Interpretations of genres at Blue Orange in Second Life

Blue Orange Art Project 5: Stabitha and Talullah Winterwolf

I was stunned to discover it’s been over 2½ years since my last visit to Ini Inaka’s Blue Orange music and arts venue.  True, for part of that time, the space seemed to be quiescent, but the gap has meant I may have come close to missing the 5th of the Blue Orange Art Projects, given it opened at the start of the 2021.

These Art Projects bring together an ensemble of 2D and 3D artists and creators from across Second Life, who are invited to display their work as something of a contiguous, semi-thematically linked series of displays and installations to be found throughout the seemingly random jumble of display spaces – a layout which encourages careful exploration in order to discover all of the art.

Blue Orange Art Project 5: Eupalinos Ugajin (left) and Olympe 

For the 5th Art Project, Blue Orange brings together Amanda (aht1981), Andromeda (pehi61), Chibbchichi, Tx (ThierryTillier), Eupalinos Ugajin, Gitu Aura, Grady Echegaray, Kleines Sternchen, Mistero Hifeng, Olympe (Olympes Rhode), Stabitha (What88 Zond), Talullah Winterwolf, Tx (ThierryTillier), Venus Adored and  Xirana (Xirana Oximoxi). Together they present a mix of 3D elements (perhaps only 1 per 3D artist) and 2D art displays that have been put together around the theme of four core art movements: Dadaism, Surrealism, Avant-garde and Expressionism (with a lean towards German Expressionism of cinema in the Weimar Republic, 1918-1933).

Each of the artists has been left free to adopt whichever of these movements they find personally appealing, with some touching upon more than one, and others folding-in additional artistic statements. for example, Xirana’s Children in War, and Andromeda’s compositions (some of them interactive – by sure to touch the stars of the constellations) on the subject of astronomy / stargazing.

Blue Orange Art Project 5: Gitu Aura

The latter may not initially appear to fit in any of the four movements. But when you consider the marvels of the cosmos around us, and how they can present a juxtaposition of realities (our own finite span of years compared to the seeming endless enduring of the universe around us); the manner in which some of us illogically assign the happenstance alignment of distance celestial bodies as seen from Earth with some kind of mystical power that affects our lives, and yet we can create images of painting of them which match our ability to photograph them, then the alignment between astronomical images and surrealism starts to become clearer, particularly when you add the fact the way they evoke emotional experience rather keeping us focused on the physical reality of everyday life, and the link gains further strengthened.

Elsewhere, Olympe marvellously captures aspects of Avant-garde together with elements of surrealism through her fractal paintings that are richly captivating in form and colour. In the space below, Tx celebrates the irrationality and photomontage of Dadaism in the company of Amanda, who leans more towards Expressionism – as does  Grady Echegaray in the neighbouring room, whilst also borrowing from the art of collage (also to be found within Cubism).

Blue Orange Art Project 5: Xirana

This is a exhibition that should be explored carefully and without rush; there are multiple ways through the various exhibit spaces, not all of which may at first appear obvious (look for the arrows and the signs). Venus Adored, for example, has an immersive 3D experience that touches on all four movement, but can be missed by the unwary if the sign and  arrow inviting people to walk through a wall are not spotted.

Venus’ exhibit is also one that requires both Advanced Lighting Model (ALM) and shadows to be enabled in order to appreciate it fully; elsewhere it is probably best to have ALM enabled (Preferences → Graphics → Advanced Lighting Model checked), but it is not necessary to have shadows enabled throughout.

Blue Orange Art project 5: Mistero Hifeng (foreground) and Talullah Winterwolf

Richly mixed,  Blue Orange Art Project 5 makes for an engaging visit.

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Blue Orange: adventures in art in Second Life

Blue Orange

It’s been nigh on a year since my last review of an exhibition at Blue Orange gallery, the music and arts venue in Second Life curated by Ini (In Inaka). Part of the reason for this was that the last exhibition at gallery I covered seemed to be drawn out over an extended period, and then the gallery was reported as being closed for re-building. However, I hopped over recently out of curiosity to find it once again open for business – and the rebuild has left a visit feeling less like a trip to a gallery and more of an adventure of discovery.

The familiar subway landing point is still present – but now with a second platform on the far side of the track, the first indication of changes as ghostly trains roar between the tunnels at either end of the station. The familiar music venue lies at the end of the tiled hall leading away from the platform, a hall displaying images by various photographers taken whilst visiting Blue Orange.

Blue Orange: Daze Landar

From here – or earlier, if you opt to walk along the platform to the doors labelled Art Corner – the adventure begins, as the Art Corner can be accessed via a hole in the wall of the club. This route leads visitors first to the Library. Inspired by The Colour of Pomegranates, a 1969  Soviet arts film directed by Sergei Parajanov, this is a surreal place with unfinished walls, against which books are pinned, with more floating in the air. Each book offers a web link to a writer or poet’s website where the given story or poem can be enjoyed.

