Tag Archives: DaphneArts

The Journey in Second Life

DaphneArts: The Journey

Now open as the ground level of DaphneArts is a new interactive installation by Angelika Corral and Sheldon B, The Journey, which builds on their recent work with mixed media, notably with January’s celebration of Edgar Allen Poe (see: A dream within a dream: celebrating Poe in Second Life).

“The Journey is an imaginary world, telling a fantastical story, using metaphor, analogy and fable,” Angelika and Sheldon say of the installation. “Perhaps a different story to each and everyone, according what the individual is searching to find out, about who and what they are throughout life, as they make choices based on their experiences, beliefs, and outlook. But the search for meaning in life is a Hydra; one question answered leads to many more to contemplate…”

DaphneArts: The Journey

Visitors start their journey on the upper level of a large, cube-like glass and steel structure where they will be asked to allow the attachment of a HUD – which they should allow, as it provides the means to experience the interactive elements of the installation. Instructions on how best to view the installation are provided via information boards, including setting the preferred windlight (if your viewer doesn’t adopt it automatically), and a short video introducing the piece.  Below this, on the main floor, sheep appear to be emerging from two large machines, pointing the way forward, to a snowy world outside the cube.

Core to the piece are three seats: one inside the cube, one out on the snow, the third on the water. sitting on them will trigger a recital of a poem, read by Angelika. All three poems offer reflections on life’s journey. Each of them –  Fire, by Dorothea MacKellar,  A Journey by Nikki Giovanni and Paul Laurence Dunbar’s We Wear The Mask –  provoke thinking through their use of metaphor, give us pause to consider our own outlook on life and the journey we are taking through it.

DaphneArts: The Journey

Metaphor is richly presented throughout the installation, from the poems themselves, to the guiding lines of sheep and fences (a reference to sleep, the gateway to our deepest imaginings, and thus to this imaginary world), to the crows with their reference to death, the inevitable destination of life’s journey, no matter how we attempt to dress it up – such as through a glowing ascent to the heavens. Even the snow falling thick and fast might be seen as a metaphor.

A journey is a fascinating piece, one which depends entirely upon our own experiences, outlook and desires  / hopes / fears in life. It is a piece which, as Sheldon as Angelika note, for every question asked and possibly answered, a dozen more raise their heads. Thus, interpreting  the installation is genuinely a subjective matter, driven by the questions we bring to it, and those which follow them.

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A dream within a dream: celebrating Poe in Second Life

DaphneArts: Edgar Allan Poe Tribute

DaphneArts: Edgar Allan Poe Tribute

January 19th, 2017 marks the 208th anniversary of Edgar Allan Poe’s birth. A literary critic, writer and poet, Poe is perhaps best remembered for his tales and poems of the macabre, although he is seen as the creator of detective fiction, and a leading figure of the Romantic movement in the United States.

Down through the decades, his work has been the inspiration for many in literature, art, radio, film and television. To mark his anniversary, DaphneArts Gallery curated by  Angelika Corral and SheldonBR, is mounting a special exhibition entitled, appropriately enough, Edgar Allan Poe Tribute.

DaphneArts: Edgar Allan Poe Tribute

DaphneArts: Edgar Allan Poe Tribute

A mixed media event, the exhibition features images eight photographers: Edie Horngold, Kate Bergdorf, Mi, Nevereux, Noirran Marx, Jason (fitFanatic), Dr. Strangelove and Sunset Teas. These can be found in two halls of the DaphneArts Gallery 1 space, whilst accompanying them in the remaining two halls is an installation by Angelika and Sheldon. In the first of these rooms visitors can hear Angelika reciting A Dream Within A Dream and in the second stands a micro universe based on the story of the Fall of the house of Usher.

“Our main interest here is in the bizarre and surreal, and Poe has always been one of our favourites,” Sheldon told me, when I dropped in on him and Angelika as they were finalising set-up for the exhibition. “We have always wanted to do something inspired by his works, and decided that being part of the celebration of his 208th birthday would be a good chance to do it.”

