Tag Archives: Art in SL

Small World Art: lend a helping hand

Small World Art Gallery - sky galleries

Small World Art Gallery – sky galleries

In May I wrote about the Small World Art gallery in Second Life. Operated by Mikey Jefford (mikeythai), Small World Art (SWA) is a region-wide complex featuring two large gallery complexes on both the ground level of the region and also overhead (where there are a number of satellite galleries.

The main galleries are host to displays by many Second Life photographers and artists, including (but not limited to) Silas Merlin, Mistero Hifeng, Giovanna Cerise, Toy Soldier Thor, Nino Vichan, Gem Preiz, ieko Catnap,  Kayly Iali, StarZ (StarZ33 McCullough), Gita Aura, Barret Darkfold, Harter Fall, Artée (Artistide Despres), Fafner Hofmann, Maghda – the list goes on.

Small World Art Gallery - Silas Merlin

Small World Art Gallery – Silas Merlin

Such is the extent of the art on display in and around the galleries, that more than one visit is needed to take everything in. However, Mikey Jefford was recently taken ill in the physical world, and is currently unable to log-in to SL to cover the cost of the region tier, thus putting the galleries at risk.

In order to avoid this and ensure that tier continues to be paid, the gallery’s designer, Addi Tachikawa (Adrienne Falconer) and Mikey in-world partner, Mrs candy  Jefford (candy68) have put out donation kiosks around the gallery. These record both total donated, and the amounts paid out in tier in respect of keeping the region open.

Small World Art Gallery featured artist Elin Egoyan

Small World Art Gallery featured artist Elin Egoyan

SWA has a lot to offer anyone with an interest in art, and represents a significant commitment to art is Second Life. I therefore have no hesitation in once again in recommending a visit, and urge all those who do to consider donating towards its continued existence. Even if you are donation box averse, remember a percentage of to price of all art sold in the galleries also goes towards maintaining the region – so even buying copies of the art your particularly like during a visit can help.

Should you like to help with keeping the region open in any other way, please IM Candy or Addie in-world.

SLurl Details

The SWA region (Sardegna) is rated Adult.

The magnificent artistry of Peter Vos in Second Life

Peter Vos in Second Life

Peter Vos in Second Life – click any image for full size

Artist and friend Silas Merlin kindly pointed me towards a recently opened exhibition at the Small World Art gallery’s sky complex. Peter Vos in Second Life celebrates the work of Dutch illustrator, humorist, caricaturist and artist, Peter Vos – and it is an absolute must see.

Born in 1935 in Utrect in 1935, Peter Vos – full name Petrus Antonius Carolus Augustinus Vos – was the son of Cornelius J Vos, a well-known journalist of his time. He attended the Amsterdam Academy of Fine Arts when compulsory attendance was very much the order of the day: 9am through noon, then 1pm through 4pm and then 7pm through 9pm – something which may have contributed to Vos’ own work ethic in adult life.

Central to his work is a wonderful mix of styles and approaches – and also a deep and loving intimacy with his subjects and audience. In his twenties, he produced Portrait of Papa for his ailing father, followed by a book of pastiches lovingly depicting his father in a series of guises. Later, when he had a young son of his own, he would demonstrate this love for his family again, writing loving letters and postcards to the young boy, relating marvellous journeys around and beyond the Earth, opening his son’s own imagination.

All of this  – the rich diversity of styles, the ability to move from keen observer to drawer of the fantastic, and his intimate expressions of love – is displayed throughout Peter Vos in Second Life. It is a most remarkable tribute to a most remarkable artist; one made all the more moving and intimate when one considers it has been curated by his son, known in-world as Karkassus Jigsaw.

Set against a perfect black backdrop, the artwork has been reproduced in-world with breathtaking clarity which brings Vos’ attention to detail, whether as an illustrator, humorist, artist or father, fully to the fore. These are all exquisite pieces which instantly capture and hold our eye – and our imagination. Commentary is strong within many of them, as is a wicked sense of humour, together with some poignant observation.

In an exhibition as remarkable as this, it is difficult to draw attention to any particular aspect, as they are all deserving of our time and attention. However, there are two parts within Peter Vos in Second Life which should perhaps be given additional mention. The first is on the ground floor of the hall, where Karkassus presents reproductions of the miniatures his father started painting in 1966. And by miniatures, I mean entire paintings and portraits the size of a rijksdaaldar – just 33 mm (1.3 in) across; so small some of the detailing meant working with just a single hair on a brush.

These are truly wonderful pieces (see the example above), carefully reproduced for in-world display so that when you click on one of them, your camera will zoom and centre itself on the image (press ESC if it doesn’t), and remain there until you click Stand. These are displayed alongside Peter Vos’ stamp designs and some of his postcards to his son, which offer a further personal dimension to this exhibition.

On the upper floor of the exhibit, nestled between the images on display is another personal tribute to the artist. Lit by a single lamp sits his desk, chair pushed back. The paraphernalia of Vos’ work are scattered around: books reflecting his interest in mythology sit on the floor, while pencils, pens, ink, coffee, a pouch of tobacco and more, vie for space beneath the cone of light cast by the lamp. And amidst all this, again marvellously reproduced and scaled for avatars, are the artist’s notebooks, displaying his meticulous studies of birds. Looking at them, it is hard not to believe he has simply stepped away from his work for a minute or two, and if we wait quietly enough, he’ll return, and allow us to watch him as he continues sketching a sparrow.