Beyond this lies an assortment of halls, some connected directly to one another, others reached via doors or through connecting passages (including the second platform), still others reached via stairs and ladders or by actively jumping down well-like holes. Within each of these spaces art can be found.

Blue Orange: Wakizashi Yoshikawa

At the time of my visit, this included 2D photography and art by Grady Echegaray, Harbor (Harbor Galaxy), Natalia Seranade, Gitu Aura, Thea Maiman, Daze Landar (DaisyDaze), and Ina herself.  3D work by Kimeu Korg (Kimeu) and Bryn Oh (the latter reached via the stairs behind the club’s DJ area) is also to be found, while Wakizashi Yoshikawa and Aïcha (Tubal Amiot) present a mix of 2D and 3D art.

Finding your way around the art spaces is, as noted, something of an adventure; confusing in places (are you supposed to go through the blue door and then drop down to a space apparently between the exhibition halls?), but definitely worth the time taken to explore and discover.

Blue Orange: Gitu Aura

I’m not sure if the gallery will feature a changing roster artists, or whether some of the halls are intended to offer permanent spaces in which artists-in-residence will offer different exhibitions of their work – Bryn Oh’s space, for example, now appears to be a permanent fixture within Blue Orange.

However, such questions are secondary to the time spent in explorations here: the art is rich and diverse, and the nature of the gallery’s halls means that each corner or stair can lead to a pleasing discovery for any lover of art in Second Life. However, when visiting do make sure you have enabled Advanced Lighting Model (ALM) on your viewer (Preferences > Graphics), in order to ensure you see all of the art as intended.

Blue Orange

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Art Project 3 at Blue Orange in Second Life

Blue Orange: Xirana Oximoxi

Currently on display at Blue Orange, the music and arts venue in Second Life curated by Ini (In Inaka), is Art Project 3, featuring work by Aicha-Tubal Amiot, Gitu Aura, Rebeca Bashly, Chibbchichi, Jadeyu Fhang, NicoleX Moonwall, Nevereux, Bryn Oh, Xirana Oximoxi, and Theda Tammas.

As I’ve mentioned in the past, part of the delight in visiting this particular venue is its subterranean look and feel, which offers something of a warren of spaces which take time to explore, and make the discovery of what lies within them more interesting. This exhibit is no exception, although my visit did leave me with a feeling the art spaces have been expanded, with everything turned around a little, making navigation this time around a little harder – the LM I regularly use delivered me within the club space itself, rather than out on the subway platform as used to be the case (there’s no official landing point).

Blue Orange: Gitu Aura and NicoleX Moonwall

The art on exhibition is split between four main areas. The first of these is the Art Corner hall just off of the club, featuring a sculpture by Rebeca Bashly, art by Ini herself, and Mindgames by Gitu Aura and NicoleX Moonwall, a display area above the club, featuring pieces by JadeYu Fhang. A hall leading off of this area leads to Alchemy by Nevereux, defined as, “a series of visual allegories meant to detract you from a physical plane and deliver you into mysticism via transformation and criticism.” Note there is a warning to those who are sensitive to flashing lights with this exhibition, but it only applies to the hallways leading to it.

The second Art Corner hall, accessed via the subway station platform outside of the club, features Waiting Box by Theda Tammas, while a further hallway from this again leads to a section of Alchemy. This shares the same warning for those with a sensitivity to flashing light, which again only applies to the entrance hall.

Blue Orange: Nevereux

Above the club is a further hall, this one featuring elements some may recognise as being from OpeRaAxiEty (see here). The final art display area is devoted to 2D art, and split between the hall connecting the club with the subway station platform, while art and drawings by Xirana Oximoxi can be found in a hall down the stairs running down from the hall featuring Rebeca’s art.

Such a broad mix of art makes highlighting individual elements that much more difficult, particularly given the calibre of the artists brought together here. As such, these are displays best enjoyed individually as you pass through the halls and hallways of Blue Orange. However, were I to pick one with a particular appeal, it would be Alchemy. There is a depth of interpretation to be found within it – which is not to in any way diminish any of the others; for example, it’s always a delight to see Bryn Oh’s 2D art.

Blue Orange: JadeYu Fhang

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An ensemble of art at Blue Orange

Blue Orange – Gitu Aura

Currently on display at Blue Orange, the music and arts venue in Second Life curated by Ini (In Inaka), is an ensemble exhibition of 2D and 3D art featuring work by Cica Ghost, Theda Tammas, Rebeca Bashly, Jarla Capalini, Gitu Aura, and Ini herself.

One of the delights of this particular venue is the layout; the warren-like design of the venue, with its feeling of disused subway station, ignored by the trains rushing by in a blur, adds considerable atmosphere to Blue Orange both as a gallery space and a music venue. A hallway, lined with images of Blue Orange events taken by NicoleX Moonwall, connects the landing point with the music venue, and the first art space lies at the end of this hallway, through a hole in the wall.

