Purple Leonis: Witch at DiXmiX

DiXmiX Gallery: Witch

Opening at 12:00 noon on Saturday, October 27th at DiXmiX Gallery is a special exhibition of art by Purple Leonis ONeill (Nel4481). Entitled Witch, it celebrates the mystery and mysticism of Halloween as a time of witchcraft and dark magic by recalling the story of a woman whose fate is very much tied to black magic and dark arts.

Welcome,

My name is Madeleine and I’m a witch …. well …. I was … here is my story.

Thus we are introduced to the protagonist of the story, a woman who went against her times to seek out the forbidden, to communicate with the dead, and to join with other women of like mind to found a coven.

DiXmiX Gallery: Witch

Though brief, the story colours her life sufficiently for us to track it from that first evening of temptation through until her death at the hands of local villagers. It is a story reflected in the  images arranged into the lower and upper floors of the gallery’s Grey Hall, itself decorated to presented a suitably haunting look.

The images are striking both in their richness of character, and in the manner in which they both illustrate and add subtext to Madeleine’s tale. Some show her awakening through subtle means: a seemingly gentle evening game with a cat (felines – albeit generally black ones – being the usual familiar for witches) or the innocent-looking brush of fingers over a Bible. Others are more direct: caught in a Ouija board induced trace, naked dancing around a night-time fire in the depths of a forest and – ultimately, trapped at the stake as the flames rise.

One night, everything has changed. Village men came to capture me. That night sounded my end….
Beaten, maltreated, tied up by the villagers, I was tied to the pyre of those condemned for witchcraft.

DiXmiX Gallery: Witch

With – again appropriately  – 13 images in total, the exhibition sits as both a display of art and – in a sense – a graphic novel telling Maeleine’s tale. My one small quibble with the story is the date on the tale: 1890, a time long after he period when women would be burned for the perception of their witchcraft.

Music for the opening will be provided by Miss Dee Hannaha, and given the nature of the event  – although it is not openly stated – suitable dress may will be appreciated.

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DiXmiX: CapCat and Meiló

DiXmiX Gallery: CapCat Ragu

Saturday, October 20th saw the opening of a new joint exhibition by CapCat Ragu and Meiló (meilo Minotaur) at DiXmiX Gallery – “joint” because not only are the two sharing the exhibition, they are also close friends in-world. A further connection between them is there respective exhibits share something of a related surrealist / post-modern surrealist lean that offers a subtext on identity.

CaPCat’s exhibition reside in the gallery’s Black Gallery hall on the lower floor. Entitled Fading, it presents a progressive series of images of an avatar’s head and shoulders, each labelled simply as “fading” with a number. Starting with Fading #1, with what appears to be a slightly out-of-focus study, they offer increasingly overlaid images in which the subject’s features are increasingly offset and overlaid, increasingly more detached from one another to become almost collage-like in form.

DiXmiX Gallery: CapCat Ragu

By presenting multiple, overlaid images, each picture raises questions of who we really are: we offer so many faces to the world – even to each other, no matter how well was know one another – that who we really are becomes blurred and distorted; the different versions of self overlaying one another, something almost combining, other times trying to become separate.

Within the gallery, the pieces have apparently been deliberately arranged out-of-sequence, suggesting the order isn’t so important as the commentary each individual piece makes on identity / the nature of self. However, I admit to finding following them in ascending order from Fading #1, gave the pieces an added narrative.

DiXmiX Gallery: Meiló

Located in the White Gallery hall on the mezzanine level, Meiló presents Stranger in a Strange Land, a series of intriguing paintings – self-portraits? –  each bright with colour. They depict an almost albino-like figure making her way through scenes and settings, mostly alone, but sometimes in the company of another – although she tends to always be the focus of the pictures.

Incorporating a blurred, hazy quality, the paintings have a similar surreal edge to them as the photos in the hall below. This not only causes the viewer to focus on the main subject, but also highlights the idea of travelling through a strange land: a world defined less by shape and form and more by colour. In doing so, they again seem to suggest a questioning of self: who we are within the world through which we travel, and what our place might be within that world. In this the albino-like presentation of the main figure adds to the questions raised, perhaps causing us to question who we are within this world – physical or digital.

