Owl at Hoot Suite in Second Life

Hoot Suite Gallery: Owl Dragonash, September 2021

Owl Dragonash is a genuine tour de force in Second Life: she curates art, organises events and artists across various venues; she organises music events (and arranges musicians for exhibitions and the like); she provides PR support to galleries and groups; she has her own blog with a focus on music, art and places to visit, and she brings an incredible amount of energy, shining enthusiasm and dedication to all that she does.

She is, in equal measure to all of the above, a gifted Second Life photographer-artist. It’s therefore a pleasure to be able to write about an exhibition of her own work she is self-hosting at her Hoot Suite Gallery in Bellisseria.

I always find visits to boutique galleries in SL a pleasure, as they offer compact exhibitions one can easily take in and appreciate. In this, Linden Homes of Bellisseria add to this simply because the fact that they are held within a house means they give a relaxed, informal air to exhibitions held within them (and the open “open plan” styles available in the Chalet and Fantasy themes potentially makes their use as exhibition spaces even more attractive).

Hoot Suite Gallery: Owl Dragonash, September 2021

With Owl hosting her own exhibition – simply entitled Owl’s Photos – this sense of relaxation is further enhanced as the visitor wanders from room, simply because it is Owl’s work offered within her own informal space, one of the rooms and the garden lightly furnished, encouraging the sense we’re being invited it to spend a while visiting. The front room of the house has been given a gentle décor of flower that lead the eyes naturally to the single image within it; an image Owl has cleverly framed so as to suggest it is a doorway (or portal) leading to a world awaiting discovery  – thus perhaps offering a touch of metaphor to passing through the doorway of the viewer and into the world of Second Life.

This is a portfolio that indicates Owl and I share a common love of images that feature both water in SL and Second Life wildlife. More to the point, however, it is a collection that naturally demonstrates Owl has an eye for capturing a moment in time on her travels, and has developed a deft touch in post-processing her images. In a couple of cases, they also show she is not afraid to experiment with her work (Playing, located in the back garden, and Half Knit on the upper floor), adding to the depth of her work.

As they do cover places Owl has visited in her travels, these are pictures that remind us of the richness and diversity of our world, featuring places such as Bellisseria and Elvion, and which stand as a reminder of places now passed into history (such as Serena Falls and Veneta Silurum), and and personal view of those that endure as timeless, beloved locations, such as AM Radio’s The Far Away, which is featured in a stunningly atmospheric image by Owl.

Hoot Suite Gallery: Owl Dragonash, September 2021

Mixing landscapes and topics that lie close to Owl’s heart, and offering a rich demonstration of her talent as a photographer-artist, Owl’s Photos will remain open through until October 1st, and is a recommended visit.

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CK’s space adventures in Second Life

Hoot Suite Gallery: Blushock Space Adventures

Earlier this year, and initially at the suggestion of CK (Ceakay Ballyhoo), I visited Planet Idun, a role-play / photography region developed by Fazzy Constantine (Faisel Constantine) and the Blushock role-play team, which includes CK as a member. I found it an engaging visit, as I noted in An Away Team Mission to Planet Idun in Second Life).

That visit gave me the chance to familiarise myself with the Blushock team, their backstories and role-play and the future mythology they’ve built up around their activities. It’s an acquaintanceship I was able to extend in April, when I paid a further visit to the group’s region to tour their latest build, Resilient Station, which in their developing story has become the team’s new base of operations (see: Docking at Resilient Station in Second Life).

Hoot Suite Gallery: Blushock Space Adventures

I mention all of this, because CK is also an artist, and in her latest exhibition has opened at Hoot Suite Gallery in Bellisseria (curated by the super Owl Dragonash), and it focuses on the Blushock team and their adventures within the Vanaheim star system.

As an artist, CK is perhaps best known for her regions-as-paintings installations, rich in story and always a delight to tour (see The Forest Beyond in Second Life and Niamh’s Journey of Dreams in Second Life). Here she presents a series of vivid paintings that chart the Blushock Team’s adventures across the Vanaheim system, including their time on Idun, at Jasper Point on the planet, and the worlds around the system’s blue giant star – including the discovery of Baldur, the asteroid that is now home to Resilient Station.

Hoot Suite Gallery: Blushock Space Adventures

Rich in colour and vividly portraying the locations the crew have visited – and members of the crew themselves – Blushock Space Adventures presents an engaging set of images and forms a further means of learning about the Blushock Coalition and their activities, information on which can also be found at the Blushock website.

Information on the exhibition and the team will also likely be available at the exhibition party, which will take place 12:00 noon at Hoot Suite Art Gallery, and will feature the music of Joe Paravane.

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Shameless self-promotion in Second Life

Hoot Suite Gallery: One if by Land, Two if by Water

The reality of this post is that it is a piece of shameless self-promotion,  something I actually try not to engage in, lest my ego gets out of the biscuit tin I try to keep it in and starts running around yapping for attention…

Towards the end of 2020 Owl Dragonash very kindly invited me to exhibit some of my blog images at her Hoot Suite Gallery in Bellisseria. It’s not the first time I’ve been asked to exhibit my work – but each time I am, I feel a mix of emotions – notably nervousness and a feeling that it’s not really something for me; as I’ve often – and genuinely  – note I don’t consider myself anywhere close to being any kind of artist. However, Owl is a good friend and someone I admire tremendously, so I felt doubly honoured in her extending the invitation.

