An Inner Bloom of art in Second Life

Art Korner: Ms Sqeeeze – Inner Bloom
Update, June 27th, 2022: Art Korner has Closed.

Say it with flowers is a banner line perhaps most recognisable from adverts for Interflora, the global flower delivery service. It is said to be a slogan crafted by ad man Patrick O’Keefe in 1917 on behalf of the Society of American Florists. It was a recognition of the fact that floriography – the  means of cryptological communication through the use or arrangement of flowers that has been a common practice across many cultures in Asia, Africa and Europe – had soared to new heights of popularity throughout Victorian Britain and the United States.

Most usually we associate the use of flowers as a means of shared communication of feelings. We give flowers as an expression of love / desire or as a means of communicating shared sympathy / commiseration / commemoration, or of a united joy / shared happiness, and so on.

However, such is the versatility of flowers that they can be used as a means of personal expression and narrative – and this is beautifully demonstrated in Inner Bloom, a remarkable exhibition of photography by Ms. Squeeeze (Squeeeze), which opened at Frank Atisso’s Art Korner on May 27th, 2022.

Art Korner: Ms Sqeeeze – Inner Bloom

Comprising 17 images spread through a single exhibition hall carefully crafted into three individual areas, Inner Bloom uses flowers to communicate moods, stories and feelings that may be highly individual to the artist, but are richly recognisable to the observer.

Separated by phantom translucent walls, the three spaces making up the exhibition are marvellously graduated in their presentation, the first section offering pieces largely slanted toward monochrome with just soft hints of colour, progressing to images where the colour is more prominent, to those with a depth of colour that contrasts strongly with those in the first section.

At the same time, the style of the images grades through the three sections, from a heavy, but controlled use of shadow and silhouette through to backdrops that provide clarity of image and lighting that more readily reveals expressions, whilst shadow and tone are used to draw specific attention and focus.

Art Korner: Ms Sqeeeze – Inner Bloom

By presenting the images in this manner, together with the changing colours of the flowers that form the “carpets” of the display areas, we are imbued with a sense of shifting moods and thoughts, and our imaginations are drawn to different narrative themes in progressing through the exhibition.

Evocative, rich in interpretation and artistic expression, Inner Bloom should be viewed using the supplied environment setting (World → Environment → Use Shared Environment), and with Advanced Lighting Model enabled.

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A Monochrome May at The Edge in Second Life

Kultivate Magazine – The Edge Gallery

Now open at Kultivate Magazine’s The Edge Gallery is a new ensemble exhibition of art to take us through the end of May and into June 2022.

The Edge is the home of black-and-white art displays at Kultivate’s home of Water Haven, making it a particular attraction for me, as I very much appreciate monochrome and black-and-white art, and have been endeavouring to develop my own technique with it, which I may get around to showing at some point.

This exhibition at The Edge opened on May 22nd, and is without a given theme, allowing the artists free rein over the pieces they’ve selected to display. The participating artists are: Dawnbeam Dreamscape, Sophia Galewind, Lena Kiopak, Maaddi, Hannah Starlight, Tacca Exotic, Vita Theas and Myra Wildmist.

The Edge Gallery: Dawnbeam Dreamscape, Tacca Exotic and Sophia Galewind

As might be expected from such a gathering, the pieces on offer leans very much towards being avatar-focused, with three of the artists – Lena Kiopak, Hannah Starlight and Tacca Exotic opting to display a single piece each, all in a large format.

Lena is one of only two artists in the gathering to completely avoid avatars in her image(s), leaving The Passage as an powerfully eye-catching piece which calls to the observer, beckoning them to walk its length and into the waiting story. Similarly, Hannah’s His Song is highly sensual and artistically given whilst Tacca’s Emergence-1 matches the power of The Passage, but in a wholly different way.

The other artists to avoid avatar is Vita Theas, who once again present six superbly processed and presented landscape pieces rich in life, whilst Sophia and and Maadi offer a mix of avatar studies and landscapes – with Sophia’s b r e a t h e again particularly capturing my eye. Myra, meanwhile offers a set of five images that together form Myra Dances, something of a life and motion study.

The Edge Gallery: Myra Wildmist and Lena Kiopak

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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

Update, June 27th, 2022: Art Korner has Closed.

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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