Landscapes, avatars and digital dreams in Second Life

GenovArt June 2021: Deyanira Yalin

I made a return trip to the GenovArt Galleries, curated by Juna (Junanuj) to continue my promised explorations of the Glass Hall there, after my initial visit to the B&W Hall last month (see: Four artists for June at GenovArt in Second Life).

My visit came just after the opening of the new ensemble exhibition within the hall that features the work of Jamee Thomson (Jamee Sandalwood), Vanessa Jane (VanessaJane66), Deyanira Yalin and Eyes Kirschtaria (varutina).

GenovArt June 2021: Jamee Thomson (Jamee Sandalwood)

Both Jamee and Venessa are highly regarded for their landscape images of Second Life, and rightly so. Although neither is constrained to just this form of art, it is the core of the pieces they present on the lower and upper levels respectively of the gallery.

Each of them has a considered eye for their work, perfectly balancing angle, cropping, lighting, post-processing and finishing to produce truly memorable pieces that both reflect the region in which they were captured and offer very individual views of Second Life.

GenovArt June 2021:  Vanessa Jane (VanessaJane66)

Deyanira Yalin has been active in Second life since 2007, but I believe that this exhibition is the first time I’ve encountered her work; a fact that is to my loss, as her art is simply marvellous.

It is also said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I believe that my art is the product of cumulative dreams and visualisation. I get joy if the beholder finds something unique to him or herself that may be hidden or may be an illusion. I do not know if I am an Artist or a dreamer who likes fiction and dreams, but what I believe is inspired by all of the above.

– Deyanira Yalin, describing her art

GenovArt 2021: Deyanira Yalin

A graphic designer by training, Deyanira has had her work exhibited in Mexico City, and her involvement in Second Life has enabled her to fully embrace the digital art form – a fact more than demonstrated at GenovArt.

These are truly extraordinary works that fold into them digital collage, suggestions of abstract art, surrealism, pop art and  – notably those images in the rear section of her exhibition – a tremendous depth of narrative.

GenovArt 2021: Deyanira Yalin

As such, I would respond to Deyanira’s musing on whether she is an artist or a dreamer by saying there is no either/or – she is both, and she is also a weaver of dreams and teller of tales through her work.

Eyes Kirschtaria is another artist whose work I do not believe I’ve previously encountered.

GevovArt June 2021: Eyes Kirschtaria (varutina)

Hailing from Japan, he presents a magnificent series of male avatar studies at GeovArt, all of them deeply rooted in fantasy and the imagination, and each ready to weave its own tale of heroes and / or villains, warriors and princes, magicians and hunters, and more.

Rich in colour and depth, several of these works beautifully blend what might be seen as western fantasy and oriental tales and influences, whilst others offer more traditional oriental tales in the making or enfold touches of science-fantasy (who cannot see shadows of the Dune series hiding within 15, for example?).

GenovArt June 2021: Eyes Kirschtaria (varutina)

With its rich diversity of talent and content, the June exhibition at GenovArt’s Glass Gallery exhibition should not be missed.


Four artists for June at GenovArt in Second Life

GenovArt B&W Gallery: Caly Applewhyte

I made my first 2021 trip to the GenovArt Galleries, curated by Juna (Junanuj) this week to take in the latest exhibition to open at the centre’s B&W hall. It  will certainly no be my last.

Featuring the work of Calypso Applewhyte, Sandi Benelli, Sisi Biedermann and Christower Dae, the exhibition opened on Monday May 31st, and is very much a must-see collection of art by SL artists and photographers I highly respect or am just coming to appreciate.

Sisi Biedermann is someone who needs no introduction to those who regularly read these pages. I have been, and remain, in awe of her artistry, which is broad-ranging in style and technique, encompassing everything from photography to oil or watercolour on canvas, etchings, tiled mosaics, and digital mixed media, whilst encompassing just about every kind of subject.

GenovArt B&W Gallery: Sisi Biedermann

The pieces offered at GenovArt are very much from Sisi’s digital etching / collage portfolio, and they take visitors on the most captivating journeys into nature and spring, featuring as they do the rich diversity of bloom and flower and the vibrancy of life they represent.

Across the hall, Caly Applewhyte presents an exhibition of two parts, each entitled Geisha, and repectively sub-titled In the Soul and Next Gen.

GenovArt B&W Gallery: Caly Applewhyte

Caly is, without a doubt one of the most gifted and evocative avatar portrait artists in Second Life – and this portfolio of her art is utterly astounding.  Offered as oils-on-canvas, with brooding deep tones and background, these are pieces that are deeply alive and vibrant in the degree of life and vitality running through them and bringing to the fore a narrative of the Geisha as the mother, warrior, daughter, lover, artist – the very soul of her civilisation.

Sandi Bellini sees her art as a means of achieve freedom and peace from the scurrying demands of life, and anyone who has seen her Second Life landscape images cannot fail to have felt that same sense of calmness and escape wash over them. Often using muted tones or backgrounds against which deeper colours are set, Sandi has a way of bringing the places she has imaged not just to life, but as locations in which you can place yourself such that you can feel the breeze, hear the splash of water, touch the softness of the grass or the roughness of the wood found within them.

GenovArt B&W Gallery: Sandi Benelli

I’m not aware of having encountered  the avatar photography of Christower Dae (ChrisTower Dae) previously, but on the strength of the pieces offered on the upper level of the hall at GenovArt alongside Sandi’ space, I want to see more.

Set on white backdrops and within a white space that brings them vividly before the eye, these are portraits of avatars that are incredibly life-like; the deftness of touch in post-processing is quite extraordinary – so much so that it is almost invisible, and the eye becomes convinced that it is not looking upon images of digital characters, but into the faces of living, breathing people.

GenovArt B&W Gallery: Christower Dae

Bringing together four truly unique talents into a single space, this ensemble exhibition at the GenovArt B&W Gallery is a must see – and be sure to walk across the Glass Gallery hall, where four more artists may be appreciated – and to which I’ll be returning for another article anon.

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