Strandhavet Viking Museum in Second Life

Strandhavet Viking Museum, April 2021

Despite having moved to Second Norway eight months ago – and having been pretty familiar with the estate a good while before that – I have to admit I only recently discovered the Strandhavet Viking Museum, tucked away on the northern island of the estate.  For those with any interest at all in Viking History, it is a compact treasure trove of information and artefacts.

Curated and operated by Katia (katia Martinek), the museum offers both indoors and outdoor exhibits to appreciate, and is richly informative on the Viking / Norse life and the extensive history and travels of the Vikings. From the landing point, the museum’s facilities might be split into three areas: the main exhibition building, the art centre and the outdoor displays.

Strandhavet Viking Museum, April 2021

The latter comprise two main displays – the Holmgang (duelling area) and the  burial mounds, each presented with information boards that will either supply visitors with note cards or links to web pages where information on Viking burials (including the Lindholm Høje burial site) can be obtained.

The main museum building is laid out much as a physical world museum tends to be, presenting a mix of large, open displays and those placed behind glass to protect them, and visitors are encouraged by rope barriers and the general layout to follow a path into the centre of the building.

Strandhavet Viking Museum, April 2021

This route will take you by way of learning about Yggdrasil and  Old Norse cosmology and the Överhogdal Tapestries, through displays focusing on Viking Life – dress, weapons, pastimes, architecture, transportation – notably the Viking long ship, which sits as the museum’s central display piece – religions (both pagan and Christian), law, and more. Again, individual displays offer note cards and  / or links for further information, and Katia has clearly taken considerable time to bring together a collection that offers genuine insight to Viking society.

At the time of my visit, the museum included an exhibition entitled Vikings in the East. Many of us are likely more than familiar with the westward voyages and activities of the Vikings – their coastal raids down long the Atlantic coast of Europe the around Britain, their trans-Atlantic voyages, even their travels to the Mediterranean.  What may be less familiar is their journeys east into central Europe and beyond. Vikings in the East helps to put much of the latter into perspective. If – like me – you’ve watched (and growled at) the seven seasons of Vikings, this exhibit offers a lot to help historically frame things.

Strandhavet Viking Museum, April 2021

The second of the museum’s building offers a display of Viking art, a small café and the opportunity to learn to play Berserker – which like chess, takes minutes to learn and a potential lifetime to master (although watching the animated playing pieces can keep players entertained!).

My  only minor niggle is that – again, appreciating the LI count – the museum feels a little cramped, and could do with perhaps being a little larger; the featured exhibit is a little crowded-in by the presence of the long ship. But that aside, Strandhavet Viking Museum is an entertaining, engaging and informative visit.

Strandhavet Viking Museum, April 2021

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2021 Raglan Shire Artwalk: call to artists

Raglan Shire Artwalk 2020

The Raglan Shire Artwalk is one of the staples of the SL art calendar, and for 2021 the 16th Artwalk will take place between Sunday, May 16th and Sunday, June 20th, inclusive.

A popular event among artists and residents, the Artwalk can see over 150 artists displaying their work – 2D and 3D – across the regions of Raglan Shire. All the displays are open-air, with 2D art is displayed on hedgerows in and around the regions, while sculptures and 3D art is displayed in a number of designated areas, all of which allows visitors to both appreciate the art and explore the Shire regions.

A Call For Artists for the 2021 event has been issued for those wishing to participate, and key points about the exhibition are as follows:

  • It is a non-juried show.
  • Artists can display more than one piece if they wish.
    • 2D (“flat” art pieces will be awarded a maximum of 15 LI, and individual pictures should be 1 prim, including the frame.
    • 3D art (sculptures, etc.), will be awarded a maximum of 500 LI for up to three pieces of work. Artists are requested to state the LI per piece in their application.
    • Sales of art are allowed.
  • Types of art supported by the show are: representations of RL photography, painting, drawing, printmaking, collage, and digital fine art that can be displayed on a prim;  and SL photography, manipulated SL photography and SL sculpture.
  • Pictures of RL crafts, such as beadwork, leatherwork, etc., are not part of the show’s  definition
  • All the above art forms are welcome, but should be rated PG / G – so no nudity, please!
  • Group membership will be required in order to display work.
  • Tip jars are not allowed.
  • Questions and enquiries should be forwarded via note card to Artwalk Director Karmagirl Avro, or Artwalk Assistants Kayak Kuu, Linn Darkwatch, or RaglanShireArtwalk Resident.

Those wishing to display their art should complete and submit the Raglan Shire Artwalk 2021 Registration Form by no later than 21:00 SLT on Sunday, May 9th, 2021.

Raglan Shire Artwalk 2020

Event Dates

  • Sunday, May 9th: applications close at 21:00 SLT.
  • Tuesday, May 11th: Notification of exhibit space location issued to artists – note that hedgerow space for 2D artists is on a “first come, first serve” basis.
  • Friday, May 14th (after 09:00 SLT) and Saturday May 15th: Artist set-up days.
  • Sunday, May 16th: Artwalk Opens.
  • Sunday, June 20th: Artwalk closes.
  • Sunday, June 20th (after 21:00 SLT) through Tuesday, June 22nd: takedown of works.

