Melusina’s Empty Spaces in Second Life

DiXmiX Gallery: Empty Spaces

Melusina Parkin makes a return to DiXmiX Gallery about a year to the date after her latest exhibition there (see Melusina’s Minimalism in Second Life), to present Empty Spaces, this time in the gallery’s Black exhibition hall.

Melusina’s work is often a fine blend of detail, space and minimalism, all carefully combined and crafted to present images that are elegant in their unique focus and rich in narrative and feeling. This is perfectly reflected in the twelve images presented in this collection which – if I might be so bold as to suggest – carry with them something of a thematic link to her previous exhibition at DiXmiX, Less is More (see link above), and perhaps more particularly to her June 2017 exhibition, Absences (see Melusina’s Absences in Second Life).

DiXmiX Gallery: Empty Spaces

As with that latter exhibition, Empty Spaces presents images that are perhaps notable for what is absent; rooms and hallways that are devoid of furnishing and décor – or, where furniture is present, it is noticeably absent signs of use; there is no-one seated on the couch or chair while the dresser appears unattended and the pool strangely sans water.

But where Absences offered a single point of focus within a room or setting – a chair, a coat hanger suspended from a hook, a ruffled bed – Empty Spaces in many respects takes a step back; while some images do offer sight of a couch or chair, a rag hanging from a hook,  most offer a much broader view; the focus is far more on the room, the space the image represents, than the object or item within it.

DiXmiX Gallery: Empty Spaces

Windows and doors, for example appear in many of the images – even those featuring a specific object – halls and open views can be seen, as at times, are hints of other spaces just out of our sight. Thus, the narrative many of these places is broader than that of Absences. What lies behind the closed door, is there something awaiting discovery around the corner of a hallway our in the spaces that lie between us and a distance doorway, hidden from our view by intervening walls? What might lie at the bottom of the empty swimming pool or beyond the opaque glass of windows, where shadows can only give hints – and perhaps deceive.

These are images that again allow us to become playwrights; we can write the stories they hint at; but so to is there the sense of something more within them. Are we looking at images that reflect the lives of others, vignettes of their times and presence-in-absence? Or are we in fact looking at spaces in which the echoes of our own times and actions might still be heard?

DiXmiX Gallery: Empty Spaces

And this is what I continue to love and admire in Melusina’s art; through it she offers both and theme and idea that is – by the nature of her having taken the image – her own, but leaves the story behind it entirely down to us to define and tell. Thus, her exhibitions are always engaging and thought-provoking delights.

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Wiona L at DiXmiX

DiXmiX Gallery: Wiona L

On February 15th, a new exhibition opened at DiXmiX Gallery, curated by Dixmix Source, is a small exhibition of art by Wiona L (dx61005). It’s a small but engaging exhibition located in the gallery’s Grey hall / foyer area.

Wiona describes herself as a “so-claimed SL photography enthusiast, wanderer,” Wiona undersells herself somewhat. the 12 images in this exhibition reveal a photographer of talent. Avatar studies these may well be, but the majority of them have such a playful, natural air about them, they present themselves very much as pictures taken “in the moment”, rather than being painstakingly posed to give the appearance of being so. This alone makes this exhibition perhaps different to others that have been offered at DiXmiX.

DiXmiX Gallery: Wiona L

Take Lets Go To The Pier and I Can Hear The Autumn, for example. The former (seen above) has a wonderful air of intimacy about it; an image caught by one part of a couple who are out and enjoying their time together, so much so that you can almost hear the title being exclaimed in delight by the blonde-haired woman, with its accompanying laughter as they run to the pier in question.

Meanwhile, I Can Hear The Autumn alongside it (and to the left of the top image) presents an image of a gentle moment from someone’s afternoon: a young girl resting in the warmth of a lowering sun after a long and satisfying ride, her bicycle resting against the verandah rail on which she sits. It’s a moment of quiet intimacy captured whilst she was lost in thought and unaware of the camera’s presence.

DiXmiX Gallery: Wiona L

Only the two large images in the collection break with this idea of moments of natural expression caught by the eye of an unknown photographer. While they bare witness to the same artistry and skill as the other ten images in the collection, they nevertheless have more of a feeling of being purposefully posed to achieve the desired shot, rather than being a purely happen-stance moment caught in time.  I say this not in any way as a criticism of either picture, but rather out of the fact that they do stand apart from the rest – hence why, perhaps, they are displayed across the foyer from the rest of the exhibit.

But that is a purely personal view. There is no doubting this is an engaging exhibition, rich with story, beautifully presented and well worth taking the time to visit.

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Edie Horngold at DiXmiX

DiXmiX Gallery: Edie Horngold

Now open at DiXmiX Gallery, curated by Dixmix Source, is an exhibition of art by Edie Horngold entitled What’s the Pointe? It is located in the gallery’s White Gallery exhibition hall on the mezzanine level, and as might be hinted at in the title, it has something of a ballet theme to it.

On display are 13 images presented in black-and-white or soft tones, each focused on a dancer, either in full or on a specific aspect of her dance. or attire – such as ballerina flats in the case of the latter, or the hands placed in premiere en bas in the case of the former. Some present poses that might not be considered “traditional” ballet poses, but certainly echo the central theme.

DiXmiX Gallery: Edie Horngold

The use of black-and-white / soft tones causes the eye to be drawn into each of the images far more effectively that had they been rendered in colour. It also gives them a crisp depth that gives them a degree of life that again, might not be as evident were the images produced in colour.

