Now open at Savor Serenity is Dark Wood and Other Destinations, an exhibition of CybeleMoon’s always enchanting art. It offers a journey through her world, from woodland to coast, taking us past ethereal settings inhabited by children and creatures.
Cybele’s art ranges from portraits to landscapes, encompassing magical totems, hidden groves, wild glens, fairie circles, haunted woods, lonely shores and gardens of colour, light and shadow. Her palette offers us mixes of digital and real, gently mixed with tales and stories, children at play, picnic teas and enchanted children. All of which are offered within Dark Wood – and more besides.
Splitting the gallery into three spaces through the considered placement of wall hangings that carry images of their own, Cybele presents us with a gentle tour of her work. Within the centre area we are introduced to her waifs, a wonderful set of largely monochrome portraits of children, together with one of her marvellously layered digital pieces that comes landscape and child’s face to present a haunting story within, and video presentations of her work.
Bordering the central area are images of her woodlands and coastal scenes, her glades and more of her children – the latter often infusing several of her images with a sense of fae magic. For me, one of the attractive aspects of this exhibition is Cybele’s use of 3D elements with two of her pictures; these lead us into the art with which they are placed, making a part of their narrative. In this, it is exceptionally hard not to want to climb the wooden bridge in from of The Winter Path and attempt to follow the trail to see what lies beyond the distant bend that sees it pass behind shadowed trees.
Similarly, the use of a pool with small boat and lilies sitting upon the water that adjoins The Fairy Glen at Rosemarkie, adds a depth of narrative to the idea of fae folk the art presents, the face below the water suggesting a water nymph at play in the waters spreading outward from the glen and “into” the pool.
Evocative, rich in image, colour, tone and story, Cybele’s art is always a delight, and for those familiar with it or have yet to experience her work, Dark Wood and Other Destinations should not be missed.
CybeleMoon (Hana Hoobinoo) is renowned for her fabulous mixed-media art. It carries within it a richness of tone, a mixing and balance of light and shade, a depth of symbolism and – most poignantly – a wonderful framing of narrative that makes any exhibition of her work in Second Life utterly unmissable.
All of this richness, depth and framing is on display in full force at The Itakos Project, curated by Akin Alonzo, where Cybele presents The Stolen Child, a series of 15 images presented within a glade-like setting caught in the enfolding arms of ancient ruins, which has been specially built for the exhibit by Akim. Reached via the teleport door in the main foyer of the gallery, this setting is not merely a backdrop for Cybele’s art, it is part of the overall theme of the exhibition, designed through its form and lighting to increase the feeling of immersion in in the story the exhibition presents.
This story is not offered as a linear tale; rather, there is a central strand of theme running through both setting and images. This strand leads us through Cybele’s images, linking them indirectly and without necessary order (although one is suggested, somewhat by the circular placement of the pieces) as they form windows, if you will, into the underlying proposition of the exhibition; a proposition a proposition Cybele explains thus:
Fairies are not benevolent creatures at all, attracted by the strength and vitality of mankind, they kidnap children and especially newborns, or seduce (for the purpose of kidnapping) beautiful girls and boys.
She continues by noting the myth of the fairy lies routed in a times past need to rationalise the death of a child, be it at birth or with a short span of months or years thereafter: that the fairies had stolen the child away from a otherwise sad destiny. Within this weaving of fable, there was also menace: children with autism, depression, or other mental health issues were at times considered to have lost their souls as a result of eating fairy food.
Thus through Cybele’s art were are presented with a series of poignant scene sit within the framework of the dome of a night’s sky – the time when fairies might be abroad more than during the hours of daylight – and within a symbolic ring of ancient walls and arches. The latter carries with it a echo of the fairy ring of mushrooms that act as doorways to the fairy realms, or the idea of the faery castle hidden from mortal eyes by the form of a hill, and into which abducted children might be taken should they not take care.
That central strand running through the images – and the exhibition as a whole – takes the form of The Stolen Child, written in 1886 by by William Butler Yeats, who was also captivated by the entire mythology of faeries in Irish mythology. Through the words of his poem, we witness the bewitching song of the faerie folk, calling to children, tempting them away…
Come away, O human child! To the waters and the wild With a faery, hand in hand, For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.
