Red balloons in the wood

DiXmiX Gallery: Red Balloons In The Wood

Now open at DiXmiX Gallery, is Red Balloons in the Wood, an exhibition of work by the gallery’s owner, Dixmix Source. The byline for the exhibition reads simply, when unusual avatars are wandering in the forest, and it comprises seventeen woodland scenes, each of which, in keeping with the title and the byline, feature both red balloons and an avatar.

This is a hauntingly beautiful collection, featuring some marvellous pieces, each with a story to tell – or at least suggested; quite what it might be is down to the person seeing these pictures, which range from what might be considered a “simple” capture of a horse (Horse Walk) through the pieces of fantasy (So Trees Have Gender; Cute Elf Was There Too) to some with a darker edge, despite the title (Every Way Is A Good Way, When it’s the right Time), to others with a more erotic edge.

DiXmiX Gallery: Red Balloons In The Wood

Adding to the atmosphere of the exhibit is the use of denuded saplings and trees, some with the signature red balloon tied to them. These add to the feeling of being in a woodland setting, such that with camming, some of the images can be seen through the bare branches, extending the sense of presence within the pictures. At the same time, the soft tones used within the pictures contrast powerfully with the red balloons. The latter serve to draw the eyes to them after initially taking in the broad essence of a picture, before the eyes are drawn back to the canvas as a whole, and the story it contains.

All told, this is a masterpiece collection of the artist’s talent, one well worth visiting; and while there, do be sure to enjoy the exhibitions by Lam Erin and Tintin Tuxing, both of which are due to be coming to the end of their run (and you can also read about them here).

DiXmiX Gallery: Red Balloons In The Woods

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Summer’s colours and sensual moods in Second Life

DiXmiX Gallery: Lam Erin – Colours of the Summer

Now open at DixMix Gallery are two new exhibitions which, although not in any way intentionally paired, offer studies in the two most popular forms of Second Life photography: landscapes and avatar studies. Between them, they feature the work of Lam Erin and Tintin Tuxing.

For Colours of the Summer, Lam Erin presents ten images of landscapes within Second Life, the majority of which have been tinted / enhanced with colours associated with summer – notably gold, yellow and green – but which should not be taken to be simple photographs of summer scenes. Rather, these are studied pieces, carefully processed to present a range of responses and perhaps suggest certain ideas for narratives behind them.

DiXmiX Gallery: Lam Erin – Colours of the Summer

In particular, each of the pieces is marked by a broiling, active cloudscape; a dramatic, even foreboding, cast to the skies which even in the more restful images among the ten (such as Autumn Trace and Italian Countryside) adds an edge to the picture. They serve to make us reconsider each image after we’ve first cast our eyes over them, drawing us into the narrative behind the scene presented. Sometimes this can be direct – such as the brooding sense of a rising storm in Neverfar, through to a more subtle reminder that the ship lying calmly at anchor in Bal Harbour can have a capricious mistress with the seas on which she sails.

All told, a marvellously evocative set.

DiXmiX Gallery: Tintin Tuxing – Sensual Moods

In the nine images she presents for Senusual Moods, Tintin Tuxing (Alexandrea Barbosa) takes visitors in another direction entirely: towards that of the sensuous and sensual.  Beautifully presented in monochrome (for the most part), these pictures draw us into a personal world of sensuality edged with a touch of the erotic in places.

The majority of the pieces focus on a single subject, and are both evocatively titled and posed. Six of the nine powerfully convey mood through the model’s expression alone, with one using a simple splash of colour to give draw us closer to it. These are marvellous studies which captivate the eye. Of the remaining three, I confess to finding one seemingly slightly out-of-place in that it features a couple and is posed such that a bicycle in the foreground draws and hold the attention more than the scene being played out. Perhaps intentional, it did for me break the mood evoked by the rest of the pieces. In difference to it, The Lonely Cello drew me the other way; the only one of the pieces fully  – if mutedly – in colour, it is a captivating study.

DiXmiX Gallery: Tintin Tuxing – Sensual Moods

Both Colours of The Summer and Sensual Moods are Small exhibitions in turns of the number of images displayed, but each is an engrossing display. My only grumble, which is towards the gallery, not the artists, is once again, no liner notes / biographical information is provided on the artists – or a means for them to offer their own information / thoughts on the works they are presenting.  Such notes may not be vital to an appreciation of the art on display, but can help present a clearer picture of the artists, and – as I’ve mentioned before – are hardly difficult to produce / have produced for presentation to interested visitors to the gallery.

