Waifs and Lala in Second Life

Lalalala Gallery: CybeleMoon: Waifs

I received an invitation from CybeleMoon (Hana Hoobinoo) to drop in to a boutique exhibition of her work at the Lalalala Gallery complex owned and curated by Lala Lightfoot. An invitation that allowed me to both visit CybeleMoon’s work – which is something I’m always only too happy to do, being a confirmed fan of her work – and pop in to see Lala’s current exhibition and see preparations in hand for a new exhibition.

Waifs, located in the North Gallery provides a gathering of Cybele’s art focusing on children, and carries with it a definite Parisian theme. It mixes physical world and virtual world images in another captivating display of art with a story, helped among by Edit Piaf via the easel-mounted media board.

Lalalala Gallery: CybeleMoon: Waifs

Those familiar with Cybele’s work will likely recognise a fair few of the images on offer. However, this doesn’t lessen the impact on seeing them here, particularly when framed by their groupings: Place de la Sorbonne, Boulevard Montmartre, Rue Poissonnière. These provide a uniquely Parisian feel to the set of images on each of the walls, and are centred on at least one of Cybele’s pieces in-world art, which perhaps binds images and place names together.

Take Rue Poissonnière (“Fishmonger’s Road”), for example, or Boulevard Montmartre. Both offer images of young children – the waifs of the exhibition’s title. The former brings to mind the route fish would take to the market of Les Halles from Boulogne and other ports, with Cybele painting The Siren’s Call offers and image of a little girl dreaming, perhaps of taking flight like the gulls overhead, or of diving into the waters and becoming a mermaid, free to escape the troubles of land life. With Gigi sitting among the images of Boulevard Montmartre, there is an echo of the Basilica of the Sacré-Cœur (admittedly, there are no domes on the house to assist in the suggestion – but the echo is there). This, together with the image of the Eiffel Tower roots the surrounding images in thoughts of the artists who once painted the street life of the district, and he views it offers across Paris, maintaining the Parisian thread through the exhibition.

Lalalala Gallery: LaLa Lightfoot

The rest of the gallery complex comprises two exhibition spaces, one of which was being prepared for a further exhibition by Lala, and other of which features a collection of her paintings, and Lala’s studio space, a cosy social space.

A physical world artist, Lala offers a number of her painting through the exhibition space, all of which  – again at the time of my visit – were on a floral theme. Most (all?) appear to be pastel images, rich in colour and presented in an uncluttered style. The new exhibition appears to be focused on digital art, and I look forward to returning to Thistle in the future to visit it.

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Vallys and Moki at DiXmiX in Second Life

DiXmiX Gallery: Moki Yuitza

Recently opened at DiXmiX Gallery, curated by Dixmix Source, are two new exhibitions by Vallys Baxter and Moki Yuitza, which are contrasting in both style and content.

With La Rumeur de Paris (Rumour of Paris), Vallys presents around 15 images in series – although what the underlying theme might be is hard to judge. All avatar studies, most are presented as avatar studies on a white background, although some are conversely set against a dark backdrop, and one – in difference to the rest  – is a landscape image.

DiXmiX Gallery: Vallys Baxter

Are these simply memories of past events? Are they designed to imbue a feeling? are they representative of a memory or idea? Or are they images that simply exist in and of themselves, sans wider thematic narrative wither within themselves or as a collection? You, as the observer are left to decide this.

When viewing some of the more intimate images, I did find my thoughts drifting towards Bernardo Bertolucci’s 1972 erotic drama Last Tango In Paris. Why this should be, baffles me, if I’m honest. Perhaps it simply the fact I’m not operating at 100% at this point in time and my brain is tending to wander hither and thither. There is certainly little in the individual images to suggest a link between them and the film, so perhaps its just a subconscious linking of naked male and female bodies with the use of Paris in the exhibition’s title, spurred by the (intentional?) anonymity of the figures in those images that sent my thoughts in that direction.

DiXmiX Gallery: Vallys Baxter

None of which should be taken as any kind of critique of Vallys’ work; her artistry is clear from the outset, and she is a gifted purveyor of emotions through her avatar studies; so much so that one might say that it is the emotional reaction to these images that is more important than any wider context of theme or ideas.

Meanwhile, down in The Womb, the basement exhibition space of the gallery, Moki Yuitza presents The Net, which is perhaps best described as a living piece of art: a gridwork of lines and shapes, some of which are zooming to and fro, a single 3D sculpture at its heart.

DiXmiX Gallery: Moki Yuitza

Complicated, carrying (perhaps) echoes of The Matrix or maybe Tron, Moki’s piece really should be seen rather than described, so I’ll leave it to you to drop in and see it for yourself.

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Rofina Bronet at The Eye

The Eye: Rofina Bronet

Currently open at The Eye art gallery, curated by Mona (MonaByte), is a stunning exhibition of avatar photography by Rofina Bronet. And it is a quite extraordinary collection of images.

