As I’ve noted a few times in these pages, Bellisseria, the Linden Home continent, provides space not only for people to live and form communities, but also to express themselves and the creativity present in-world and through people’s talents. One of the key ways this is done is though residents in the continent given their homes over for the display of art – their own, the pieces they’ve purchased and / or the works of others they invite to exhibit.
One of the Bellisseria galleries I’ve only recently become aware of – and my thanks to curator Fenella Allen for IMing me – is that of Limoncello Art Gallery.
While perhaps new to Bellisseria (given the continent itself is just over a year old!), this is a gallery with a long history. Originally founded by LastDitch Writer, the gallery existed in a 120-metre long airship hovering over the Mainland region of Nanga, and was home to his personal collection of art, both 2D and 3D.
The space available at Bellisseria is obviously a lot smaller that a 120 metre airship, but Lord Junibalya, who now looks after the collection, has provided a skybox for the art that forms a 2-storey gallery with a fair amount of room for pieces to be displayed – and there is a lot to see!
There is a lean towards art from the physical world – paintings, drawings, portraits, abstracts – but Second Life avatar studies are also well represented, while the upper level floor space lends itself to 3D pieces by Toysoldier Thor and Mistero Hifeng. Other artists represented in the collection whose names are likely to be recognised include Gitu Aura, Dido Haas, Carelyna, JMB Balogh, In Inaka, Audie Whimsy, Wyald Wooley and Asmita Duranjaya, to name a handful.
Given thes pieces are from a private collection, none are directly offered for sale. However it might be possible to purchase a copy of some pieces by contacting the artist directly (but please keep in mind that not all of the artists represented in the gallery may still be active in-world).
An impressive collection offering a lot to appreciate, the compact size of the parcel notwithstanding, Limoncello Art Gallery is well worth the visit for any patron of the arts in Second Life. My thanks again to Fenella for contacting me about it.
The Linden Homes at Bellisseria can be used for many things besides a house; so long as commercial activities don’t take place within one, people are limited only by their imaginations. So it is that friendly cafés, information centres, hang-outs, group centres and more have sprung up across the content – as have a number of boutique art galleries. I’ve had occasion to visit a couple of the latter in 2019, and the opening of two new exhibitions in April gave me cause to hop back once more.
Like myself, Diamond Marchant has an interest in space flight and astronomy, a fact that first drew me to her Beckridge Gallery in July 2019, when she was presenting an exhibition celebrating the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11’s landing on the Moon (see: Celebrating Apollo 11 in Second Life and Sansar). For April 2020, Diamond presents Yellowstone Boardwalk, an exhibition of her own photographs taken in Yellowstone National Park over a 10-day period in June, 2019.
Yellowstone is famous for many things: being the first U.S. National Park (if not the first in the world), for its mountains and waterfalls, its geysers and hydrothermal system, and the incredible richness of its flora and fauna. As such, it is a place that allows people to create marvellous images of sweeping vistas, tumbling falls, rugged mountain ranges and towering peaks, and to film its fabulous array of wildlife.
Sitting atop a vast caldera some 72km by 45 km, sitting over a massive magma chamber thought to be 60 km by 29 km and up to 12 km in depth. This chamber powers much of the geologic activity within the park, and gives rise to a dynamic environment of heated pools, fumeroles and more, with paths through these living location by the use of board walks that both protect the landscape and the tourists visiting it.
It is from these board walks that Diamond has produced a series of images that convert the setting into wonderful fractal-like scenes that show the hidden energies that lie below ground and seen only by the wisp-like venting of gas and steam. The make for a fascination portfolio of photographs, beautifully rounded-out by two of those sweeping vista style shots that capture the enormity of the park’s open skies.
The Hoot Suite Gallery, curated by Owl Dragonash meanwhile, offers an exhibition of Second Life art by Awesome Fallen.
Surrealistic is tone, rich in colour whether dark or light, Awesome’s work often has a dream-like feel to it, sometimes tinged with whimsy and at others by fantasy – but it is always carries a sense of depth and story. All of this is very much in evidence across the two floors of the Hoot Suite, the upper floor featuring a quartet of avatar studies that mix of fantasy and whimsy. The rooms on the lower floor can be found pieces that demonstrate the more surreal nature of Awesome’s work. Together, upper and lower floor offer a compact, engaging cross-section of her art.