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Switch on the Lights at DixMix in Second Life

DixMix Gallery: Switch on the Lights

Now open at DixMix Gallery is an ensemble presentation of art entitled Switch on the Lights, which appears to be wither sponsored by, or a co-presentation with, LUMIPro, the commercial photography  lighting system, and the first to use projection prim capabilities.

So far as I can tell, the participating artists are  Jr Feiri, Reneesme Portland, xxstanislasxx resident, Kimma, Cyrece Delicioso, Angi Manners, DixMix Source,  Trixie Pinelli, Toxic Valentine, Sedona Silverpath, Peep Sideshow Darkward, Tazara Bailey, Kira Ragged, Scarlett Rhea, Ornella Batriani, Space Hurricane, Ilke Huygens, Freekency Banx, Wiwi Swot, Marleine Magic, Kevin De’Cypher,  Bettina, Ember Wulluf, Calypso Keng, Fleur Imagines SL, U.Sabra, Sedona Silverpath and Abi Latzo.

DixMix Gallery: Switch on the Lights

As one might expect with LUMIPro’s involvement, the majority of the pieces in the exhibition are avatar studies. However, if I sound a little uncertain about this display, it’s because the information relating to it is less than forthcoming. The invitation I received contained only the Gallery’s landmark and a note card advertising LUMIPro. There is a similar dearth of information actually at the gallery as well. Thus I had to resort to editing each image to grab the artist’s name. Not ideal when reviewing.

There are other minor annoyances as well. The exhibition is referred to as “selected photographies” – but how were they selected and what role did LUMIPro play in it? Given some artists appear to have only one piece submitted, others 2 or 3, what criteria were employed in the selection process? Did some artists only submit the one piece, and other several? Were submissions adjudicated? If so, how? And so on.

DixMix Gallery: Switch on the Lights

These may sound like minor niggles, but having this information to hand can add depth to an exhibit, whether or not you are reviewing it; and it’s not as if providing background notes is a particularly difficult task. As it is, the lack of available information does diminish the exhibition somewhat.

Which is a shame, as this is a striking exhibition. I was particularly drawn to the wall-sized format images, such as Crisis by U Sabra, and Marita Karu pileup by Jr Feiri (above) – which I found utterly mesmerizing. The range of styles and subject presented (colour, monochrome, individual, couples; indoor, outdoor, nude, dressed, etc), is equally eye-catching, drawing one into the exhibition. Given this, it is possible to look past the niggles and appreciate the exhibition as very much worth viewing.

DixMix Gallery: Switch on the Lights

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Angi Manners at DixMix Gallery in Second Life

DiXmiX Gallery: Angi Manners
DiXmiX Gallery: Angi Manners

In Lust We Trust is the title of an exhibition of 15 images by Angi Manners (Anj4) which opened on Saturday, February 4th at DiXmiX Gallery, curated by Dixmix Source.

A creator of avatar skins and co-owner of the Polar Bear brand of erotic poses designs for photographers, Angi regards photography as her passion. For In Lust We Trust – and as the title might imply – she presents a series of erotically charged pictures, together with three or four which veer more towards the sensual end of the scale than the erotic, but all of which might be considered NSFW.

DiXmiX Gallery: Angi Manners
DiXmiX Gallery: Angi Manners

There is no doubting the artistry involved in all of the images: the composition, framing, lighting, posing, is all exquisite; yet I initially found myself drawn more towards those I regarded as being more sensual than outright erotic – such as Let Me Think About It, The Body Applier (both of which are seen at the top of this article), That’s Not So Funny (directly above) and Pole Dancing.

It’s a reaction I found interesting: I consider myself broad-minded; in both the physical world and in Second Life I’ve been involved in many “adult” activities, yet I’ve always regarded sexual engagement between two people as a deeply personal thing, and can suffer so degree of inner discomfiture when seeing sexual acts openly performed / displayed.

DiXmiX Gallery: Angi Manners
DiXmiX Gallery: Angi Manners

This is not in any way a negative reflection of Angi’s work. Far from it; rather, it speaks to the power of her images as I found myself pondering my reaction to those which are more explicit and erotic, questioning what actually triggers that inner sense of discomfort I can feel around overt public eroticism. Thus, In Lust We Trust  – for me at least – offered a fascinating play on emotions and reactions which, quite conversely, drew me back to the more erotic series of images to study them further, adding a further subtle twist to the title of the exhibit.

In Lust We Trust in located in the gallery’s Black Gallery exhibition space, occupying both the lower and upper floors, and will remain open through until March 4th.

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