Art that’s Almost Blue(s) in Second Life

Vibes Gallery: Almost Blue(s) – Anaya Oneiro and Tutsy Navarathna

Almost Blue(s) is an ensemble exhibition featuring the work of 16 artists brought together in the gallery spaces at Vibes Gallery, curated by Eviana (eviana Robbiani).

The introduction to the exhibition speaks pretty much for itself – and is expanded upon in the halls itself.

Because blue is favoured by so many people, it is often seen as a non-threatening colour that can seem conservative and traditional. Blue brings to mind feelings of calm or serenity. It is often described as peaceful, tranquil, secure and orderly. Blue is often seen as a sign of stability and reliability.
Vibes Gallery: Almost Blue(s) – Peachy Holst, Hermes Kondor and Kiron

The artists participating in the exhibition comprise:

  • Theatre 7: Kimeu Korg, Meilo Minotaur, Shane Spero, Sonic and Karma Weymann.
  • Theatre 8: Peachy Holst, Kiron, Hermes Kondor, Anaya Oneiro and Tutsy Navarathna.
  • Theatre 9: Mya Audebarn, Evie Heights, Matt Marcus, Jo Molinaro, Ooxooi and Cate Vogel.

The majority of the artists offer two or three images that encompass the overall blue theme, with the majority of the images taking the form of avatar studies, some of which use blue tinting / lighting to convey a mood / emotion (as with Jo Molinaro. Mya Audebarn or Anaya Oneiro) or offer a narrative frame for a story (e.g. Matt Marcus or Tutsy Navarathna). Some sway toward broader tonal pieces to convey emotion / ideas (e.g. Kiron or Ooxooi), whilst all offer an engaging and richly diverse series on pieces that demonstrate individual talents to the fullest.

Vibes Gallery: Almost Blue(s) – Mya Audebarn, Cate Vogel and Jo Molinaro

Adding a sense of emotion and depth to each of the theatres are additional words – the lyrics from Almost Blue by Elvis Costello, the represents of music through the colour blue – or, if you prefer, the description of the tones musical instruments in terms of the colour blue -, which serve to add a further layer of interpretation to the pieces on display.

With pieces that both contract and compliment whilst reflecting and interpreting the central theme through multiple ideas, forms and narratives, Almost Blue(s) is an engaging exhibition set out within a gallery space that doesn’t leave you feeling overwhelmed by the pieces on display.

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Nara’s Forgotten Ghost in Second Life

Art Korner: Nara Ghost – Forgotten Ghosts

Currently open within Frank Atisso’s Art Korner hub is Forgotten Ghosts by Nara Marcus (Nara Ghost), a quite captivating series of black and white studies that are wrapped within a personal theme whilst each piece carries its own narrative mood – although I very much doubt what is offered in terms of theme and narratives will be lost on any of us, as Forgotten Ghosts very much holds up a mirror into which we can all gaze.

Life can be a complicated thing. We can have periods when everything seems to be ganging up on us: tasks take longer to complete than expected, or become overly onerous; moods plummet; people around us all appear to be operating in their own gloom; worries about just about everything – life, work, health, kinds, parents, finance, etc., – seem to build themselves into insurmountable peaks all around us, and so on. But then circumstances change, and we find ourselves bursting through them, with life becoming brighter, lighter and something to be enjoyed – yet even when this happens, those darker times haunting us and perhaps informing us.

Art Korner: Nara Ghost – Forgotten Ghosts

These latter times – when feeling good, but the shadows are lurking – are the moments Nara explores within Forgotten Ghosts, part of the exhibition title reflects her avatar’s name, thus emphasising the personal perspective contained within the 16 images on display, something further emphasised in her use of urban environments for the images in reflection of the fact she is from a city background.

These are all images that have been carefully posed and constructed – and quite beautifully so – to capture the personal moods Nara wishes to convey. However, their brilliance lies in the fact that while personal to her, they each carry a richness of mood, emotion and / or narrative with which anyone viewing these pieces can identify. This is likely because, as Nara notes herself when introducing the exhibition, we tend to be more driven by the things that haunt us than those that don’t.

Every day, I try to live a healthy and happy SL, but the darker and moody vibes seem to be easier to connect with and drive me to create. I hope you appreciate it as much as I did, like the entire process and the end outcome.

– Nara Marcus (Nara Ghost)

Art Korner: Nara Ghost – Forgotten Ghosts

All of which make for an evocative and engaging display of art.