Cybele takes lines and words contained within the poem as titles for each of her pieces. Thus, each image forms that window I mentioned above, a glimpse into a scene, one that is often double-edged. On the one hand, it may seem innocent and rich in joy or tranquillity: young folk running through a meadow; a view across rolling hills at twilight while sheep graze; the innocence of blowing into a dandelion. On the other, the titles of the pieces hint at the darker element of fae intent: the stealing away of children, of leaving mothers bereft, to deny the young that chance to see sheep grazing at twilight or know the comforts of home and hearth, their young lives having been swept away with the promise of dances by moonlight in places forbidden by their ever-anxious parents.
To further accompany the exhibition, Cybele also provides a short story, together with additional images, that can be found on her (always enchanting) website. Also presented with the story and images is an audio recording of the marvellous Loreena McKennitt, who put the words of The Stolen Child to music. I’ll leave you with a video of the song from one of Ms. McKennitt’s live performances, and the note that this is a truly engaging and evocative exhibition; rich in narrative and atmosphere, and absolutely not to be missed.
The Itakos Project (ATL, rated Moderate) – remember to take the teleport door in the gallery’s foyer to reach the exhibition!
I recently received a couple of invitations to visit the new Focus Magazine Gallery, one from CybeleMoon, who is their inaugural Featured Artist exhibiting in the main gallery, and also from Angela Thespian, Editor of Focus Magazine.
The main gallery occupies the upper floor of one wing of a multi-purpose building located within a sky platform designed to resemble a city-space. With the use of projected lighting, it is an ideal environment for displaying 2D – and is especially finely suited to CybeleMoon’s (Hana Hoobinoo) marvellous art-as-stories, the bright, modern lines of the gallery with the muted cream tones perfectly compliment the dark tones and depth of light of Cybele’s art.
The exhibition accompanies a feature article on Cybele in the June issue of Focus Magazine that makes for excellent reading for those not familiar with Cybele herself, offering rich insight into the influences on her life and art. It goes a long was to explaining why I am a confirmed admirer of Cybele’s work; while her art far outstrips anything I could hope to achieve, we nevertheless share common themes of interest: Celtic mythology, the attraction of certain landscapes: misty glens, high moorland fens, remote tors and the beauty of light caught between the branches of trees; the muse of music – notably Ennio Morricone (perhaps the single most gifted composer of the 20th century), James Newton Howard and Klaus Badlet.
But it is her art, first and foremost that attracts me; the richness of tone, the mixing and balance of light and shade, the symbolism and – most poignantly – the depth of narrative. As such – and as I’ve often said, her art is not to be missed, and at Focus, she presents a broad portfolio of her work that offers a superb introduction for those not familiar with her work, and an engaging makes a visit more than worthwhile.
Tucked into a corner across the central area of the platform (which was in a state of flux when I visited, being a green park the first couple of times I dropped in earlier in the week, then sprouting a drive-in movie theatre when I dropped in on Saturday – a sign that this is an evolving setting) is the FAIR gallery – for Focus Artists In Residence programme. Split between two floors, this offers four exhibition spaces which for June feature the art of Naema (mojosb5c), Red Fire (RobinLeia), Tig (tigggg) and Angela herself.
All four present art focused on avatar studies, but the work is so richly various in style and approach that the visitor doesn’t feel overwhelmed by the volume of pieces on offer. These are four artists who individually have a depth of style that is attractive to the eye, and I found it somewhat refreshing to see a gallery featuring male self-portraits as an Artist In Residence exhibit; not that this doesn’t happen – just that it seems at times to be rare.
But I confess it was perhaps Red Fire’s work that most deeply attracted me. Incorporating that subtle balance of light and dark, often carrying a fantasy / fantastical theme, and with that all-important narrative subtext, I found Red’s art utterly captivating.
With strong roots in the arts community through the magazine and it sin-world group – Too Sexy For This Group (TSFTG) -, and with the perspective of using the main gallery space to offer additional focus on their featured artist for each issue, of the magazine, Focus Magazine Gallery promises to make for a fascinating – no pun intended – focus for future visits.
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.
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.
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.
Open now through until May 2019 at Ce Soir Arts is the Spring Awakenings art exhibition, which includes 2D and 3D art together with poetry and a series of live events in the spoken word.
As spring dawns, it’s time to turn our attention to the beauty of nature – and the beauty of the human spirit. We – in the northern hemisphere – are coming through the last dreary days of winter, moving slowly into the freshness of spring! Winter is beautiful: snow sparkling in the moonlight, sweet red cardinals taking refuge in snowy firs, and the warmth of home enveloping us as we come in from the cold. But spring! And awakenings!
