A new home for Artful Expressions in Second Life

Artful Expression: Sorcha Tyles

Artful Expressions, the boutique gallery curated by Sorcha Tyles, is well into its May exhibition, and now has a new, expanded home.

Newly relocated on a sky platform 1000 metres above ground, the gallery now occupies two L-shaped buildings built around a central square which can be used for opening events. The buildings provide a greater amount of space for the monthly exhibitions as well as for Sorcha’s own art, whilst retaining much of the homely feel of the original, ground-level gallery space.

Artful Expressions: Magic Marker

With the move comes an expansion in the number of artists exhibited each month. While Sorcha will continue to invite two artists  / photographers to display a number of their works at the gallery each month, she now additionally runs a contest via Flickr, inviting those interested in exhibiting their work to post an image to her Flickr group.

Each month, a picture will be selected by Sorcha and two of her friends – Hayael Bracula and Ninna Dazy – from those submitted, and the artist / photographer will be invited to display some of their work at an upcoming exhibition at Artful Expressions.

Artful Expressions: Hillany Scofield

For May the invited artists are Hillany Scofield and I’m a Magic Marker (SquarePegRoundHole69) – or Magic Marker for short. Hillany really needs no introduction to the world of SL art, being an accomplished photographer and artist who has exhibited widely in-world, and who also has her own gallery space (see me most recent review here). Magic Marker is more of a – to me at least – new name in the art world, and she offers a disarmingly sweet set of biographical notes:

For me, Second Life is a way to escape into a novel that you write yourself, but with me, the story is generally without a plot. Some images are cathartic, some are just because I like to look at pretty things. 🙂  I hope you like them too. And thank you for visiting. ❤  

Artful Expressions: Magic Marker

Her work is an interesting mix of avatar studies, the quirky and the eye-catching, often featuring bold colours which demand our attention.

The selected entry from the April competition is another well-established and widely known artist in Second Life: Goodcross, whom we had the pleasure of seeing exhibit at Holly Kai Park in 2016. Each artists presents a total of nine images for the exhibition, which for this month are all avatar studies / portraits, with each display area clearly noticed and biographical information on the artists readily available. Sorcha’s own work is offered in the foyer area of one of the buildings where coffee and a guest book are on offer, while a cosy hang-out area can also be found in another wing of the gallery.

Artful Expressions: Goodcross

The current exhibition will run through until the end of May 2017.

SLurl Details

Advertisements

Artful Expressions in Second Life: Pan and Sven

Artful Expressions: Pan

The April exhibition at Artful Expressions, the boutique gallery curated by Sorcha Tyles, opened on Saturday, April 1st, 2017. This month, it’s an all boys affair, featuring Panteleimon Aeon and Sven.

Up until now, exhibitions at the gallery have tended towards offering pairings of artists whose work tend to be complementary to one another. This has always added depth to a visit, encouraging one to compare and appreciate both styles on display and consider them as both individual portfolios and a join exhibition, flowing one to another.  With Pan and Sven, Sorcha has shifted things a notch:  Pan focus on avatar studies, while Sven leans more to landscape images; thus presenting two contrasting portfolios of images, each of which are fascinating in their own right.

Artful Expressions: Pan

Pan’s work is visually striking, combining a sense of posed set piece with natural flavour. The result is that while each may well have been composed, so to could each have been easily caught as a moment from the subject’s life; a frozen instant of an unfolding story, the subject unaware they have been so captured.

As regular readers know, I’m strongly attracted to images with contain a narrative, and Pan’s work easy contains entire novel in each image. They draw us into the story, opening the floodgates of the imagination so that we become enwrapped, filling out the back story to these people, their surrounding, and what brought them to this moment in time. These are images to be admired from an artistic standpoint as well; the use of light and shadow, the muted toning, the use of perspective, depth of field, rule of thirds, framing – all play a role in attracting us to these moments in time.

Artful Expressions: Sven

Across the central aisle of the gallery space, Sven also presents nine images, but these are focused on the places in Second Life he has visited and appreciated. “I am definitely no professional by any means. [This is] merely a hobby that I enjoy,” he states disarmingly of his work.

He may not by a professional – after all, how many of us are? – but that doesn’t negate his eye or his style. All of the pieces are again evocative in presenting the scenes they have captured. They also draw us to them, stirring thoughts and imagination, tempting us to wonder at what we might find were we to enter the worlds they offer us and encouraging us to check the pictures for the location names in a desire to visit them (and yes, the names are given).

Artful Expressions: Sven

And did I say these were two contrasting styles? Well, perhaps they are; but they are also drawn together into a cohesive whole by Pan. He has included a single, striking landscape in his set of images. It serves as a natural, subtle link between his display and Sven’s.

Both Pan and Sven will be on display at Artful Expressions until the end of the month. Don’t forget you can also enjoy an ever-changing display of Sorcha’s work on the ground floor of the gallery.