Yellowstone Boardwalk will, I believe, remain open through the spring of 2020; Awesome Fallen’s exhibition will remain open at the Hoot Suite Gallery through to May 11th, 2020.
In a surprise move over the last couple of day, The SS Galaxy, the iconic 3-region long static cruise ship, quietly weighed anchor and gently made revolutions to slip away from her long-term home adjacent to the United Sailing Sims, south of Blake Sea and then steam across the open seas to arrive off the west coast of Bellisseria, where she has apparently lowered her anchors once more, within (very long, admittedly!) eyesight of the houseboat neighbourhood I treat as my second SL home.
Dubbed The Queen of the Saggitartian Sea, the SS Galaxy was laid down in 2007, and has remained throughout the intervening years a stunning example of what can be achieves with the humble 10x10x10 prim when suitably sized and cut. Billed as “the largest build in Second Life”, the ship is split across three regions – Galaxy FORE, Galaxy MID and Galaxy AFT, and for the first part of her life served as a floating home for those seeking a more unusual place to live, (with furnished rentals running from cabins offered at L$35 with no prim allowance, to single and double suites (L$550/week with 200 LI and L$1,000/week with 300 LI) all the way up to the likes of the VIP suites and Captain’s suites (L$1,500/with with 500 LI and L$5,500/week with 1500 LI), with numerous public facilities and event spaces (swimming pools, club, restaurant, ballroom, chapel for weddings, skydiving, mini golf, etc.), as well as an on-board shopping mall.
In 2015 it appeared as if the Galaxy’s “cruising” days had come to an end. As I reported in SS Galaxy: a last cruise into the sunset (April 2015), it was announced that for various reasons (none connected with issues of tier), the ship would be closing and removed from the gird.
However, the announcement raised a lot of concern over the potential loss of such an iconic vessel and historic build, that the owners and Linden Lab got together to discuss the Lab to take over running the Galaxy as something of a museum piece, with the removal of all commercial operations (rentals and stores). I was able to break the news in SS Galaxy refits for a new role after the ship’s long-term owner, DBDigital Epsilon, sent me a note (also released on the official SS Galaxy website) that the agreement had been reached.
By August 2015, with the ship relocated slighted from her original position, the work in refurbishing the ship had reached a point where public access was once again permitted, and I was given something of a heads-up on the news and a tour by Frost Mole, who had been leading the work on the refitting (see SS Galaxy lowers her gangways to visitors once more).
At that time, much of the work had been completed, although Frost noted she was hoping to do more. In particular, a balloon tour had been added to the stern helipads and a hang glider to one of the forward helipads, while some of the private areas of the ship had converted into public spaces – such as an art gallery -, and some of the lower decks received things like a new bowling alley, with the mooring stations saw the addition of 7-Seas fishing and swan boat rezzers. Sadly, the skydiving system vanished at the same time – something I personally miss, as over the years, I’d used it to introduce a few people to the sport via the Galaxy; but that’s the way things go; but the top-of-the-hour firework displays are still active.
When the Lab took on the Galaxy, Keira Linden noted that the ship would be made available for public events, and while some were held there (such as a couple of impromptu Lab / Mole / resident get-togethers), nothing was ever really formally put in place to make it obvious residents might use the ship for events. Whether this will not change with her move to Bellisseria remains to be seen – but given the amount of social activity within the Bellisseria community, the liner could become a popular venue, and encourage a wider audience.
The news of the move has been spreading outwards for the 24-ish hours since the Galaxy arrived off of Bellisseria. Initially inaccessible immediately after the move, she is now once again open to public access. Thus fair the responses within various forum threads (see here and here as examples) has been positive, and there has been a fair amount of traffic onto and off of the ship.
Back in May 2019, I produced a piece called On the Road in Bellisseria. At the time, it was intended to be the first in a series of “road tours” around the continent to various public places that form a part of the continent, and also a look at some of the public facilities – pubs, cafés, galleries, show homes, etc., that have been opened by Bellisseria residents.