DiXmiX Gallery: Meiló

When taken individually or as linked collections, Fading and Stranger in a Strange Land present thought-provoking exhibitions, something a little different for DiXmiX, but also something worth visiting and evaluation for yourself.

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Alo’s Black and Colours in Second Life

DiXmiX Gallery: Black and Colours

Opening on Friday, October 12th, 2018 at 12:00 noon SLT is a new installation by Alo (Aloisio Congrejo). Black and Colours is being hosted in The Womb, the recently revamped exhibition space at DiXmiX Gallery. And I have to say, that it is a curious piece.

Lacking liner notes from the artist, the installation is a multi-faceted piece entirely open to interpretation. Within the darkened hall is a mix of 2D the 3D elements, some of which are presented more-or-less as “traditional” photos; others appear to be 3D images offered 2D images; some are strongly abstract in nature while others mimic a polarisation approach similar to that found used by 3D movies to present what appears to be 2D art in 3D. All of which adds up to a richly diverse installation.

DiXmiX Gallery: Black and Colours

As might be expected from reading the title of the installation, there is a deliberate play through between black and the use of colours – most notably red and yellow, together with that other neutral – white. This is itself highly effective in drawing the eye into the installation, while the linear aspect in much of the art adds a geometric dimension to the entire installation that allows the wall mounted elements (together with the figures that might be close to them) to both exist independently to one another, and yet also be bound together by the white-on-black pattern of lines on the floor.

This subtle linking may well not be initially apparent, the eye perhaps initially being drawn to a colourful, strongly abstract free-standing scene within the hall. At first looking like paper shapes patterned in swirls and lines of black-and-white or red-and-black, skewered by red, yellow and black pins forced into the floor, these shapes are transformed by camming around them into  what might be dancing couples caught in a complex set of tangos performed to unheard music.

DiXmiX Gallery: Black and Colours

This abstract element is bookended on either side along the length of the hall by Alo’s photo images, which I confess to finding the most eye-catching. Furthest from the floor sculpture is a series of enticing white-on-black images of a near-naked woman. Marvellously lit, this series of images looks almost 3D in its execution, each of the images emphasising a different element of her pose: full body, booted legs, gloves arms with turned-away head between… In their midst is a further version of the image set behind 3D elements, all of which combine to suggest – from a distance, 2D art projected as a 3D piece.

The other display is a subtle and complex set of images of a woman’s head which I strongly recommend camming across slowly to fully appreciate them. Each is a layered construct, designed to mimic a polarised 3D effect, something which comes into focus (quite literally) as the camera faces them and glides from one side to the other. Not only does this highlight the “polarising” element, it also brings forth the subtle shift in colour tones used within the images.

DiXmiX Gallery: Black and Colours

I confess I have absolutely no idea how to interpret or quantify Black And Colours – or even determine if it needs interpreting in any way; I also admit there are elements to the piece that escape my ability to quantify. But this does not diminish  Black and Colours in any way; it simply means this is a piece very open to personal interpretation throughout, and thus an installation that should be witnessed first-hand.

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DiXmiX: Maloe, Isa and Harbor

DiXmiX Gallery: Maloe Vansant

In September 2017, Dixmix Source opened DiXmiX Gallery (read here for more). Since then, the gallery has run a series of exhibitions, running on roughly a monthly basis, featuring some of Second Life’s most impressive artists from across the grid.

To celebrate the gallery’s first anniversary, Dixmix held a special party on Saturday, September 22nd, 2018, which including the opening of the latest exhibition, featuring images by Harbor (Harbor Galaxy),  Maloe Vansant and Isa Messioptra. All three are making a return to DiXmiX gallery, and between them present an intriguing – some might say disturbing, in places – series of studies, some of which appear to have come as much from the physical world as from Second Life.

DiXmiX Gallery: Isa Messioptra

The majority of the images are close-up studies, rich in emotional content and expressiveness, each with a story to tell. Some do involve nudity, and should be considered NSFW. All and carefully framed to ensure our focus is solely on the subject of the image, and unlikely to be distracted by sundry elements of their surroundings.