SLurl Details

Artful Expressions in Second Life: Maxie and Cyoko

Artful Expressions: Cyoko Xoon
Artful Expressions: Cyoko Xoon

Sorcha Tyles opened the next exhibit at Artful Expressions, her boutique gallery, on Saturday, March 4th, featuring the work of Maxie Daviau and Cyoko Xoon (AkomoXoon). Once again it’s a fascinating pairing of styles.

To give full disclosure, I’m familiar with Maxie’s work; she’s both a friend, and recently exhibited her work at Holly Kai Park; as such, I might be said to be a tad biased. But only a tad: Maxie’s work carries enough depth of its own to stand without prompting from me, and I’m delighted to see her exhibiting at Artful Expressions.

Artful Expressions: Maxie Daviau
Artful Expressions: Maxie Daviau

Nine pieces of her work are on display, the majority of them landscapes, and all fully demonstrate Maxie’s eye for an image and her ability to take a picture of a location and create an evocative story through considered use of cropping and post-processing. These really are pieces which each tell a story, whether it is one of a journey along old railway tracks, as the shadowy form of a steam train emerges from a tunnel with all the mystery of where it might be going, and who might be occupying the carriages it pulls; or whether it is musing about all the stories the aged and bent trees featured in a number of her shots might be able to tell us, if only they could speak.

Rounded-off by an equally evocative self-portrait, this is an excellent selection of Maxie’s work, and one I have no hesitation in recommending.

Artful Expressions: Maxie Daviau
Artful Expressions: Maxie Daviau

Cyoko Xoon, I have to admit, is a name I’ve not previously encountered – and am possibly the poorer for not having done so. Like Maxie, she has an eye and talent for taking a snapshot and turning it into an extraordinary work of art.

As with Maxie, nine pieces of Cyoko’s work are on display, these with a strong emphasis on wildlife  – and the angles Cyoko has chosen to capture them adds a depth of life to each one which is fabulous to see. Careful Contact, Aggressive and Care in particular are utterly captivating, with Care (seen at the top of this review) in particular the kind of piece I would have no hesitation in hanging in my physical world home, were it possible. Landscapes  also feature in Cyoko’s select, and these are as equally captivating as her wildlife pictures, expressing the same depth and life in each and utilising a similar approach to camera positioning and angle.

Artful Expressions: Cyoko Xoon
Artful Expressions: Cyoko Xoon

Maxie and Cyoko are two more artists with exceptional ability to bring a new perspective to the world around them, and they will be on display at Artful Expressions through until the end of March 2017. Not to be missed – and don’t forget Sorcha’s own art on display on the ground floor.

SLurl Details

Artful Expressions in Second Life: Blip and Nekonuko

Artful Expressions: Blip Mumfizz
Artful Expressions: Blip Mumfizz

Sorcha Tyles opened the next exhibit at Artful Expressions, her boutique gallery, on Saturday, February 4th, and it  not only includes two guest artists, but also presents a new design for the gallery itself.

Now occupying a two-storey structure, a teleport board linking the ground floor with the upper, the gallery has twice the floor space of the previous unit. The lower floor is devoted to Sorcha’s own photography  – which is more than worth a visit in and of itself; she has a marvellous eye for subject, mood and setting, and her studies are entrancing.

Artful Expressions: Socrha Tyles
Artful Expressions: Socrha Tyles

The upper floor is given over to Sorcha’s invited guest artists, and in this lies another of the attractions of Artful Expressions: Sorcha actively seeks out those who may not have exhibited widely in Second Life in the past, or have perhaps been overlooked by other galleries. Thus, her gallery is an ideal location for discovering the work of artists and photographers you may not have previously come across in-world.

“I am an improviser by nature…in life and in my art,” Blip Mumfuzz says of herself and her work. “My images are typically the result of an unplanned, spontaneous interaction with my environment.”  She goes on to state that she became interested in SL photography as a means of recording her travels across the grid. But then, “I noticed that I started seeing differently … I found that once I found saw something interesting I’d start moving the camera around.  Looking over and under, behind and between.  I began looking less at the things themselves…and more at visual and spatial relationships things.”

Artful Expressions: Blip Mumfizz
Artful Expressions: Blip Mumfizz

The result is a set of studies offering  a unique perspective on the virtual world in which we roam and which utilise a refined use of line, form and use of colour to create images which are deceptive in their elegant simplicity, inviting us to look into them and discover the story each contains.  You can see more of her work on Flickr.

Nekonuko Nakamori, the second artist Sorcha is exhibiting through February, is a physical world artist with a grounded in Japanese art and who specialises in conceptual / abstract art in oil.

Artful Expressions: nekonuko Nakamori
Artful Expressions: nekonuko Nakamori

Within Second Life, and as Blip started out, she uses photograph as a visual journal of her travels within the grid. Each piece, a precise 1:1 ratio image, presents a location she has visited, usually with nekonuko herself somewhere within it – sometimes prominently, other times distantly. Carefully post-processed they are offered not only as a record for her wanderings, but as a painting, almost of a waif at large in the world.