Peter Vos in Second Life

Peter Vos in Second Life – pages from the artist’s notebooks

Sadly, Peter Vos passed away at the start of 2010. However, this exhibition, which mixes elements from earlier celebrations of his work, stands as a fitting tribute to his art and his life; a man gifted with a wonderful talent he chose to share with us. It is perhaps one of the most engaging exhibitions to be found in Second Life, and one fully deserving in gaining a continued audience.

Many thanks to Karkassus for once again sharing his father’s work with us.

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Immaterial in Second Life: entries gather


Immaterial (via UWA)

Immaterial (via UWA)

At the end of June, I wrote about the start of the University of Western Australia’s new art challenge, IMMATERIAL, which is currently open to 2D, 3D and machinima artists through until July 31st.

While not a competition in the manner of the UWA’s Grand Challenges (there are no cash prizes or judging panel), IMMATERIAL offers those who enter the opportunity to have their entry displayed at the UWA’s Gallery, and featured in a companion exhibition catalogue, which will be published on-line as part of the UWA Studies in Virtual Arts (UWA SiVA) journal series.

Krystali Rabeni: "If Wishes Were Kisses"

Krystali Rabeni: “If Wishes Were Kisses” – “Shadows are such straightforward things: cast a light on an opaque object, and a shadow of it is thus born,” Krystali says of the piece. “Yet shadows can be manipulated to resemble entirely different shapes…” And so a poignant message is born …

IMMATERIAL asks entrants to consider the concepts  light, shadows, textures, motion, and ideas, and to: Highlight the technologies of SL as a medium for creative expression. We especially want work that uses advanced techniques, in addition to objects per se.

As such, entrants are encouraged to work with mesh, materials, projected light and shadows, particles, pathfinding, avatar and object motion/animation and advanced scripting/interaction.

Since the announcement, entries have been arriving steadily, as they do, UWA’s curator, FreeWee Ling, has been putting them on display.

Yoon (Toyono): "The Dark Queen"

Yoon (Toyono): “The Dark Queen” – using projected light and a black background, Yoon creates a powerfully evocative image

As usual for such a UWA, the breadth of entries is quite breathtaking, and many of them deeply evocative, already marking this as an exhibition very much worthwhile visiting. I’ve selected just a small handful here as a sample to encourage you to do so, and repeat visits are recommended as the exhibition grows.

If you would like to submit a piece for IMMATERIAL, note that the deadline for submissions is 23:59 on July 31st 2016 at 11:59 PM SLT. You can find the full set of entry requirements on the UWA blog.

Silas Merlin: "Guardian Angels"

Silas Merlin: “Guardian Angels” – Silas says he was just having a little fun with this piece. The result is nevertheless stunningly beautiful

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Mandala Art in Second Life

Gallery 24: Sheba Blitz

Gallery 24: Sheba Blitz

The mandala (literally meaning “circle” in Sanskrit) is a symbol with very deep religious, spiritual and even political meaning. The classical form for a mandala is a square with four (generally T-shaped) gates containing a circle with a centre point, and generally displaying radial balance. More generically, “mandala” can mean a geometric pattern intended to symbolise the cosmos, and which contains a squaring of the circle, representing balance and order.

Mandalas are also intrinsically beautiful works of art, as demonstrated by Australian artist Sheba Blitz, whose work is the subject of the latest exhibition at  Kayly Iali’s Gallery 24 at Tabula Rasa. Sheba describes herself as a Mandala Artist, producing her intricate pieces using gouache, acrylics and metallic paints on either canvas or paper, drawing on sources such as music, books, astrology and tarot symbolism as her inspiration.

Gallery 24: Sheba Blitz

Gallery 24: Sheba Blitz

Mandalas – particularly those created through sandpainting, or dul-tson-kyil-khor, in Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism – have always fascinated me, the inherent balance present within them, the confluence of ideas they represent  – the sheer beauty and intensity of their very creation – is utterly  absorbing and calming. Sheba’s works exhibits all of this, each one individually  rich in symmetry and harmony. Fortunately, as they are produced through more substantial mediums than coloured powders, they remain with us for far longer; there is no metaphor for  “impermanence” here. Instead, one might say they are reflective of the enduring measure of the cosmos.

Sheba informs Kayly that she didn’t come to Second Life to display her work; she decided to do so as a result of naturally seeking out other artists and attending exhibitions, buying art by others and immersing herself in the means to experience art in a new way. Fortunately, she was also invited to exhibit her art in-world, and because of that original invitation, we can now all enjoy her work.

Gallery 24: Sheba Blitz

Gallery 24: Sheba Blitz

It doesn’t matter whether you follow the spiritual, religious or even Jungian view of mandalas, Sheba’s work is instantly approachable and can be appreciated in and of itself. However, should you feel the desire, the back room of the gallery offers a spot for quiet contemplation.

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Note: There are times when, after publication, a title of piece doesn’t read so well as during the drafting. It didn’t occur to me until after this piece went out that “Mandalas in Second Life” could be taken as a reference to Nelson Mandela, particularly given July 18th was his birthday. This being the case, I have revised the title – and my apologies to anyone thinking it was a reference to the great man. I’m now off to wipe the egg from my face…