Ce Soir co-owners, Mireille and Ǣon Jenvieve-Woodford
The art exhibition is extensive, spread throughout several of Ce Soir’s buildings and in the surrounding gardens, making it an ideal opportunity to not only appreciate the art on display, but to explore gallery and grounds.
The participating artists for the exhibition, as listed in the guide note card are: Ǣon Jenvieve-Woodford, Amy Inawe, CybeleMoon, Daze Landar, Fae Varriale, Isabel Hermano, Jolie Parfort, Jojo Songlark, JudiLynn India, Mathilde Vhargon, Michael Romani, Mireille Jenvieve-Woodford, Morgue McMillan-Shoreland, Paula Cloudpainter, Pieni, Rage Darkstone, Randy Firebrand, Russell Eponym, Secret Rage, Silas Merlin, TaraAers, TerraMerhyem, Virginia, Xanthe and Xirana Oximoxi.
Such a diverse group of artists marks this as one of the broadest themed exhibitions I’ve visited in a while in terms of individual interpretations of the the theme, with names both familiar and new to me. It’s always a delight seeing the work of CybeleMoon, JudiLynn India, Michael Romani and Silas Merlin, but it was an absolute delight to discover the beautiful images of Second Life birds by Jolie Partfort and sculptures by TerraMerhyem. Each artists appears to be presenting at least two pieces of art, and some may be interactive and require touching – check the notices often to be found in each display area.
Three landing points are given for the exhibition, so rather than embedding SLurls here in the text, I’ve included them at the end of this article.
The spoken word events feature Ǣon Jenvieve-Woodford, Aoife Lorefield, Bryn Taleweaver, Caledonia Skytower, Dubhna Rhiadra, Mireille Jenvieve-Woodford, Morgue McMillan-Shoreland, Russell Eponym and Stranger Nightfire. These are side to be taking place through until Sunday, April 14th, but to be honest and outside of the opening event, I failed to find a schedule either at the exhibition or on the Ce Soir website; group membership may be required to receive word on dates and times.
Richly diverse, located throughout the fantasy inspired Ce Soir landscape, Spring Awakenings is a joyous – and quite joyful – celebration of art.
There are two very different exhibitions we recently visited. Each is being held within boutique galleries , and both are very different to one another, involving the of work of two very talented Second Life artists.
The first is People and Places, portraits by CybeleMoon, which is presented at the Liquid Sky Gallery, curated by Cassandra Ushimawa. It features, as indicated by the title, the remarkable photography of CybeleMoon (Hana Hoobinoo), featuring some fourteen marvellous photographs of people and places.
Those who read this blog regularly will know I’m an unabashed admirer of Cybele’s work; as I’ve previously noted, she is without doubt one of the most expressive fantasy artists in Second Life. However, for this exhibition, she presents a series of photographs all of which appear to have been taken in the physical world (although Remains of the Day might have admittedly originated in Second Life).
Predominantly black-and-white, although some are presented in soft tonal colours, and balanced between portraits and landscapes, these are pictures beautifully presented, each with its own story to tell – one or two quite literally, as touching them will offer a note card with an excerpt of a story. The portraits are utterly captivating in their depth of humanity and life, while the landscapes are marvellously evocative; the sheer wild beauty of the Ring of Brodgar is wonderfully caught in Cybele’s photos (see at the top of this article), for example, while Dublin is perfectly framed with Ha’ penny Bridge.
For its inaugural exhibition, Aggregate Gallery, curated and operated by Brinsen Davis, features an adult-oriented display of art by Megan Prumier, which might be considered NSFW.
Orient Excess also presents fourteen images, all of them avatar studies, the majority semi-nude and focused on the eroticism of milder Japanese shibari / kinbaku rope bondage. As such, this exhibition might not appeal to everyone – but there is no denying the artistic expressionism available with each of the images presented within it, both in terms of the sensuality of the bound figure (whom I presume is Megan), and the overall framing, focus and tonal quality of each image.
The oriental element of exhibition is also contained within the overall setting presented across the two floors of the gallery. These furnishings reflect the Japanese and D/s / BDSM elements of the exhibition. In fact, they more than reflect: they are a part of it, adding further depth to both the setting and the theme. Shibari / kinbaku is about aesthetics; thus by incorporating Japanese décor elements into the exhibition, Megan is providing a further visual aesthetic to her work.
This makes for a fascinating exhibition, one that will remain open through until the end of February 2019.