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2022 Raglan Shire Artwalk in Second Life

Raglan Shire Artwalk 2022

Raglan Shire, Second Life’s Tiny community, has once again opened its doors to people from across the grid as participating artists and visitors are invited to the Raglan Shire Artwalk 2022.

This year, the the event runs from Sunday, May 15th, through until Sunday, June 19th, 2022. It  offers an opportunity not just to appreciate a huge range of art from both the physical and digital worlds, but to also tour the Shire regions and enjoy the hospitality of the Raglan Shire community.

A non-juried exhibition, the Artwalk is open to any artist wishing to enter, and has minimal restrictions on the type of art displayed (one of the most important being all art is in keeping with the Shire’s maturity rating). All of this means that it offers one of the richest mixes of SL art displayed within a single location in Second Life, with 2D art is displayed along the hedgerows of the Shire’s pathways and tree platforms overhead and 3D art among the community’s parks.

Raglan Shire Artwalk 2022: Marcel Mosswood and Barry Richez

Each year attracts well over a hundred SL artist – and this year is no exception. The depth and range of art on display is guaranteed to keep visitors exploring the paths and walks around the through the hedgerows – and if walking proves a little much, there are always the Shire’s tours to ease the load on the feet.

Also, teleport boards are provided to help people find their way around the exhibition spaces. However, given this is an opportunity to visit and appreciate Raglan Shire, I do recommend exercising your pedal extremities and doing at least some of your exploration on foot – just keep in mind people do have their homes in the regions as well.

Given the number of artists involved, there isn’t a published list of participants, but anyone interested in the world of SL art is bound to recognise many of the names of the artists here. The Artwalk is also a marvellous way to see art from both our physical and digital worlds and for catch artists both familiar and new to your eye. Just don’t try to see it all at once; the Artwalk is open for a month, which gives plenty of time for browsing and appreciating the art without feeling overloaded.

Raglan Shire Artwalk: someone called “Pey” … 🙂

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All of the Raglan Shire Artwalk regions are rated General)

Art and a rock in Second Life

Onceagain Art Gallery: Penis Rock, May 2022

It might have a title the hints at something sexual / upsetting but Penis Rock, an ensemble exhibition that opened on May 7th, 2022 at the Onceagain Art Gallery curated by Onceagain (Manoji Yachvili), really isn’t – although it does have an “Adult” section and a slightly lewd rock formation outside of the exhibition space.

The exhibition has been inspired by a mesh rock formation that has a certain resemblance to a certain male appendage – and which, like said male appendage, can also change in size depending on how it is stretched. However, rather than being intentionally lewd or sexual, the images presented are, for the most part intended to be fun and raise a smile.

Onceagain Art Gallery: Penis Rock, May 2022

Growing out of an in-world rock climbing expedition to a location where the rock had been included, the exhibition presents images by Alex Amore,  Alsatian Kidd, Ambre Singh, Crash Landers, Eupalinos Ugajin, Loony Perl, Jack in the box, Kika Yongho, Madoka Kawabata, Manoji Yachvili, Mara Telling, Zakk Bifrandt and Zedillo. All feature said phallic rock in one way or another, and may either present the likes of a simple landscape in which a finger-like rock stands, or as trios of images intended to be considered side-by-side or as pieces intended to offer a story – or even present a degree of social commentary – such as Ambre Singh’s Schism of Faith.

Reading the titles of some of the images may be required in order to appreciate them fully; others might be appreciated simply because of their artistic presentation – such as with Manoji Yachvili’s Grauland trio (the rock in question recently appeared in one of the Grauland region designs and helped to formulate the idea for the exhibition).

Onceagain Art Gallery: Penis Rock, May 2022

In terms of “Adult” content, these images have been placed in a room of their own, clearly indicated by a neon sign as Adult Only. These are not overly sexual in nature – although there are some obviously suggestive pieces and also some avatar nudity. When it comes to humour, I confess to finding two more pieces by Ambre giving rise to smiles. These are, Overprotective, which speaks for itself, and her proboscis monkey-filled Houston We Have a Problem, which is offers a richness of humour from the monkey schnozzes and somewhat bewildered expressions of the simians that seem to ask, “Oi, why are you sniggering?” and they look out of the frame at us, to an entire 2001: A Space Odyssey vibe that seems to be going on thanks again to said noses and the rock rising in the background.

All told, a fun exhibition that should not be taken overly seriously, but within which the art is rich in content.

Onceagain Art Gallery: Penis Rock, May 2022

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Under the Same Sky in Second Life

Artful Expressions Gallery, May 2022

Sorcha Goldshark (Sorcha Tyles) has re-opened her Artful Expressions Gallery once more, after almost a two-year break.

