Tag Archives: Dathúil Gallery

Dathúil: an adult Private Sphere in Second Life

Private Sphere – Dathúil Gallery

Private Sphere – Dathúil Gallery

The latest exhibition at Dathúil Gallery, curated and operated by Max Butoh and Lυcy (LucyDiam0nd), opened on March 4th, 2017. Entitled Private Sphere, it features the work of Prairie Kawashima, and encompasses adult themes, and so should be considered NSFW.

“For almost a decade, Second Life has been my refuge – a place of boredom, excess, love and inspiration,” Prairie says, introducing her exhibition. “Some of this incredible mixture that I keep enjoying so much has turned into a river of self-shots (including occasional homages to my closest friends) that has  found its way to my Flickr account. Other things will forever remain private. Private Sphere is a selection of mostly unpublished pictures that have been between these two categories for some time.”

Private Sphere – Dathúil Gallery

Private Sphere – Dathúil Gallery

On display are 29 images laid out in a maze-like pattern in the lower floor of the gallery. The central theme is avatar studies with a focus on bondage and / or nudity – hence the adult nature.

Some of the bondage is explicitly shown, with several images featuring shibari / kinbaku, with the focus purely on hemp-style rope, others featuring more westernised approaches of restraint: manacles, stocks, cuffs, etc.  Where bondage is not the focus of an image, it is sometimes implied through the curls of rope on a bed or the flow of chains across a sheet, while several of the poses include suggestions or hints of submission.

Private Sphere – Dathúil Gallery

Private Sphere – Dathúil Gallery

The nudity within the images is also explicit, and most of the pieces appear to have undergone minimal post-processing. Combined, this gives them a direct feel which is – to use an English phrase – pretty “in your face”, in that their raw sexually is openly shown without the subtleties of soft focus, light airbrushing or similar, which might otherwise soften the impact as one wanders between the frames in which the images are set.

This approach – both in terms of the directness of the images and how they have been laid out  –  adds a voyeuristic frisson to the exhibit: we are being invited into a private sphere of activities and witness them with the added excitation over what might be revealed around the next corner.

Private Sphere – Dathúil Gallery

Private Sphere – Dathúil Gallery

Private Sphere isn’t going to be to everyone’s taste – but that doesn’t mean it is any the less artistic in form and presentation that more modest displays of avatar studies. It will remain on display at Dathúil through until the end of the month.

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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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