mobile sculptures, music and an ethereal setting, which Oema describes as follows:

Heaven was born from the idea of bringing together some of my drawings depicting female faces. At first, Van Loopen and I had no idea how to create an original structure that could accommodate drawings … In addition to the church and the drawings, we thought of creating special media effects to be placed so that the visitor, enabling multimedia, could be fascinated by the lights, movements, shapes, colours, and sounds in sync.

Heaven

Placed against the nave walls towards one end of the ruined cathedral, Oema’s drawings are presented in monochrome, each one very much a focus on an emotion and / or a response. They sit framed within evocative titles, the words of which – assuming they are read by visitors via a right-click edit – add to their depth and potential interpretation by the observer.

The images face in towards the central isle of the nave, where sculptures by Noke Yuitza are animated to turn slowly amidst a gentle blizzard of light and shapes that dance as if given life by the music to which the installation is set – music and lyrics specifically chosen to form an active part of the installation, and which should be enabled and listened to.

Heaven

It’s an immersive, engaging installation. The visitor, after following the instructions close to the landing point, is undeniably drawn into the piece, particularly if the titles of the drawings are viewed. But at the same time, so little is actually revealed about the subjects themselves; on whom are the images based? Avatars? People from the physical world? Friends? Family? Entirely from the imagination? No clue is given, heightening our involvement with the images and the installation as whole.

SLurl Details

  • Heaven (LEA 1, rated: Moderate)

Images and questions in Second Life

Joanee’s Gallery

Three Questions, an exhibition by Joan Mayflower at her own new gallery space called Joanee’s Gallery, cleverly involves portraits and words in a revealing exhibition.

Set within a floating garden sitting against a backdrop of stars, Three Questions presents a series of eight avatar portraits – presumably of Joan’s friends – but that’s not all, as Joan explains.

Joanee’s Gallery: Three Questions

The exhibit consists of portraits of Second Life avatars that I have done, accompanied by a set of three questions asked of each portrait subject. The questions/answers note cards are accessible by clicking on each portrait.

– Joan Mayflower, describing Three Questions

This makes Three Questions an intriguing exhibition, bringing together as it does two elements within each picture. On the one hand, Joan’s portraits of the avatars, each one of which has been carefully framed, cropped and presented, offer us insight into the subject of each portrait as an avatar. The answers to the  questions, meanwhile – two of which are asked of all eight subjects, while the third varies from subject to subject – offer us insight into the personalities behind the avatars.

Joanee’s Gallery: Three Questions

Thus, Three Questions engages and informs. Through the images and the answers to the questions, our visual appreciation of the portraits as an expression of the artist’s vision of the avatars she has captured, we’re also given that personal connection with the subjects themselves with a depth that cannot be achieved simply through images.

A small but engaging exhibition that offers good food for thought and engaging images, Three Questions officially opens at 12:00 noon SLT on August 5th, 2019.

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Melusina’s Lonely Gazes in Second Life

Melusina Parkin – Lonely Gazes

Update, August 5th: Following the soft opening, Melusina and San are making changes to the exhibit and it appears the 3D elements of the image fames have been moved toe the rear of the image panels, so people see the “2D view” first, before walking around to see the faceted views.

Open at Ribong Gallery, curated by Santoshima, through August is Lonely Gazes, an exhibition of 24 images by Melusina Parkin, focusing on locations within Second Life.

Melusina is an artist whose work presents a fine blend of detail, space and minimalism, all carefully combined and crafted to present images that are elegant in their unique focus and rich in narrative and feeling. This is once again evident with this collection. However, within Lonely Gazes presents the 24 images in the most unique manner.

Melusina Parkin – Lonely Gazes

Each is framed as a photo-sculpture with two distinct sides. On the one (which tends to be facing the walls of the gallery, so may need a degree of camming unless you wall behind the displays) is a straightforward presentation of each of the image set against a black background.