For a variety of reasons, that idea didn’t go as planned, and given Bellisseria is a dynamic place, constantly growing in terms of physical size and population, offering a road tour isn’t easy. So instead, here’s a short list of places I’ve dropped into of late that might be of interest to those wanting to take a hop around the continent.
These are perhaps a little harder to keep track of, simply because people have the freedom of choice with their Linden Home styles, that they can easily swap designs and purposes – so a house that might be a café for a time might later be switched back to being a cosy home, whilst a houseboat might switch from home to gallery and back again, depending on the owner’s desires. Nevertheless, the following were all current at the time of writing.
Both galleries offer slightly different approaches to displaying art, with Beckridge offering a more “gallery” style environment at the time of my original visit (see: Celebrating Apollo 11 in Second Life and Sansar), where the focus is on the art, with minimal emphasis on furnishings. Ladmilla’s offers a more studio style of gallery, where her own work – including some of her images-with-poems, produced in collaboration with her SL partner, Eli Medier – is displayed in comfy settings with sofas and armchairs. Other galleries within the continent include The Little Gallery (RuffertasAlt), and Bellisseria Squirrel (Halo Rain).
Those seeking café or pub-style environments might be interested in Cain Wycliffe’s Bellis Blues Café. Taking full advantage of Chic Aeon’s add-on elements specifically for Linden Homes, Bellis Blues is presented as the continent’s only Blue-oriented café / club, and features regular events on Tuesdays (10:00 – noon SLT), Fridays (14:00-16:00 SLT) and Saturdays (20:00-22:00 SLT).
Staying with the café theme, those exploring the Trailer and Campers regions by train, truck or (most enjoyably) horseback might want to drop-in to Mitchel Torok’s Mitch’s Hideaway, a place that demonstrates just how versatile the trailer homes can be. An added attraction at the hideaway is the inclusion of a Teaglepet Animesh horse rezzer, allowing visitors to take a horseback ride on a choice of mounts – just remember to turn off your own AO!
Other cafés and pubs I’ve enjoyed dropping into are Soulgoodie’s Everfaire Coffee Shop and the Queen’s Head pub, run by North Crannock, one of the driving forces in the Bellisseria Citizen’s group, and which is modelled on an English country pub. A point to note when visiting resident created public places is that some may also include bicycle rezzers, giving visitors the opportunity to take a ride through the streets and along the paths of Bellisseria.
Further places of interest within Bellisseria include the The Drowned Mouse Arcade for video games, Jupiter Projects, promising “a series of limited engagement interactive environments” and the Pearl Dreams Business Compound, offering a “Surf Shack Café & Bakery, with Chopper Tours” and other elements. I can’t really vouch for any of these or how active they might, be as I’ve only paid them very brief visits courtesy of a landmark list provided by PrudenceAnton.
As with my previous piece on places to visit in Bellisseria, this article is hardly complete – and as noted, places may change purposes over time. However, whether you have property in Bellisseria and want to explore more or are simply curious about paying the continent a visit and looking around, hopefully what is listed here might help you. Those interested in events in Bellisseria might want to take a poke at the Bellisseria Citizen’s Group, which is free to join.
It’s been a few months since I last wrote about Bellisseria, the Linden Homes continent. At that time, the trailers and campers selection of homes had just been deployed – and proven as popular as the Traditional homes and Houseboat ranges before them.
Since that time, as has been reported elsewhere, the continent has been expanded with a lot of new regions slotting into the southern side to fill out much of the “missing parts” when compared to the SSPE “test continent” used to initially develop Bellisseria’s layout.
These new regions have dropped into Bellisseria fairly close to where my houseboat is located, and I’ve tended to take the occasional look at them as things have been under development (see A little Culprit Moonwalking in Second Life, for example). However, as this a is quiet Monday, I decided to drop in to the regions at a time when I’m unlikely to get in the way of the Linden Department of Public Works (LPDW) as they continue to build-out the regions with everything from landscaping though flora and infrastructure to the Linden Homes themselves.
