Kimeu’s Hot Summer in Second Life

Diotima Art Gallery – Kimeu Korg

Currently on display at Diotima Art Gallery curated by Redi (Red Bikcin), is Hot Summer, an exhibition of art by Kimeu Korg. As the title suggests, it features images – fifteen in total – depicting summertime scenes; or which are for the most part summertime scenes!

I admit to being something of a fan of Kimeu’s art, as he has a wonderful sense of whimsy and also an eye for creating thought-provoking images that can draw upon the abstract and / or the absurd or comical to pull the observer into them. Some of this talent is on display within the pieces presented here, although most are perhaps more “traditional” in nature – albeit with various motifs that also make Kimeu’s work so attractive.

Diotima Art Gallery – Kimeu Korg

The more comical can be seen in the likes of (13), located on the the right of the entry hall of the gallery. It features Kimeu standing on a beach in white, singing lustfully, a microphone in one hand and a rubber chicken held outstretched in the other, it’s beak agape as if singing in accompaniment.  Set against a calm sea and sandy foreground – two of the aforementioned motifs that can be found as a theme to many of the pieces here – it cannot fail to raise a smile.

Whimsy is evident front-and centre in some of these pieces – notably in the likes of (8), found in the far corner (relative to the entrance) of the L-shaped gallery, but also far more gently, such as with (4), which at a first casual glance might appear to be an ordinary image of a man standing on that sandy shoreline and looking out over sunny waters to where Orca-like fins rise above the waves, a dog and puppy – until you take a second look, and realise the “dog” and “puppy” are in fact a seal and her pup.

Diotima Art Gallery – Kimeu Korg

Finished as paintings – both oil and watercolour in looks – and also as coloured drawings, Kimeu’s pictures always have a life of their own that is unique within Second Life, something that also increases the appeal of seeing them exhibited, and this collection is no exception. It will remain open through to the end of Thursday, September 5th, and a visit is strongly recommended.

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A return to HippiMagic in Second Life

HippiMagic Gallery

HippiMagic Art Studio and Gallery has relocated, and now occupies a part of a Full region. While the latter is still being developed by Sophie72 Congrejo, the gallery’s curator and the region holder, the art exhibitions have re-opened, with August seeing something of a change-up with the art on display.

Within the garden area of the gallery are displays by Anibrm Jung, featuring a mix of her Second Life and Real Life photography mounted on the wall of the gallery building. This is one the most diverse selections of Ani’s art that I’ve seen in an exhibition like this, featuring as it does her always stunning physical world macro photography, and a range of styles an finishes to her SL art that are truly engaging.

HippiMagic Gallery: Anibrm Jung

Also in the garden as a corner display of physical world photography by Phenix Wonder. This is actually my first exposure to  Phee’s work, and again, her use of the macro lens in some of the pieces is superb; just take Sun Pattern and Thistle as two examples (seen below, left). Just nine pieces are offered here, but they are enough to captivate the eye – and to leave me hoping to see more of her work in the future.

The gallery building continues to exhibit the work of Wintergeist, another artist I admire, together with Sophie’s own images as well, both of which I wrote about back in June 2019 (see Art with a touch of HippiMagic in Second Life).

HippiMagic Gallery: Phee Wonder

Outside in the square is the Woodstock Art Contest. This features images by MikeMazrok, Kalyca McCallen, Jeri Rahja, Doris Johnsky, FreeDom Voix, Dido Haas, Edwige Monroe and Fluer Heartsdale.

As the name suggests, this is a contest with a focus on the 1960s and Woodstock, with the images reflecting the hippy counter-culture epitomised by Woodstock. The winners for the contest will be announced on Sunday, August 18th, with a party   featuring live singer StayAwayJoe from 12:00 noon, SLT.

HippiMagic Gallery: Woodstock Contest

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Truth at Artful Expressions in Second Life

Artful Expressions: Anu Papp

Artful Expressions Gallery curated by Sorcha Tyles, has (another) new home, and with it, a new exhibition.

Veritas (“truth”) is a selection of images by Anu Papp split into two groups of fives images apiece in the gallery’s two exhibition wings. Avatar studies all, the majority appear to be a mix of self-portraits and images that feature Anu’s SL partner Ferdinand, with around three photos of friends rounding out the mix.