While it is likely to be accidental rather than by design, the monochrome nature of What’s the Pointe? offers a powerful and engaging contrast with My Anonymous Shadow, the exhibition of work by Dixmix Source on display in the Grey Gallery hall, and which you can read about here).

DiXmiX Gallery: Edie Horngold

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Nostalgia in Second Life

DiXmiX Gallery: Mareea Farrasco

Nostalgia is the title of an exhibition by Mareea Farrasco that opened at DiXmiX Gallery curated by Dixmix Source, on January 26th, 2019.

Presenting twelve soft-toned images that perfectly reflect the idea of memory and nostalgia, this is a hauntingly beautiful display of art, each image almost heart-rending in its sense of wistfulness.

DiXmiX Gallery: Mareea Farrasco

Mixing landscapes with what might be regarded as avatar studies, clues to the pieces can be found within their title – Freezing Point, Islands, The Rain Army – which may suggest interpretation or may simply offer a clue to the story within. But what that story might be really comes down to your mood / frame of mind when viewing them.

Indeed, such is the personal nature of the images, to offer any interpretation here would be pointless; the most I can offer is the impact they had on me. Such as with Mer étale (Sea Spreads), a piece that to me captures both the loneliness we can feel in life – and the need we all at times feel of wanting to be alone.

DiXmiX Gallery: Mareea Farrasco

In this respect, were I to suggest a single emotion that seems to pervade several of the images offered, it would perhaps be solitude; this sense of being alone contrasting with a desire to be alone.

Given the depth of meaning present within these images, they each deserve study and time; they are pieces that should be considered, not just glanced at; absorbed, not just seen.

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My Anonymous Shadow in Second Life

DiXmiX Gallery: My Anonymous Shadow

My Anonymous Shadow is the intriguing name of an exhibition of work by Dixmix Source, owner and curator of DiXmiX Gallery, that opened on Saturday, January 19th, 2019. On display are 12 images focusing on – as the name implies – the photographer’s shadow, or in some cases the artist’s avatar presented as a shadow; hence the intriguing nature of the exhibition.

It’s an innovative approach to presenting what might be thought of as avatar studies; within each image we see an anonymous figure; a silhouette, sometimes cast by light across a floor or wall, and others, the shadowy outline of a figure expressing emotion or framed within a setting, or abstractly caught in what otherwise be the pages of a graphic novel. But in each and every one of them, the black figure is both the centre of the image, yet (literally) a dark unknown.

DiXmiX Gallery: My Anonymous Shadow

With a considered use of colour in some of the images (more blatant in the likes of Shadow 5 and Shadow 7; softer and more refined in the likes of Shadow 9 and Shadow 11), the use of abstract presentation (again, Shadow 9 together with Shadow 3 and its mirror twin, Shadow 12), and carefully composed character studies (such as Shadow 8  and Shadow 10), this is a fascinating series. There is a narrative within each piece, waiting to be told – and that narrative very much depends on how you approach this exhibition.

For example, they might be considered individually, and as they were formed: pieces depicting an actual shadow cast on a surface, or a figure shown in deliberate silhouette. Viewed in this way, the story each image tells tends to be one of composition, balance, tone, capture and presentation; the play of light and dark, the contrast of shadow and object, in which the shadow / silhouette is divorced from association with a person, but is simply a component part of the artist’s use of contrasting elements to complete the whole, even when as expressive as Shadow 8.

DiXmiX Gallery: My Anonymous Shadow

But if they are considered as a whole, and within the context of the title, the narrative becomes more involved and branched. On the one hand, they could be taken as imaginings on what our shadows might be doing whilst we are otherwise occupied: out in their own world, exploring, experiencing, searching. On the other, these pieces might be seen as reflections of thoughts and emotions; considerations on identity, place, relationships that are personal to the photographer; yet at the same time, the very anonymity of the figure within each renders them as reflections of moods, events, feels, that we, the observers have experienced and can instantly recall in viewing them.

Thus, My Anonymous Shadow becomes a fascinatingly layered exhibition, one which can be enjoyed purely from the artistic expression each piece presents, and / or for the more narratives and ideas that lie just below the surface – or should I say, within their shadows?

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The monochrome beauty of the female body

DiXmiX Gallery: The Huntress

Warning: the images in this article are NSFW.

Now open at DiXmiX Gallery is an exhibition by The Huntress (TheHuntressSnare) simply entitled The Huntress. It presents 15 monochrome images, all of them nude studies of The Huntress, and which stand as a celebration of the female body.

DiXmiX Gallery: The Huntress

By using monochrome, rather than colour, the images The Huntress presents a series of images that have a certain depth that might otherwise be lost. The dark background used in each tends to focus the eye and the mind much more keenly. This results in two things: it brings added life to the studies whilst also making no bones about the sheer sensuality contained within them. Within many of them, this is not only a woman comfortable with her body, she is prepared to delight in it and decorate it for her own pleasure.

The more sensual nature of the pieces displayed obviously also casts the observer into the role of voyeur. While obviously posed, there is a natural fluidity to several of the images that suggest the subject is perhaps unaware of the camera: the position of a hand over a breast as if stroking, or hovering over the midriff – as if a few more minutes would see the subject caught in flagrante delicto.

DiXmiX Gallery: The Huntress

Obviously, such voyeuristic leanings, coupled with the level of nudity on display might put some off; on the other hand there is no denying the artistry involved in these images: the posing, the lighting, the angle and cropping. Each is in itself a study in the art of photography. They are also, possibly somewhat autobiographical, reflecting the artist’s own freedom from, and acceptance of, self.

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