Since its inception in 2016, Artful Expressions has always been a mix of gallery space and hang-out; the kind of place you can go to specifically to set art, or use as a meeting place in which to spend time and take in the art that happens to be on display. With this latest iteration of the gallery, I’m pleased to say that this remains the case; as does Sorcha’s eye for photography – both her own and that of other SL photographer-artists.

Artful Expressions Gallery: Geoff Quinnell – Under the Same Sky

The re-opening of the gallery brings with it an exhibition of images by my fellow “Brit”, Geoff Quinnell. A big band leader, designers and SL landscape photographer, Geoff here presents nine images captured from around Second Life and which he has brought together under the title Under the Same Sky.

Taken at popular destinations around Second Life – doubtless seasoned SL travellers will recognise many of the locations presented – these are images that carry a bright and rich with a sense of summer, with bright skies and a natural sense of summertime vibrancy to the colours. All have been post-processed such that they have the look and feel of a painting or pen-and-ink art.

Artful Expressions Gallery: Geoff Quinnell – Under the Same Sky

All are richly evocative images, perfectly encapsulating their subject locations so as to entice people to pay them a visit. For those who perhaps haven’t witnessed these destinations first-hand, Geoff provides a list of SLurls in a note card that can be obtained from the advertising / info board just inside the gallery. However, do remember that places come and go / get remade in Second Life, so there is no guarantee the listed places will remain available indefinitely.

Expressive and offered within a welcoming waterfront environment, Under the Same Sky – a title that reflects the fact these are all images that have been captured within the same digital realm, rather that being imaged under the same lighting / environment – is a near-perfect exhibition of Geoff’s work and an excellent re-introduction to Artful Expressions.

Artful Expressions Gallery, May 2022

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Love as an artistic expression in Second Life

Nitroglobus Roof Gallery: Lika Cameo, Gravity
Love can be scary only because you realize you care about someone as much as you care about yourself. You open your hearth knowing that it could be broken, however being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure, joy and excitement, and make you feel that true bond and energy that is pulling you to belong to the other.

– from the introduction to Gravity at Nitroglobus Roof Gallery, May 2022

Over the years – as I recently noted in writing about the gallery’s 10th anniversary – Nitroglobus / Nitroglobus Roof Gallery has been the home to some of the most remarkable exhibitions of art I’ve witnessed in Second Life down the years; so much so that singling one out over the others is practically impossible. However, I have to say there is something very special to be found within Gravity, an exhibition of work by Lika Cameo that will be open throughout May 2022 at the gallery.

Nitroglobus Roof Gallery: Lika Cameo, Gravity

An exploration of the nature of love, Gravity presents a series of images created by Lika that reflect, either individually or in groups of three, poems on the subject. The majority of the latter are by Celestial Demon, and are not what you might call “traditional” sonnets such as Barrett Browning’s Sonnet 43. Rather, there are more deeply focused on specific emotions both light and dark that accompany out love for another.

The imagery created by Demon’s words is powerful; within the poems we can find obsession, freedom, contentment, happiness, need, desire, comfort … Along with them are three further poems on love. Two are by Pablo Neruda and the third is by Lika herself, and offer the aforementioned more traditional approach to expressing thoughts and reflections on the subject.

Nitroglobus Roof Gallery: Lika Cameo, Gravity

Taken on their own, the poems offer considerable insight into the nature of love its push/pull / yin/yang nature it embodies.

Alongside of them, Lika’s art is literally poetry in images. As a mixed media artist, Lika has an extraordinary ability to offer expression and narrative through her pieces. Preferring to work in black-and-white / monochrome (there is one colour trio included in Gravity), she fully demonstrate this ability within this exhibition. There is a stunning richness of life and motion within every single piece on display, a richness that does more than reflect the emotions of the poems, it becomes a visual synonym for the emotions expressed within the poems.

Nitroglobus Roof Gallery: Lika Cameo, Gravity

What is particularly stunning with Gravity is the mutualistic symbiosis between art and poetry. All of the pieces, whether singletons or trios, stand independent of the poems to which they have been paired, making this an exhibition that can be enjoyed purely as a visual immersion. Similarly, if one chooses to do so, the poems can be read and appreciated without reference to the images alongside time. When taken taken together, however, they mutually benefit one another and Gravity takes on a depth of life and meaning that captivates.

With this in mind, and while I could prattle on at length here about Gravity, I’m going to spare you and instead genuinely urge you to see the exhibition for yourself.

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