Such is the evocative nature of all three displays,that singling out individual images proved difficult; all three artists have sought to convey feelings through their selected images, and each display deserves to be seen in its own right, and the images I offer here are purely to encourage you to pay a visit for yourself.

DiXmiX Gallery: Harbor Galaxy

As a part of the new season – but not yet in use – The Womb, the underground display area at DiXmiX has been re-developed. “It’s now an 8,000 square metre black room,” DiXmiX informed me during my visit. “We will have new installations there,” he continued, “Alo [Aloisio Congrejo] will be first in there, in October, and then Nevereux.”

I look forward to seeing the installations of both, and in the meantime, the current exhibition will run through until into October.

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DiXmiX 2017-2018 retrospective in Second Life

DiXmiX Gallery: Cecilia Nansen Mode (December 2017) and Uma Sabra (September 2017)

DiXmiX Gallery is one of the most prolific galleries in Second Life in terms of the frequency of exhibitions. With three halls available for art, the gallery can feature up to three artists a month on a rolling basis, sometimes with exhibitions in the respective halls overlapping one another in their duration, a move which further helps to keep visits to the gallery fresh.

For the four weeks from August 17th, 2018, curator Dixmix Source is hosting a slightly different exhibition from the “norm” at the gallery: it is something of a retrospective of exhibitions held through 2017 and 2018, with the work of some 30 artists on display across all three halls and within the basement gallery of The Womb. As such, it is an opportunity to both revisit memories of past exhibits and  – for those unfamiliar with the art displayed at DiXmiX – the opportunity to sample its scope of the art to be found there.

DiXmiX Gallery: Oyo and Magic Marker (April 2018)

The artists included in the exhibition are (dates in brackets refer to reviews in this blog): Elo (elorac Paule), Maloe Vansant and Uma Sabra (September / October 2017); Purple Leonis ONeill (Nel4481), Juris Bergmanis (JurisJo) and Imani Nayar (October 2017); Cecilia Nansen Mode (December 2017); Titus Palmira, Gaus (Cicciuzzo Gausman) and Burk Bode (February 2018); I’m A Magic Marker, Oyo and Mr. S (April 2018); Giovanna Cerise (May 2018); A. DeLauren (AlessaMendoza), Kimeu Korg and Kato Salyut (June 2018); together with Goodcross; Huckleberry Hax;  Vallys Baxter; Lou Shadow; Moon Edenbaum, Nur Moo, and DixMix himself.

The exhibit also incorporates  Bicycles (July 2018), relocated for this exhibition, a selection from Melusina Parkin’s Less is More (February 2018) and the Best of The Womb, featuring  Nath Baxton and Joslyn Benson, all of which can be found in the basement gallery, The Womb.

DiXmiX Gallery: Juris Bergmanis (October 2017)

DixMix is very much a gallery that leans towards avatar studies within the exhibitions it hosts – which given Dixmix himself is very much an exponent of the art of avatar studies, is an entirely natural bias – and this is very much reflected in this retrospective exhibition. As such, those pieces that focus on other elements of artistic expression, such as physical world art (represented here by Huckleberry Hax) and SL landscape art (notably, but not exclusively, Juris Bergmanis), tend to particularly capture the eye in scanning through the gallery. But don’t let this deceive you; there is a richness of narrative this is striking in every single image presented.

Several exhibitions at the gallery have been built around a theme by the artist, and capturing this in just one or two images isn’t really possible. Take Celicia Nansen Mode’s Within the Voice of Björk from December 2017, a captivating interpretations of female form, moods and feelings, beautifully through images and the music of the Icelandic singer (and still one of the most memorable exhibitions I’ve seen at DiXmiX). It was a stunning exhibit, but one not easily recaptured hen presenting just two of the images from the collection.

DiXmiX Gallery: Elo (September 2017) and Purple Leonis (October 2017)

However, Dixmix has sought to get around this issue where possible. With 12 Photographers and 1 Chair by Mr. S, and Bath Stories by Nur Moo, for example, the complete set of images for each are presented as a framed slide show, allowing all of them to be seen in turn. Sadly, due to the use of music with each of Celicia’s pieces, this approach wasn’t possible for With the Voice of Björk.