The majority of the regions continue with the current themes of Traditional, Houseboat and Trailers and Campers homes. This means – on the surface – that the new regions could be dismissed as “more of the same”, but as my Monday trip through some of them – by rail and horse – shows that while they may contain the same types of houses, they have their own unique character and look.
Take, for example, the Bellisseria railway. While this was introduced with the release of the Trailers and Campers, the extension to the continent illustrates it in not to be restricted to regions containing these types of Linden Home – as has been hoped would be the case. Within the new regions, the tracks pass from “camping” regions into Traditional homes regions, and back into “camping” regions once more. Along the way the tracks also branch for what I think is the first time, presenting two potential rail routes through the regions, and one of the new Traditional homes regions has markings for what might be a more substantial station than seen elsewhere (or at least one directly served by road).
Given the continued popularity of the Houseboat styles, it comes as no surprise that the coastal regions offer more moorings for houseboats – some of which have already been populated. But again in what might be an interesting turn where popularity is concerned, the new regions offer an extensive reach of the camping parcels along the coast, presenting people who like the Campers and Trailers with the opportunity to enjoy coastal living, rather than being restricted to just the banks of inland waterways and lakes.
The new regions also offer the first real “blending” of Camper and Trailer regions and Traditional House regions. Until now, the boundaries of the two have tended to be denoted by water. With these new regions, the two types of Linden homes draw together more naturally, sometimes with just low mounds between them, sometimes abutting almost seamlessly.
There are perhaps one or two little things that it would be nice to see. The rail tracks for example run through the regions, passing Campers and Trailer and houses alike running over and under bridges and through deep cuttings; but there are are no tunnels – it would be nice to see one or two in the more hilly areas.
Similarly, while the Traditional house regions and the Trailer and Camper regions do more directly abut one another, the roads of the Traditional house regions and the tracks of the Camper and Trailer regions never actually come together; rather they each end abruptly with a stretch of grass between them, it would be nice to a a more natural joining, asphalt gradually giving way to a narrower, rutted track, for example. Or at least have a fence and (open) gate between them, rather than curbstones, footpath and pristine-looking grass.
In particular with the last article, I wrote about converting the raised section of the Windlass design in a bedroom. This involved putting in a false floor and an additional stairway. While it worked to a point, having two staircases inside the houseboat was a bit weird, and while other things took me away from the houseboat (truth be told I barely set foot in it between that June 2019 article and the end of October), the issue nagged at me.
The problem, in short, was the “hard” stair railing that blocked any access to an upper floor put into the Windlass from the existing stairway – the stairs being intended purely to access the houseboat’s upper deck. However, in hopping back recently and swapping from my use of the Barnacle houseboat to the Windlass, I had one of those embarrassing “well, duh!” moments: Why even keep the existing stairway leading up to the upper deck?
In the June design, I had already partially walled-in the fixed stairway, boxing-in the cubbyhole under the stairs in the process, to provide a “back wall” for a kitchen area and a false space to suggest a bathroom. By opening this out again, but keeping the stairway hidden behind a curved “ceiling”, and then completely blocking out the bottom end of the stairs allowed me to:
Hide the existing stairway and create the impression of a bathroom tucked into a corner of the houseboat.
Extend the “bedroom” space the full width of the upper section of the houseboat, while keeping the stairway door as a mean to access the upper deck.
Relocate the spiral stairs serving the bedroom so they don’t dominate the floor space of the houseboat so much.
Use the re-exposed cubby hole under the “fixed” stairway as the home for a galley kitchen.
Open out the rest of the available space for a roomier dining space (so much pace, I’ve yet to work out what I want to do with bits of it!
The exterior view of the houseboat, vis window placement, doesn’t quite align with the interior layout (the stairway is marked by two large windows) – but dropping the blinds on these tends to help hide this, although I did toy with blocking the windows out complete. On the flip side, general access to the upper deck isn’t lost this way – it’s still possible to reach it via the simple expedient of an external stairway, as seen in the top photo, one easily accessed from the lower floor of the houseboat and the docks I dropped in for mooring my boats.
All of this isn’t a genius move; doubtless others arrived at the same solution well ahead of me – hence referring to it as a “well, duh!” moment. But it at least makes me happier 🙂 .