DaphneArts: Edgar Allan Poe Tribute - Fall of the House of Usher display

DaphneArts: Edgar Allan Poe Tribute – Fall of the House of Usher display

“His dark, Gothic style is really inspiring,” Angelika added. “It seems our invited photographers like it as well, because their photos came out really strong.”

This is certainly true. Each of the images on display (some of which are seen in the top two images of this article) carries a resonance of Poe’s writing. Some of them do so directly, bearing clear motifs associated with his work, such as the presence of a raven. Others more subtle in their approach – such as with Berenice by Mi.

A Dream Within A Dream offers an immersive environment featuring visual elements and music, together with Angelika’s recital of the poem. In a dark room, dust motes swirl gently on an unfelt twist of air; gentle music and vocals slowly fill the space as Angelika reads this, one of Poe’s most famous poems, in which he laments our inability to prevent the passage of time and asking if can we really distinguish between reality and fantasy?

DaphneArts: Edgar Allan Poe Tribute - Sheldon and Angelika show me Dream Within A Dream

DaphneArts: Edgar Allan Poe Tribute – Sheldon and Angelika show me Dream Within A Dream

“Angelika and I have been working with this idea of 3D exhibitions,” Sheldon said, aftar we had listened to Angelika’s recital. “We like to explore all the possibilities that SL offers us, so we added our contribution to the exhibition in this way.”

It’s an approach that certainly works, the scripts geared to synchronize music and voice as the matching words appear floating in the darkness. What’s more, the poem is a fitting piece for this exhibition, staged as it is in the “unreal” world of bits, bytes, pixels and and packets. Alongside of of the recital space, the model of the House of Usher stands as tribute to another of Poe’s enduring works.

The official opening for Edgar Allan Poe Tribute will take place at 12:00 noon SLT on Thursday, January 19th. Thereafter, the exhibition will remain open for around two months.

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Beautiful Bizarre: art and emotions in Second Life

Beautiful Bizarre - DaphneArts

DaphneArts: Beautiful Bizarre

Opening on Sunday, July 10th at 12:00 noon SLT, is Beautiful Bizarre, the latest ensemble challenge presented by Angelika Corral and SheldonBR at their DaphneArts Gallery. The exhibition features individual works by Gwenarielle, Maghda, Terrygold, Angelika Corral, SheldonBR, Leeleu Lemondrop, Paradox Messmer, Rainbow Mubble, Sabbian Paine, Loki Silverson and Asa Vordun, with Theda Tammas providing both a 2D and 3D piece for the exhibition.

“Art is an expression of our emotions, the way we see and experience the world, and beauty has been depicted as an artistic value.” Angelika and Sheldon note in their introduction to the exhibition. “In the Renaissance, artists developed theories of ideal proportion and harmony, having and the painting of Venus, portrayed by Botticelli, and the sculpture of David, by Michelangelo, as the idealisation of beauty. “Modern art came to bring another perception of a world devastated by two great wars, and it reflects in the asymmetry of bodies and distorted faces. But there is always a place for beauty, even in the bizarre things. Schiele, Picasso, Matisse, the Surrealists, all are great example of this.”

Beautiful Bizarre - DaphneArts

DaphneArts: Beautiful Bizarre

And so it is that the artists here have been invited to present their interpretations of the “beautiful bizarre”; and the result is a highly eclectic mixture of pieces; far more eclectic, I would suggest, than exhibitions such as  Surrealism and Imagine. Which should be taken to indicate anything negative in my view of the Beautiful Bizarre. Art is, after all, an expression of our emotions, as Angelika and Sheldon note, and thus encouraging a subjective, an emotional response to these works is perhaps as much a part of the exhibition as the artists’ own interpretations of the “beautiful bizarre”.