As noted, the exhibition is stated to run for the four weeks from August 17th, and offers an ideal introduction to DiXmiX gallery and the general style of art displayed there for those who have yet to visit, and a trip down memory lane for those of us who frequent the gallery.

DiXmiX Gallery: Oyo (April 2018)

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The art of Bicycles in Second Life

DiXmiX Gallery: Bicycles – Melusina Parkin

Most of us have probably owned – or still own – a bicycle, whether it be for fun, sports, fitness, part of our daily working routine (or even a requirement to work) or simply an alternative means of getting out and about and enjoying the countryside / local sights. We can lavish care and attention on them to keep them in tip-top condition, or we can simply regard them as a utility and replace them when they get too old or break. But are they art?

Well, yes they can be – as the July / August 2018 exhibition at DiXmiX Gallery demonstrates. Entitled Bicycles, it is a slight departure from the more usual run of exhibitions at the gallery, in that it takes up all three halls as a single display of themed art, featuring images by 25 Second Life photographers.

DiXmiX Gallery: Bicycles – Anu Papp and Ornella Batriani

Taking part in the event are: Calypso Applewhyte, Ornella Batriani, Skippy Beresford, Bliss Bookham, Jimmy Boots, A.DeLauren, Mareea Farrasco, Carisa Franizzi, Gaus, Huckleberry Hax, Kimeu Korg, Loverdag, Mich Michabo, Key Monk, Tutsy Navarathna, Mr Noboby, Randonee Noel, Karen Oliven, Anu Papp, Melusina Parkin, Megan Prumier, Grace Rotunno, Dixmix Source, Twain, and Jonda Zabaleta, with each artist submitting one or two images.

The pieces vary in style and presentation. In some, it is not unfair to say that the bicycles might be considered incidental to the overall image; they were simply a part of the landscape or setting when the picture was taken. Equally, some appear to have been use to frame an image intended to convey a broader emotional response than a focus on the bike itself. Then there also those where the bicycle is clearly the intended focus, bit it being ridden, standing on its own, lying broken, or images just in part. Thus, we get to view the bicycle in numerous ways, whether central to an image or not.

DiXmiX Gallery: Bicycles – Tutsy Navarathna

Which is to say this is a richly diverse exhibition in which the subject matter is more broadly presented than one might think. All of the images are captivating in one way or another, be it the way in which they are offered, the narrative they encapsulate, the use of colour and tone – or the various combinations of these factors. Presentation is also a significant part of the images and their presentation: the collection of monochrome pictures on the upper level of the Grey Gallery, for example, offers a power contrast to the majority use of colour images through the rest of the exhibition, while the considered placement of Cloudy Day by Gaus and Bicycle 3 by Key Monk also providing a contrasts with their surrounding images, and thus capturing the eye. Meanwhile, the two large format images in the foyer area of the Grey Gallery demonstrate how humble velo can be an icon of pop art.

The emotional content of the images is equally as broad as the colours, tones and subjects offered through the pictures. But there is one emotion often associated with bicycles that within this exhibition is conspicuous by its almost total absence: joy.

DiXmiX Gallery: Bicycles – Skippy Beresford

Yes, bicycles can be props to frame moods and offer a sense of depth and feeling, be it with someone leaning moodily back against their bike, or walking it gently over terrain unsuitable for riding, or in the sight of a machine lying broken or bent. But bikes are also fun. Riding one can give a wonderful sense of freedom, a liberating sensation of speed and escape. It is for this reason I fairly leapt at Skippy Beresford’s Last Day of School (seen above). Yes, it’s not unfair to say the bicycle is in some ways incidental to the broader idea of escape from the routine a rigours of the school week – but it’s equally fair to say the sense of exuberance and excitement exuded by the picture perfectly encapsulated the sheer sense of joyful freedom a bicycle can offer.

Which is not to detract from any of the other images displayed here; all do have something to say, and all are fine examples of the subject and the artistry of the photographers. Why not take a ride to DiXmiX yourself and have a look?

DiXmiX Gallery: Bicycles – Jimmy Boots and Mr Noboby

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