Both Nekonuko and Blip will remain on display at Artful Expressions through until the end of the month.

SLurl Details

Artful Expressions in Second Life: Uma Sabra and KyRaLy

Artful Expressions: KrayLy
Artful Expressions: KyRaLy

Open now at Artful Expressions, the boutique gallery curated by Sorcha Tyles, is the January 2017 featuring the art of Uma Sabra and KyRaLy (ElizzaLiza).  As with the opening exhibition at the gallery (see here), these are two artists perfectly suited to being displayed together, their styles complimenting one another perfectly.

Both artists focus on avatar studies, with each presenting pieces which largely – although not exclusively – focus of the face in close-up, with both opting for minimal backgrounds with their subjects. The resulting images are hauntingly evocative in tone, look and emotional content.

Artful Expressions: KrayLy
Artful Expressions: KyRaLy

“I  think it is simply amazing that one can be able and can have all the freedom in the world to create digging deep into imagination,” KyRaLy says of Second Life. “It is a gift that one can see inside of things, the essence of things…” This is perhaps a perfect reflection of her work; each image is offering us a look not so much at her subject, but into them: who they might be, what they were feeling at the time the photograph was captured.

This is especially true of the images in which the subjects are not looking at the camera; by capturing them in a moment where their focus is apparently elsewhere, KyRaLy has imbued them with enormous humanity and vulnerability. Which is not to say those in which the subject is looking at the camera are any the less captivating for their emotional content.

Artful Expressions: Uma Sabra
Artful Expressions: Uma Sabra

Uma plumbs similar depths with her studies. However, where KyraLy has apparently chosen a number of subjects / faces for her pieces, Uma has focused largely on portraits of a single avatar. This makes them more intimate in presentation, as we are given the opportunity to share in the changing moods of the one individual cross a number of images – and perhaps, time.

Four out of her nine pieces are not limited to a facial portraits, but offer a more complete study (including on nude shot). These demonstrate a considered use of focus and background to produce pieces every bit as poignant as her closer studies.

Artful Expressions: Uma Sabra
Artful Expressions: Uma Sabra

As noted above, these are two sets of images by two artists who are well suited to side-by-side exhibition, and the display of their work at Artful Expressions is not one to miss. Bravo, as well, to Sorcha on her second exhibition, and for her choice of artists.

SLurl Details

Artful Expressions in Second Life

Artful Expressions: Ninna Dazy
Artful Expressions: Ninna Dazy

Artful Expressions is a new gallery opening at 12:00 noon SLT on Saturday, December 3rd, 2016, and which is curated by Sorcha Tyles, an artist and photographer we featured in the November exhibition at Holly Kai Park. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity of previewing the upcoming inaugural exhibition for these pages.

With a 30m x 40m footprint and high ceiling, gallery is ideal for presenting images in a large format. Sorcha has used double-side room divider with built-in frames for images to divide the floorspace into three distinct areas: a front lobby area with seating and where Sorcha displays pieces of her own art, and to exhibition spaces, separated by a central walkway leading down to them.

Artful Expressions: Ninna Dazy
Artful Expressions: Ninna Dazy

“I wanted to offer a place where those artists who seldom get the chance to exhibit,” Sorcha said, as we chatted about the gallery over coffee, “Or are too shy to volunteer their work to be displayed in an ensemble exhibition.” The two display areas are well suited to this role, offering artists displaying here an intimate space for their work, whilst also allowing them to be part of the gallery as a whole.

For the opening exhibition, which will run through until the end of the month, Sorcha has invited Hayael Bracula (Flickr) and Ninna Dazy (Flickr). Each presents nine pieces of their work for the exhibition, all of which richly demonstrate their eye and talent, and it is fair to say they are perfectly suited to a joint exhibition.

Artful Expressions: Hayael Bracula
Artful Expressions: Hayael Bracula

Both women focus there work on avatar studies – although not exclusively so; but their approach is strikingly different. Where one stays with colour within her images, the other leans towards monochrome; while one opts for what might be called a “traditional” approach to her studies, the other in places presents studies which run close to being surreal. However, there is no denying the evocative essence in their respective pieces.

I confess to not having come across Ninny or Yaya prior to seeing their work at Sorcha’s gallery – and that’s to my loss. However, it also perhaps demonstrates that she is achieving her aim from the start in bringing those SL photographers and artists who may have escaped wider public attention to the fore. As such, I hope other art bloggers will also provide coverage of Artful Expressions and the exhibitions held there. “We’ll be changing exhibits monthly,” Sorcha said, “And people are always welcome to come, view, hang out.”

Artful Expressions: Hayael Bracula
Artful Expressions: Hayael Bracula

Artful expressions will official open to the public on Saturday, December 3rd, 2016, at 12:00 noon.

SLurl Details