On the other side of the frame is a further version of the image, overlaid with a truncated, transparent  pyramid with either a smaller version of the image, or a “window” looking “in” to the image. The result of this is that the observer can select different angles from which to view the image: the smaller image sits proud of the larger, giving the impression it is being projected onto the background

Melusina Parkin – Lonely Gazes

Those with the “window” element, meanwhile offer a frame through which the observer’s focused can be drawn into a specific part of the image, which can shift as we cam around, as if examining the piece through a lens. In addition, the side faces of pyramid presents individual facets of the larger image.

I never cease to be drawn to Melusina’s work and the way her images allow us to become storytellers. They always present the idea that they are a part of a much broader canvas, one that extends well beyond their borders. Thus, they invite our imaginations to create stories around them. With the way in which the images in Lonely Gazes, this is magnified tremendously – in much the same way the faux 3D presentation of the pieces suggests we are viewing a magnified image of a picture on a lens hovering over that piece, or that we looking through a lens allowing us to focus into a specific part of the landscape and its story.

Melusina Parkin – Lonely Gazes

Visual, engaging and imaginative, Lonely Gazes is another extraordinary exhibition from Melusina, and there is a formal opening featuring DJ Kara Mellow at 14:00 SLT on Thursday, August 8th.

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Mon Joli Cadeau: art and romance in Second Life

Mon Joli Cadeau

I recently received an invitation to visit Mon Joli Cadeau (“my lovely gift”), a quarter-region operated by Avalon Bouvier and Yoh Boa that offers mix of art, dance venue and commercial units in a distinctly French architectural style.

An urban environment, split by an east-west running canal, the street names within Mon Joli Cadeau suggest Paris, but the intended location is not as important as the overall look of the setting. The landing point sits to one side of the canal within a formal garden area surrounded on two sides by town houses with boutique-style units on their ground floors, and on the seaward side a large glass pavilion ballroom.

Mon Joli Cadeau: MarcJersey

The boutiques offer a mix of commercial units and gallery spaces, and at the time of my visit, the gallery units featured the work of Carelyna, PatrickofIreland, MarcJersey and Erika Xaron. Meanwhile, across the canal and on the smaller part of the parcel offers further town house style gallery units.

At the time of my visit, these featured the work of Leonorah Beverly, Cybele Moon, Jolie Parfort, Kaleb Avedon (making his public début with a series of outstanding avatar studies) , Kayly Iali, CliveDillingham, Mirabelle Sweetwater and Isle Biedermann.

Mon Joli Cadeau: Kaleb Avedon

The layout of the location naturally encourages exploration, while within the boutique units and as well as presenting their art, the artists have been given the freedom to turn create more “personal” spaces if they so choose, adding their own interior wall panels and other features, making each a unique mini-gallery. Also be aware that many of the units have an upper floor where an exhibit may continue – so keep an eye out for the teleport disks tucked into some of them.

The range of art offered in this exhibition – which I understand run through until the end of August – is rich and engaging, including as it does avatar studies, Second life landscapes, physical world paintings, digital media, colour images, monochrome and SL photographs as paintings. This mixture adds a further attraction to Mon Joli Cadeau, and I’d urge Avalon and Yoh to try to continue it going forward.

Mon Joli Cadeau: Jolie Parfort

As well as promoting visual arts, the region will also feature music – both gala events to mark the opening of new exhibitions and live music events and DJ evenings within the glass pavilion ballroom. Live performances are currently scheduled for the following dates (all times SLT):

  •  Friday, August 16th from 12:00 noon: Savannah Rain
  • Thursday, September 12th from 19:00: Wolfie Starfire.
  • Saturday, September 14th, from 13:00: Kaleb Avedon.

In addition, Avalon is working on a weekly DJ schedule, which will initially focus on set running Thursdays through Sundays, likely spanning the hours of 16:00 through 22:00 SLT. The schedule has yet to be finalised, so look for details when visiting Mon Joli Cadeau, or make a note to join the local group and stay informed.

Mon Joli Cadeau: Leonorah Beverly

With its delightful design that includes several little corners waiting to be discovered as well as the galleries and ballroom, Mon Joli Cadeau offers a lot to artists wishing to exhibit their work (setting items for sale permitted but not required), and interested parties should contact Avalon in-world. For those who enjoy viewing art and photography in SL it is a venue that should definitely been added to lists of places to visit.

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