Tag Archives: Dathúil Gallery

Dathúil: visions of desire in Second Life

Aisling - Dathúil Gallery

Aisling – Dathúil Gallery

Dathúil Gallery, curated and operated by Max Butoh and Lυcy (LucyDiam0nd), has opened its 2017 season with a new exhibition which runs through until the end of the month. Aisling – subtitled Our Desire as Image – sees Max and Lucy extend an invitation to some of those who have previously exhibited at Dathúil to present one or two images apiece on the theme of aisling, being the Irish for vision or poem, and which might also be interpreted as “dream” or “apparition”.

The dozen artists invited to participate in the exhibition are Cicciuzzo Gausman (June 2016), Mr. and Mrs S (Saka Infinity and (Lauralar – August 2015), Daze Landar (DaisyDaze – August 2016), Yann Whoa (Lottomann, April 2015), Io Bechir – January 2016, Maloe Vansant (September 2015), Kate Bergdorf (April 2016), ElizabethNantes (July 2016), Joslyn Benson (Jolivea Tyran – March 2016), Mi (Kissmi – November 2016) and Ash (Ashratum – May 2015). Between them they present some interesting – and occasionally NSFW (!) takes on the theme.

Aisling - Dathúil Gallery

Aisling – Dathúil Gallery

This is a lot of outstanding talent to exhibit under one roof; perhaps too much. Speaking personally, for an event like this, I’d prefer to see a smaller number invited back and asked to display perhaps two or three images apiece. For me, this would allow for a broader appreciation of individual artist’s style and approach, while simultaneously allowing the visitor to more directly compare and contrast approaches and styles, helping to present a more rounded appreciation of the artists and their work.

Nevertheless Aisling is a rich visual feast of images from some of Second Life’s most expressive artists, all of whom I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing at Dathúil. It also offers something of an interesting retrospective on past exhibitors at the gallery without in any way being a retrospective.

Aisling - Dathúil Gallery

Aisling – Dathúil Gallery

The introductory note card at the exhibition provides liner notes from some of the artists on the pieces they present at the gallery, and so should be read. Also, all the images in display available free of charge, should you wish to add one or two to your own collection.

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The Chamber Society’s artistic expression in Second Life

The Chamber Society 4th Annual Photography Competition: the three main prize winers - Dathúil Gallery

The Chamber Society 4th Annual Photography Competition: the three main prize winners – Dathúil Gallery

Now open at Dathúil Gallery, curated by Max Butoh and Lυcy (LucyDiam0nd), is a display of selected entries from the 4th annual The Chamber Society Photography competition.

Unlike the usual monthly exhibitions at the gallery, which focus on a single artist, the October 2016 exhibition features individual works from the “top twenty” entrants from this year’s edition of the competition, which challenges members of the Chamber Society –  a private member’s club – to explore the club’s home region (which is also home to Dathúil Gallery) and capture images reflective of the club’s theme, for submission in the competition.

he Chamber Society 4th Annual Photography Competition - Dathúil Gallery

he Chamber Society 4th Annual Photography Competition – Dathúil Gallery

The aim of the club is “to create a deep and erotic atmosphere for role-play and erotic chat for members. We focus on politeness and manners with a twist. Our members expect intelligent, lively conversation and imagination along with beautiful and detailed surroundings.” Membership requires adherence to a dress code, an understood code of conduct, and observation of the society’s rules.

As one might imagine, given the erotic overtures within [the Chamber], the images on display within the gallery  are of a similarly erotic nature, with many among them perhaps NSFW – which doesn’t make them any the less artistic. In fact, the range of styles and approaches seen in the images displayed at this annual event make it an intriguing and eye-catching exhibition.

he Chamber Society 4th Annual Photography Competition - Dathúil Gallery

he Chamber Society 4th Annual Photography Competition – Dathúil Gallery

A prize purse totalling a generous L$42,000 was on offer this year, with L$12,000 going to LoVeLy (lovelyxan), L$8,000 to Annjalyk Storm (annjalykh2o) and L$5,000 to Ravi Schou, all of whom have their pieces displayed on the ground floor of the gallery facing the main entrance (and seen in the banner image for this article). The remaining 17 selected pieces are arranged around the walls of the gallery on the ground and mezzanine levels, the members responsible for them each having received L$1,000.

“This is not exactly a regular exhibit,” Lucy said as she accompanied me while I previewed the exhibition ahead of the opening. “But it’s a very special one; during the whole month of September you see people running around all over the region, rezzing props and poses which Max loves!”

he Chamber Society 4th Annual Photography Competition - Dathúil Gallery

he Chamber Society 4th Annual Photography Competition – Dathúil Gallery

“In events like this it’s kinda more about the development throughout the month than the show itself, because of the goals of the whole thing,” Lucy continued, her enthusiasm for both the lead-up to the exhibition and the exhibition itself, obvious. “With the regular shows, it’s just the one artist, and a focus on the gallery. With this, it’s our members letting go creatively, which is a lot of fun for everyone!”

The exhibit runs through until the end of October 2016, and as is always the case with exhibitions at Dathúil, I have no hesitation in recommending it.