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Of stories, mythology and art in Second Life

United Artists of Second Life: London junkers – ιστορίες

If like me, you enjoy mythologies from around the world, then a visit to the United Artists of Second Life (UASL) is going to be well in order, because it is there that London Junkers is presenting ιστορίες a journey through a selection of stories from Greek mythology. 

Commencing in a the great hall of what might be a temple where a statue of Ariadne in repose, ιστορίες takes the form – appropriately enough – of a journey through a labyrinth of tunnels and passages that connect halls of various sizes in which might be found scenes from the tales London has selected for inclusion within the exhibition.

United Artists of Second Life: London junkers – ιστορίες

So it is that by following the passages one might come across the tales of the Trojan Horse, Pegasus, the Sirens, Pandora and the Charities, Ganymede, and Psyche and Cupid.

Each story is given form through the use of mesh sculptures with additional props, some of which are interactive (touch Pandora’s box for example, whilst (Psyche is presented as a butterfly).

Further stories await explorers in the the tunnels as well; within them can be found the Minotaur, together with the Cyclops, Medusa, and a walk through the realm of Hades and Persephone.

Each story is marked by a small horse sculpture, located just before or just within the entrance to the chamber or tunnel containing it, Touching each of these will offer a note card on the tale. These are well-written and present their information succinctly so that does not overwhelm, whilst communicating the core of each myth.

Beyond the hall with Cupid and Psyche, visitors pass out of the labyrinth and onto the snowy slopes of Mount Olympus where a path winds up to the gods themselves: Artemis (rather appropriately, given the times), Athena and of course Zeus himself, who obligingly provides a teleport back to the start of the installation and the opportunity to explore other exhibitions within the UASL facilities.

When visiting ιστορίες be sure to have your environment set to Midday and that Advanced Lighting Model is enabled (Preferences → Graphics → check Advanced Lighting Model – there is no need to enable shadows as well).

United Artists of Second Life: London junkers – ιστορίες

An engaging and informative installation.

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Arts for Life 2021 in Second Life

Raven Craig Art Centre: Art for Life 2021
Currently open through until April 24th at the Raven Craig Art Centre is a spacial exhibition of art – Artists for Life – offering visitors the opportunity to view and purchase art and photographs by artists across Second Life, and support Relay for Life of Second Life and the American Cancer Society in the process.

Participating arts in the event comprise: AriaRose, Jolie, Poppy, Mystic Audion, Michel Bechir, Mira Biedermann, Lyla Blaylock, Pink Clarity, Star Finesmith, Starr Ghost, Hermes Kondor, Looker Lumet, Shane Matthews, Mony Pedroia, Eve Petlyakov, Max Seagate, Elise Sirnah, and Marie de la Torres. The majority of the artists have provided at least one or two images for the event, all of which are offered for purchase at L$99 each.

The exhibition has been organised by Sethos Lionheart, owner of Wythburn Village, where Raven Craig is located, and Star Finesmith, the artistic director for both Wythburn Village and Raven Craig. The idea grew out of the successful Art Walk Wythburn in aid of Making Strides Against Breast Cancer (MSABC) in 2020 (see: Wythburn Art Walk in Second Life), as Star explains.

Raven Craig Art Centre: Art for Life 2021
The Art Walk was a more casual, informal event, with are … across the region. This year I wanted to make sure that the fund-raising is focused on the art. I spoke to some of the artists from last year about how they would feel about creating art that would only be available for sale at the event. I received a lot of positive feedback on the idea, and so decided to give it a go.

Star Finesmith on the origins of Arts for Life

Each of the halls of the gallery have been decorated in a manner that reflects the general themes of the art displayed within it, with the art itself incredibly diverse, making for a vibrant exhibition.

In addition to the pieces offered directly for sale, each, artist has also submitted a piece for the Arts for Life silence auction that will run through until midnight on April 24th, 2021. Auction items can be found in the gallery’s central ground-floor hall, with bids made via the origami box on the shelf under each piece. The winning bidders for each piece will be informed after the event closes, and will receive a Copy, No-Mod, No-Transfer version of the piece.

Raven Craig Art Centre: Art for Life 2021

Also available at the exhibition is a free copy of a commemorative book featuring images of the art on display together with information on the artists and the event as a whole. Visitors can obtain copies from the in-world version found at various locations within the gallery.

So do please take the time to visit the Raven Craig Art Centre between now and April 24th, and remember that all proceeds from purchases made go directly to RFL of SL and the American Cancer Society.

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Melu and Whiskey: artistic dialogues in Second Life

The 22 Art Space: Melusina Parkin and Whiskey Monday

Currently open at the 22 Art Space in Bellisseria, operated and curated by Ricco Saenz and Randy Firebrand, is a joint exhibition by Melusina Parkin and Whiskey Monday – the latter making a return to Second Life’s art scene (and the platform as a whole) after an extended absence.