Blue Orange – Jarla Capalini

This space is devoted to displaying thirteen pieces by Jarla Capalini. Split between landscapes and avatar studies, they have all been carefully post-processed to resemble paintings, and the results are more than eye-catching. The landscapes have a richness to them which suggests oil on canvas, while the avatar studies perhaps lean more to watercolour or pencils on paper and have the feel of studio pieces, rather than of finished works. The contrast between the two styles combines to give this display further depth.

The second art space is best reached via the double doors at the end of the landing area’s platform. Split into two levels, this large space features Gitu’s and Ini’s 2D art, and a single piece by Rebeca entitled The Great Escape. Gitu’s work, Colourful Dreams features ten pieces, all of which have a post-processed, art-like finish to them, albeit one leaning more towards a digital feel with a touch of abstract in places. Between these two, and around the stairwell leading to the lower level, are three dramatic, large-format pieces by Ini, which perhaps set the tone for the main display on the lower level.

Blue Orange – Theda Tammas

Labrinto, by Theda Tammas, is a dramatic powerful piece, with slight hint, perhaps of nightmares (or at least darker dreams) and violence. As the name suggests, this is a labyrinth, defined by crystalline walls and within which bronze like figures are cast, individually and in pairs. Frozen in time, their skins are etched as jigsaws, each with pieces missing, their expressions sometimes hinting at the darker edge to the piece.

Sharing the same space as Labrinto, and located on the other side of the dividing stairway is a far more whimsical piece by Cica Ghost. Between the two, and against the wall, sit is single door. open it, and a TP button will return you to the club.

Blue Orange – Cica Ghost

As noted, Blue Orange is an atmospheric venue, whether you visit for the music or the art, and the current set of exhibitions are well worth take the time to see. Should you appreciate your time there, do please consider making a donation towards the continued presence of the venue for the enjoyment of everyone.

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Blue Orange: where music and art meet in Second Life

Blue Orange
Blue Orange

Blue Orange, is a new music and arts venue in Second Life, brought together by Ini (in Inaka), which opened its doors on Saturday, December 17th, 2016.

“[It] is project to pull together open-minded, friendly people to share time, music, RL and SL art understanding. (rl=sl=rl basically),” Ini says of the concept.  “At first it was an idea to mix urban style with something classy and create bohemian underground music club where people could hear a lot of different music styles, starting from underground alternative, industrial, grunge, indie, noise, psychedelic, folk punk and ending with jazz, neo-folk, instrumental and classical music … Later came an idea to invite creative people who would be happy to share love for art, this how they understand art, how they express themselves and to show how second life as virtual place let to us share it.”

Blue Orange: Indigoclaire and Eupalinos Ugajin
Blue Orange: Indigoclaire and Eupalinos Ugajin

The result is a skyborne “underground” club surrounded by art spaces. The club features a dance floor, two stage areas seating areas. At one end sit two curving arrows. One points the way down an old subway corridor, lined with art by Ini and Gitu Aura, to where ghostly trains rumble through an old station.

A bar by Eupalinos Ugajin sits between the rushing trains, offering those who dare occupy it a drink.  A set of double doors at the end of the platform direct people through to one side of the Art Corner area of the build. This comprises three display halls, of which more anon.

The second arrow in the club area points the way through a hole in the wall and a further art display area, while a set of stairs behind the DJ stage leads one up to an upper level display area.

Blue Orange: Igor Ballyhoo
Blue Orange: Igor Ballyhoo

For the opening, Ini has enlisted artists Igor Ballyhoo, Indigoclaire, Miu Miu Miu, Theda Tammas and Eupalinos Ugajin. Indioclaire and Eupa occupying the middle of the three adjoining halls accessed via the subway platform, with Indioclaire’s 2D art occupying the wall spaces and Eupa’s 3D work occupies the floorspace. Elements of the latter may be familiar to SL art lovers – such as the Dragon from Gravity Is a Mistake (read more here) – and others offer a little interactive fun (you can take a dance on Donald Trump’s hair if you like).

Leading off of this hall are two others. One houses Theda Tammas’ The Cortège, to which visitors are led via a poem inscribed on the floor. The second hall offers a isngle and highly evocative piece by Igor Ballyhoo Sacrificed Angel, which should be viewed under midnight lighting conditions.

Miu Miu Miu’s art sits in the hall reached via the hole in the wall from the club area, so when visiting, be careful not to miss it.

Blue Orange: Miu Miu Miu
Blue Orange: Miu Miu Miu

“I was unbelievably happy when so many people wanted to show their creativity and make Blue Orange bigger, much more ‘wider’,” Ini says of the art exhibits, “not only as music club, but as art project – which is open for all people.”

Music for the open of the club and the art exhibits will be provided by Gitu Aura (12:00 noon SLT through 14:00), Khaz Rotaru (14:00-16:00) and Niels Koolhoven  (16:00-18:00). Those interested in saying up-to-date with events can do so via the Blue Orange inw-world group. Ini informs me that artists will be displaying for 2-3 months at a time at Blue Orange, although they may make changes to the art they are displaying in that time.

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