Each of the images has its own sense of mood and presence, which can be added to by hovering the mouse over each in turn to see the title displayed. In this, I found the title of the exhibit somewhat intriguing. While each of the images offers its own narrative (and insight into mood, the possible creative intent), etc., there is little that intrinsically link the images back to the ideal of truth.

Artful Expressions: Anu Papp

This actually offers a possible conundrum, as it leaves those so minded (like myself) to ponder over title and subject. Is the title a reference to the truth that however hard we try to insist “SL is SL and RL is RL and never the twain shall meet”, we actually cannot avoid imbuing our avatars with some (or all) of the traits and foibles of our personalities? Is it the truth that our avatars present the means for each of us to express our inner self to the world more openly and as we would like to be seen by others?

Determining what truth is being referred to can have darker shades, such as the idea is there in truth no beauty? For truth is harsh to almost everyone; it forces us to accept our flaws and snap out of our grand illusions – and our avatars are perhaps one of our grandest illusions. So beautiful they may be – but do that reflect truth? But what then of the individual titles of the pieces presented? Do they fall into place with the idea that in truth, our digital presence is mere illusion, or do they push back against it, revealing that other truth referenced above: that they actually reveal who we are, more so that all of the masks we might otherwise wear in life?

Artful Expressions: Anu Papp

Not that this exhibition demands we engage in such an internal debate. The images are captivating in and of themselves – and I admit to becoming very drawn to the two period pieces offered. Both are marvellously presented, and the case of Les Nobles in particular, I once again saw the greatest truth Second Life offers to us: that no matter who or where we are in life, SL gives our imaginations wings.

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Sisi, Kayly and Debbie in Second Life

Sisi Biedermann’s Gallery and Garden – Sisi Biedermann

I recently paid a further visit to Sisi Biedermann’s Gallery and Garden, which I last visited in November 2018. Since that time, the gallery has undergone a revamp, so I was curious to see the new look, and also the two exhibitions that opened at the start of August and will remain so through until the latter part of September.

The upper three floors of the gallery continue to present Sisi’s own artwork, which as I’ve noted before is the most extraordinary digital work. Produced in the physical world and then uploaded to Second Life, Sisi’s art is the very definition of crossing and re-crossing the digit divide: a physical world artist who produces the must remarkable digital pieces for upload to a digital world, allowing it to be seen and purchased by a global physical world audience.

Sisi Biedermann’s Gallery and Garden – Sisi Biedermann

Combining multiple elements – original art (digital and paintings), elements drawn from Second Life and her imagination – all brought together to form richly layered and texture pieces that combine aspects of collage and montage to produce the most stunning pieces that are utterly engaging and completely captivating. As I’ve said before, those who have not seen Sisi’s art first hand really should drop in and do so.

At the same time, visitors can also available themselves of the exhibitions by Kayly Iali and Debbie7155.

Sisi Biedermann’s Gallery and Garden – Kayly Iali

Kayly is an artist who has been broadening her portfolio of her physical world art uploaded to Second Life over the last while, and here presents a series of her abstract art, with ten 2D pieces and three free-standing items. There are – to me at least – some of the most captivating pieces in her catalogue of work.

Abstract art is potentially the hardest to grasp to the point of being simplistic by some. Kayly’s work, however demonstrates the richness of the technique, particularly with pieces like Orchestra (above), and Creation, but also through the likes of Fires Storms – which also have a particularly poignancy given the environmental situation that places like California and Siberia have so recently faced.

Sisi Biedermann’s Gallery and Garden – Debbie7155

Debbie7155 is an artist I have not previously encountered in Second Life, and her exhibition of fourteen pieces offered here are richly diverse in presenting her work as a physical world artist. All of them have there own appeal, but I found myself particularly drawn to her three watercolour paintings of animals (above), while her acrylic on canvas Moon contains a delightfully Warhol-like echo.

Sisi, Kayly and Debbie demonstrate the power Second Life offers in the presentation of physical world art to a global audience an artist might otherwise not reach, and those who appreciate this should take the opportunity to drop into Sisi’s gallery as see for themselves.

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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.

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  • Heaven (LEA 1, rated: Moderate)