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Behind the Curtain in Second Life

Behind the Curtain - Dathúil Gallery

Behind the Curtain – Dathúil Gallery

Behind the Curtain,” Daze Landar (DaisyDaze) says of her exhibition now open at Dathúil Gallery, “is the beginning of my exploration of who we are in the spotlight and out.  The circus without a doubt is a great metaphor for life; the big show under a massive tent.  The greatest show on earth!”

The exhibition is the first Daze has presented built around a specific theme, although as hinted by her introductory comments, the theme isn’t what one might first expect. While our eyes are immediately drawn to the huge image of a big top, and several of the images (all of which variously feature Daze, her partner Owen lander, and Elizabeth Nantes, Dathúil’s Lucy Diamond, Syn (Beresford) Zane and Keane Addison as models) involve circus flavours and motifs, this isn’t a riff on circus themes. It’s an exhibition about us: how we project ourselves to the world at large, and who we are “behind the curtain” of those projections, either when on our own or with those with whom we are close.

Behind the Curtain - Dathúil Gallery

Behind the Curtain – Dathúil Gallery

In this, the metaphor of the circus – all bright colours, loud noises, laughter, excitement and greasepaint – works excellently, allowing a range of ideas to be conveyed. Take Troupe (seen above), for example. With its quartet of circus musicians, apparently having a raucous time, it conveys the idea of our public self we tend to project when out and about with friends: loud, happy-go-lucky, fun, good to have around. But look a little more closely; none of the four appears to actually be playing their instrument; a subtle reflection, perhaps, that the outward projection of brashness is far removed from the inner person?

Then there is Strong Shoulders (top of this article). At first it would appear to be a study of a strong man act; the girl hoisted aloft with ease and sat upon a broad shoulder. But so too is it a metaphor of our reliance on those close to us and of their ability to lift us, through words and encouragement, supporting and nurturing us. Trust (which may suggest both escapology and adult bedroom activities!), more overtly carries a similar theme; whilst Hiding Spot and Break Time (below) convey those situations where we feel secure enough to let the masks slip away and just be ourselves.

Behind the Curtain - Dathúil Gallery

Behind the Curtain – Dathúil Gallery

In many respects, Behind the Curtain only scratches the surface of this captivating subject. Daze refers to it  as a “beginning” – suggesting she is considering more works along similar lines. I certainly hope so, not just because it is a fascinating subject, but it is also something which lies very much very much at the heart of environments like Second Life, and the abilities we have herein to both project – and more importantly, to shed – our masks and remove the metaphorical greasepaint.

In the meantime, Behind the Curtain will remain open through until the end of August 2016.

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Inked art and bodies in Second Life

Tattoos. To some they are an expression of individuality while to others they are symbol of affection or love, while still others regard them as little more than a foolish desire to mark one’s body through a painful process. In some circles they are a social statement against the “norm”; in others their meaning can go a lot deeper, mirroring tribal markings of old. When opposing views on their merit meet, the discussion can be heated.

But there is something that’s undeniable about tattoos: they can be quite exquisite works of art, a living, if you will, expression of creativity, both on the part of the artist responsible for the inking, and the person desiring their body to be so marked and coloured.

And through virtual environments such as Second Life, the opportunity to express this joint creative desire is perfectly framed. Not only do the tattoos here remain as fresh and bright as they day they were first inked, so do the bodies on which they appear tend to stay untouched by the passing years. Thus both art and “canvas” remain as fresh an expression of creativity as the day the artist first inked them, or the day we first wore them. And of course, within the virtual, tattoos can be worn painlessly, offering each of us a means of self expression we might otherwise baulk it in the physical world (and I speak as one very much in this category!).

All of these aspects of tattoos in Second Life are wonderfully brought together by Elizabeth (ElizabethNantes) in Inked, the latest exhibition to grace the walls of Dathúil Gallery operated by Max Butoh and Lυcy (LucyDiam0nd). The 23 pieces on display are extraordinary studies which work on a number of levels.

First, and given tattoos are the focus, most are nude studies, many of which are sensual or erotic in their expression. Second, there is a wonderful balance between colour and black-and-white images which both compliment and contrast with one another, drawing the visitor deeper into the exhibit, encouraging repeated study of each image both on its own and alongside of its companions.

And then there are the tattoos themselves, created by 7Prodigy, Aitui, Bolson, Cureless, SpeakEasy and WhiteWidow. Some are full body, others covering just a specific limb or body part, all reflecting the vision and talent behind their creation. Some of the featured tattoos may well invoke the kind of mixed responses I hinted towards at the top of this article, but the entrancing beauty of all of the pieces cannot be denied.

Which brings me, finally, to the framing of the images. In each and every piece, this is quite simply perfect. Sensual and / or erotic some may be, nude they undoubtedly are, and rich is the contrast between black-and-white and colour studies; but there is also something more here. An elegance in both the framing of each image and the pose (either by Elizabeth herself or DelMay) used. Through them, the tattoos worn by Elizabeth’s models, and the models themselves  – Joslyn Benson, Daze(DaisyDaze), EllaSparkss, Jammie Hill, Kazu Koray, Hillany Scofield and Brandon Taselian – become a unified statement of art and natural beauty.

This is another outstanding exhibition hosted at Dathúil, where it will remain open through until the end of July. And it is one that should not be missed by any patron of the arts in Second Life.

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