So it might be said that this exhibition operates on two levels. On the first, we are asked to explore how the artists have presented their interpretations of the subject; while and on the second, we are asked to consider our response to each of the pieces offered in the exhibit.

Beautiful Bizarre - DaphneArts

DaphneArts: Beautiful Bizarre

For my part, I was struck by how broad in scope  the pieces are in presenting the theme, whilst at the same time several also appear linked to other another through their underpinning inspiration. This is perhaps most noticeable in the pieces presented by Gwenarielle, Rainbow,, Sabbian and Terrygold; so much so, that I doubt it is by chance that the pieces by three of these artists are all presented in a single room within the gallery.

Elsewhere, reflections of a common point of inspiration might also be glimpsed in both Asa’s piece and the 2D work presented by Theda.  I’ll also confess that the latter piece (seen in the 2nd image from the top of this review), together with Theda’s 3D piece and  Paradox Messmer’s Eyes Unseen (seen in the image directly above), drew the strongest emotional responses from me.

Beautiful Bizarre - DaphneArts

DaphneArts: Beautiful Bizarre

Beautiful Bizarre is another extraordinary exhibition featuring some of SL’s most extraordinary talents; one I have no hesitation I recommending. As noted at the top of this piece, it officially opens at 12:00 noon SLT on Sunday, July 10th, 2016, and will remain open through July and early August.

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Surrealism in Second Life

DaphneArts: Surrealism

DaphneArts: Surrealism

Officially opening at noon SLT on Sunday May 29th is a new ensemble exhibition at DaphneArts, curated by Angelika Corral and SheldonBR – a gallery which is fast becoming the venue for ensemble themed exhibitions by leading artists from across Second Life.

The title for the exhibit is Surrealism, and it features pieces by Awesome Fallen, Catarina Carneiro de Sousa (CapCat Ragu), Kato Salyut, Kimeu Kamolla, Loé, Meiló Minotaur, Miles Cantelou, Owen Landar, Sina Souza, Skye Nefekalum (Azram Belwraith), Thea Maiman, and Yoon, with Theda Tammas providing a sculpture.

DaphneArts: Surrealism

DaphneArts: Surrealism

As with Imagine, which I reviewed earlier in May, each of the artists has been asked to submit a piece on the theme selected by Angelika and Sheldon, and the result is once again a series of images which are as rich in diversity as they are in content.

As the name of the exhibit suggests, the theme is that of Surrealism, an art and philosophical / metaphysical movement which started in the first decades of the 20th Century with the aim of resolving “the previously contradictory conditions of dream and reality”. Embracing many branches of the arts – painting, sculpture, music, theatre, film, literature – it is most often marked by the use of juxtaposition and non-sequitur elements and ideas. Within the visual medium, this can result in the most startling, attractive and thought-provoking pieces of art, and this is very much the case with the pieces presented at DaphneArts, making it a fertile ground for an introduction to, or appreciation of, surrealist art.

DaphneArts: Surrealism

DaphneArts: Surrealism

“Sheldon and I have always admired the imaginative works of these photographers,” she told me as she and Sheldon gracious allowed me to preview the exhibition ahead of the opening. “They create new worlds using only their imagination and they make us dream with them. This is what we liked and thought that it would be wonderful to invite people here to share this dream together.”

Viewing the pieces on display, I was struck by the notion that given the aim of surrealism is to “resolve the previously contradictory conditions of dream and reality”, this exhibition is perhaps a reflective microcosm of Second Life’s macrocosm. After all, Second Life is a place which can very much act as a unifying influence between our dreams and reality.

DaphneArts: Surrealism

DaphneArts: Surrealism

This is another outstanding exhibition brought together by Angelika and Sheldon, one that definitely should not be missed. As noted above, the formal opening will take place at noon SLT on Sunday, May 29th. However, the gallery is already open for visitors, and the exhibition will run through to late June.

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