Featuring what might be termed “traditional” style studies focusing on the head and face, these are pieces presented in the most marvellous of digital colour and backdrops: celestial skies, iridescent clouds, futuristic grids, and – in places – soft-focused “natural” backgrounds.

The Eye: Rofina Bronet

In addition, rather than presenting individual portraits of avatars, in places Rofina offers multiple images of the same person. These, together with the selected backdrops and digital elements against which they are posed adds considerable depth in capturing the personality of each study.

Also found within the gallery are media TV screens offering slide displays of the images on offer (click to page through the images), thought with other that may not be offered in large format on the walls. Larger, wall-mounted media screens feature You Tube recordings of some of the individuals featured within the exhibition, and offering further depth to the still images Peeter presents.

The Eye: Rofina Bronet

All of this makes for a remarkable and deeply engaging exhibition of art and photography, which words alone really do not do justice a visit to The Eye to see them first-hand is strongly recommended.

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The Spirit Blooms Timidly in Second Life

Ribong Gallery: The Spirit Blooms Timidly

Currently open at Ribong Gallery, curated by San (Santoshima), is a new exhibition entitled The Spirit Blooms Timidly by Artistik Oluja.

An interestingly curious exhibit, combining 2D and 3D art, The Spirit Blooms Timidly requires time to absorb, and also includes media elements as well; so make sure you have media enabled within the viewer, and be sure to toggle the media panels (and some of the artwork itself) whilst visiting.

Ribong Gallery: The Spirit Blooms Timidly

This exhibition merges several personally inspiring concepts, beginning with a passage by George Santayana: “The world is not respectable; it is mortal, tormented, confused, deluded forever; but it is shot through with beauty, with love, with glints of courage and laughter; and in these, the spirit blooms timidly, and struggles to the light amid the thorns.

– Artistik Oluja, describing The Spirit Blooms Timidly

In short, life is transient, changing, imperfect; nothing lasts forever nor does it ever really remain the same; through imperfections, through growth, ageing, decay, everything is in a state of flux.  Thus the art within the exhibition is intended to reflect this.

Ribong Gallery: The Spirit Blooms Timidly

From the landing point, visitors are asked to jump down into the gallery space, wherein they will find the exhibition proper, a place of “light-hearted optical illusions, hypnotic mandalas, and vibrant dandelions”. Among the pieces on offer are Cylent pieces, which are described as:

A technique that Art developed in-world. It is a hand-made process that merges virtual photography with Lenticular Motion printing [hence the merging of Cy(ber) and lent(icular) to form “Cylent”], and she describes them as being “like those fun little animated cards I got in cereal boxes as a kid 🙂 .

Ribong Gallery: The Spirit Blooms Timidly

When all is said and done, this is a difficult exhibition to quantify, simply because it is layered in several ways, all of which can have a different appeal, from the visual through to the underpinning ideas of change and impermanence. As such, a viewing is suggested.

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The art at Fantasy Faire 2019

Fantasy Faire 2019: 2D art at Fairelands Junction

Sl photography is a popular subject – as any casual glance through Flickr with the search tags of “virtual worlds”, “SL” “Second Life” and similar will reveal. There are many styles and subject matter of SL photography to be sure, but it not unreasonable to say that fantasy art is one of the more popular fields of endeavour, be it through avatar studies or the recording of the many fantasy environments that have graced the platform over the years.

It’s therefore fitting that Fantasy Faire embraces this wellspring of individual creativity each year by offering Second Life photographers and artists the opportunity to display their work. And one again, Fantasy Faire 2019 offers two gallery spaces where art can be appreciated.

Fantasy Faire 2019: 2D art at Genesia

The first can be found at Fairelands Junction, and is itself in two parts: the image gallery, located in the ruined structure that houses the Fairelands portals, and the Worldlings display, located in the rock formation upon which the ruins sit. The second gallery can be found within the Genesia Arts and Performance region.

Forty 2D artists are presented within both the gallery spaces, and as with previous years, the focus for art is on avatars and fantasy, with the official blog noting:

The galleries focus on various fantasy avatars within Second Life, celebrating the freedom from the mundane, showing how in here you can be whatever you wish to be, your true self.

The focus continues to be variety in fantasy forms, inspiration in character creation and talent in photographic arts.

Fantasy Faire 2019: The Call of the Forest by Aleriah

A full list of the artists participating in the exhibition can be found in the link above, so I won’t repeat the list here. However, what I will say is that the art is remarkable for its richness of imagination and presentation. Many pieces are obviously influenced by popular fantasy genres – there are a number that clearly draw from the Likes of J.R.R. Tolkien and G.R.R. Martin, for example. This isn’t a critique, as it is always interesting to see people put their own slant on popular fantasy; but for me the magic of many of the pieces is in their depiction of settings entirely born from the imaginations of their creators – such as with The Call of the Forest, by Aleriah (shown above).