Individually, Melu and Whiskey are two of SL’s most evocative photographic artists, each with a very individual approach to, and style of, visual narrative; and with Dialogues: Patterns, People, their work is combined in a manner intended to encourage the viewer to consider both the distinctiveness inherent in their work as individuals, and the manner in which their work is complimentary / complementary in the use of themes, focus, and presentation, allowing a “conversation” between the artists and the observer to develop.

The 22 Art Space: Melusina Parkin

In all, each artist presents ten images that have been split into two distinct collections. In the ground floor of the gallery  the images are focused on the theme of Patterns, with Whiskey and Melu each presenting four pieces on the subject; on the upper floor the theme of People, with the artists here presenting five works apiece in their respective rooms.

The two sections of the exhibition are then linked by a self-portrait provided by each artist – what might be a joint introduction to People. However, these are two pieces that also set up a conversation of their own, offering as they do reflections on the artists themselves. Within Melu’s it is possible to comprehend her contemplative approach to art, whilst Whiskey’s offers whispers on the intimate self-reflection that is a theme of her work, and the manner in which she so often offers up a reflection of her nature and identity whilst also maintaining a protective distancing between herself and her audience.

The 22 Art Space: Whiskey Monday

Within Patterns, Melu and Whiskey present images that play with the idea of repetition with variance. They offer something of a mix of the abstracted and the direct. Common themes of patterns can be found within individual pieces by each artist, allowing a certain dynamic to exist between them. Take Melu’s Colors 2 and Whiskey’s Choose, for example. Each stylistically uses doors (those of a lockers in one, and the doors of cells in the other), and through both we’re offered commentary on possession, self, restraint, freedom, isolation, reward and secrecy, each piece reflecting off of the other to present new ideas and interpretations.

For People, the narrative threads offered by the artists are less abstracted and more direct. Here ideas more than device conjoin individual images in each of the two rooms, allowing the flow of narrative to flow between the open doorway between the two areas.

The 22 Art Space: Melusina Parkin

Some time ago now, Ricco joined with artist Boudicca Amat to present an experiment in art entitled The Photo Game, in which pairs of artists were invited to select images from each other’s portfolio for display in a joint exhibition, and offer thoughts on why they selected the pieces (see: The Photo Game in Second Life and The Photo Game in Second Life: Proph and a Pey).

With Dialogues, Randy and Ricco have brought together two exceptionally talented artists who expand on that concept through the use of theme and unwritten narrative, thus taking the idea of artistic dialogue in an entirely new and engaging direction.

The 22 Art Space: Whiskey Monday

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White Noise at Nitroglobus in Second Life

Nitroglobus roof Gallery: White Noise

It is a little over a year since Rose (RoseHanry) was last at Nitroglobus Roof Gallery, operated and curated by Dido Haas (see: Rose’s Feelings at Nitroglobus) However, her return for April 2021 brings with it an exhibition that might be considered something of a thematic continuation of that last exhibition.

In her previous exhibition at the gallery Rose dealt with images intended to convey an emotional narrative – and with White Noise, her new exhibition at Nitroglobus, that narrative is very much continued, albeit it very much more sharply defined. Thus – and assuming she will allow me to express it in this way – where Feelings might be said to be the introduction to that narrative, White Noise, presented in a style that is entirely its own, offers something of a “second chapter” with its own nuance and focus.

Nitroglobus roof Gallery: White Noise

The central theme of this collection is that of dealing with life’s worries and problems – or more correctly, how we can become so obsessed with the issues of the week / day / hour / moment, we can’t actually see our way past them; we become blind to the world around us and thus, potentially to any means of resolving whatever those problems might be.

In reflection of this, the pieces Rose offers in White Noise comprise a set of avatar studies, each of them rendered as a drawing. Each one conveys a distinct mood or reaction or emotion that can be all to readily identified by anyone who has felt overwhelmed by an issue that could otherwise be handled by stepped back from it, collecting thoughts and then facing it, or who has become so focused on a worry / fear that they have forgotten there are those around them who are ready and willing to help, if only they could see this is so.

Nitroglobus roof Gallery: White Noise

The emotional content of these pieces lies not only from the poses and rendering used for each image, but also from the overall framing. There is no backdrop to any of the images, just a white void. Against this light, the avatar is in some of the images strongly defined, bringing to the fore the very physical reactions we can have when problems overwhelm us – such as anxiety (White Noise 02), vulnerability (White Noise 05), or fear (White Noise 09). In others, the avatar appears partially lost against the all-pervading whiteness, thus evoking the sense of being overwhelmed or lost.

But why “white noise” as a title? In many circumstances (certain work or learning environments, dealing with illnesses such as tinnitus or simply trying to block the noise of passenger, and so on) white noise is known to be highly beneficial. Yet the very fact that it does have the power to overcome other frequencies can be damaging / harmful: the absence of noise can leave us focused solely on the absence of noise, leaving us feeling cut off from the world and alone. Thus the title perfectly reflects the theme of this exhibition, with the uses of the brilliant white backdrop within each image further underscoring this idea and the overall theme for the exhibit.

Nitroglobus roof Gallery: White Noise

Officially opening at 12:00 noon on Monday, April 12th, White Noise is available for preview now, and will run through until early May.

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