The art at Genesia is displayed within yet another remarkable region setting by Haveit Neox & Lilia Artis, as the Art and Performance region at this years Faire. This stands as a work of art in of itself, and should be explored for its incredible creativity, both above and below the water, and the way it offers a link to past Fantasy Faires in its overall design.

Fantasy Faire: Genesia

The gallery space for Genesia sits on the outer path of the region, with art displayed on rock walls or held aloft by elephants and stork-like birds, the path leading the way around to the main performance area.

Meanwhile, the 3D Worldlings art can be found, as noted, in Faireland Junction. Described as the “Fairelands That Could Be”, the Worldings are seven realms-as-dioramas suggesting possible Fairelands as imagined by their creators: Kerryth Tarantal, Faust Steamer, Colemarie Soleil, Bonny Greenwood, Ameshin Yossarian, Bee Dumpling and Beryl.

Fantasy Faire 2019: Worlding by Faust Steamer

These dioramas – at least one of which is interactive – offer windows into the imaginations of the Fairelands (and region) creators behind them. Whether any of them might be expanded out to become a full Fairelands setting in the future is open to question; but I admit, I wouldn’t mind seeing Faust Steamer’s idea (above) fleshed out and given form!

Fantasy Faire 2019: Wrong Direction by Sugarfairy88

I often am prone to comment with these art exhibitions that when it comes to the 2D art – and allowing for the subject being that of fantasy avatars – it’s a shame that the net isn’t cast a little wider to more generally encompass fantasy settings in Second Life; there are, after all, a fair few. There is also as vast catalogue of images of past Fantasy Faires – so it would be nice to see some broader celebration of fantasy art that can be created within SL beyond a purely avatar focus.

Nevertheless, given how easily an art exhibition can be overlooked with so much else occurring at Fantasy Faire, I do very much recommend that anyone who enjoys Second Life art and photography stop by the galleries at Fairelands Junction and Genesia.

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2019 Raglan Shire Artwalk: call to artists

Raglan Shire Artwalk 2018

The Raglan Shire Artwalk is one of the staples of the SL art calendar, and for 2019, the 14th Artwalk will take place between Sunday, May 12th and Sunday, June 16th, inclusive.

Every year over 100 artists and residents in Second Life display 2D and 3D art across a number of exhibition spaces across all the regions of the Raglan Shire cluster. 2D art is displayed on hedgerows in and around the regions, offering visitors the chance to view pieces as they explore the Shire, while sculptures and 3D art is displayed in a number of designated areas across the regions.

Those wishing to exhibit their work at the 2018 Artwalk are invited to complete the  Artist Registration Form, which should be submitted for inclusion no later than 21:00 SLT on Sunday May 5th, 2019.

General requirements for entry (ass also the official requirements page):

  • The event is a non-juried show.
  • Artists can display more than one piece if they wish.
    • 2D (“flat” art pieces will be awarded a maximum of 15 LI, and individual pictures should be 1 prim, including the frame.
    • 3D art (sculptures, etc.), will be awarded a maximum of 500 LI for up to three pieces of work. Artists are requested to state the LI per piece in their application.
    • Sales of art are allowed.
  • Types of art supported by the show are: representations of RL photography, painting, drawing, printmaking, collage, and digital fine art that can be displayed on a prim;  and SL photography, manipulated SL photography and SL sculpture.
  • Pictures of RL crafts, such as beadwork, leatherwork, etc., are not part of the show’s  definition
  • All the above art forms are welcome, but should be rated PG / G – so no nudity, please!
  • Group membership will be required in order to display work
  • Questions and enquiries should be forwarded via note card to Artwalk Director Karmagirl Avro, or Artwalk Assistants Kayak Kuu, Linn Darkwatch, maggi696 or RaglanShireArtwalk Resident.
Raglan Shaire Artwalk 2018: Bear Silvershade

Details on set-up will be sent to participating artists on Tuesday, May 7th, 2019. Step-up commences at 09:00 SLT on Friday, May 10th and runs through Saturday, May 11th. Note that space along the hedgerows in Raglan Shire for 2D art is NOT assigned, but can be taken on the basis of first come first serve. Certain areas of Heron Shire will be designated for sculpture set up and available locations set with a marker.

Key Dates

  • Sunday, May 5th: applications close at 21:00 SLT.
  • Tuesday, May 7th: Notification of exhibit space location issued to 3D artists.
  • Friday, May 10th / Saturday May 11th: Artist set-up days.
  • Sunday, May 12th: ARTWALK OPENS.
  • Sunday, June 16th: Artwalk closes.
  • Sunday, June 16th (after 2100 SLT) through Tuesday, June 18th: Takedown of works.

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