Hoot Suite Gallery: One if by Land, Two if by Water

I decided to call this exhibition One if by Land Two if by Water, an  admitted play on Longfellow’s poem, Paul Revere’s Ride. People might want to read something into this, and that is their prerogative (although I admit that in the wake of the disturbing events leading up to and including January 6th, 2021, my thoughts have oft turns to how fragile the American Experiment really is).

However, my decision to paraphrase Longfellow’s words was drawn more from the facts that a) as a photographer of regions in Second Life, my work inevitably involves views of land and water; b) Owl uses a two-storey house as her gallery, giving me the opportunity to split this exhibition loosely into two halve. On the ground floor (or 1st to use the American way of counting floors in buildings) the pictures are land-centric, whilst those on the 2nd have a focus on water.

Hoot Suite Gallery: One if by Land, Two if by Water

It’s not a large exhibition – but that’s the attraction of Hoot Suite – and at 12:00 noon SLT on Wednesday, April 28th, we’ll be having a little party at the gallery to mark the mid-point of the exhibition, which will run through until May 15th.

I hope you’ll join us.

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Blues Rocker at Hoot Suite in Second Life

Hoot Suite Gallery: Blues Rocker, February 2021

The Linden Homes in Bellisseria lend themselves to many uses beyond that of home; people have turned them into clubhouses, pubs, cafés group meeting points, museums and galleries. In the latter regard they can be particularly attractive, in that their limited internal space means that they are ideal for what I’ve started calling “pocket exhibitions” – small exhibitions of art that are easy to visit and take in within a cosy environment and which don’t overwhelm visitors in terms of the size or number of pieces on display.

One of the people who has especially leveraged her Linden Home as a gallery space is the incredibly talented and giving Owl Dragonash. Having turned her home into the Hoot Suite Gallery, she uses it to invite artists from across Second Life to exhibit within in for a period of around a month, and February 2021 see her hosting The Many Shades of Blues, a pocket-sized exhibition by anther of Second Life’s talents: musician and artist Blues Rocker.

Hoot Suite Gallery: Blues Rocker, February 2021

Perhaps regarding himself first and foremost a Second Life Landscape artist, Blues is far more; as this exhibition ably demonstrates. Carefully brought together under the exhibition’s title is a selection of pieces that richly presents the full spectrum of Blues’ artistry, with individual pieces carrying the subliminal theme contained within the exhibition’s title: shades (or tints in some cases) of blue.

Found across the two floors of the gallery are avatar studies, photo portraits of physical world musicians, reflections on Second Life’s rich diversity of art that includes images of pieces by Mistero Hifeng and a marvellous portrait of Bryn Oh that, as well as combining the themes of portraiture and art in SL, capture the essence of Bryn’s creative spirit as expressed through her avatar. In addition, some of the pieces contain layered artistic references and / or pay homage to art as a whole.

The latter is perfectly demonstrated in The Bridge of Sighs, located on the gallery’s ground floor. Its title evokes thoughts of the bitter romance of the Ponte dei Sospiri bridge in Venice, whilst also evoking thoughts of he songs by Ralph McTell and Robin Trower, thus reflecting Blues’ own status as a musician. At the same time, with its rendering of the Golden Gate Bridge presented in an impressionist style, it both demonstrates Blues’ love of painting and adds an expression of the beauty to be found in man-made works, calling to mind as it does the many photos of that bridge caught within the white blanket of low-lying cloud or peeking through San Francisco’s famed fog.

A further demonstration to Blues’ passion for art can be found in Acoma Pueblo, New Mexico. An evocative piece, it carries within it a wonderful homage to the artistry of van Gogh, whilst across the room from it Once in a Blue Moon again combines romance and song within a photograph that captures the magnificent natural desolation of our natural satellite and on the floor lies a rug by Blues that encapsulates abstractionism in its expression.

Hoot Suite Gallery: Blues Rocker, February 2021

Small it size but overflowing in expression The Many Shades of Blues will, I believe remain open through the rest of February 2021, and definitely should not be missed.

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Around the World with Trinity Yazimoto and friends

Hoot Suite Gallery: Trinity Yazimoto

Trinity Yazimoto is an artist who at one time featured quite regularly in this blog after I came across her art. However, I’d managed to lose track of her in recent years, so it was with a good deal of pleasure that I received an invitation from Owl Dragonash to drop into her Hoot Suite Gallery to see a selection of Trinity’s work on display.

Having joined SL in 2009, Trinity started as a merchant-creator making women’s apparel “the old fashioned way” – using textures, system layers and flexiprims. Teaching herself GIMP and PhotoShop, circumstance saw her expand her skills to photography in  2013, as she started visiting regions and recording them via images.

As she candidly notes, the computer she was using at the time didn’t have the horsepower to allow her to use (what was then called) Deferred Rendering and shadows – but this didn’t deter her. Instead, after taking her pictures, Trinity turned to PhotoShop, adding the necessary shadows to her work as a part of her post-processing work – at least until she was able to provide herself with a computer with the power needed to allow her to use shadow rendering in-world.

Hoot Suite Gallery: Trinity Yazimoto

Gaining confidence, Trinity started exhibiting her work, first at her own gallery and then via invitations to display her work and through participating in various charity events, although more recently, she hasn’t – sadly – had the time to remain as immersed in SL art as she once was.

In Around the World With My Lil’ Friends, Trinity offers us a series of images  – some new, some from her existing portfolio (although never previously published) –  captured around Second Life that feature, as the title of the exhibition suggests, Trinity’s little animal friends enjoying various activities.

I started this project a few years ago. I always loved the lil bears from “Boogers” and the idea is to take them with me around the world.  They are good company, you know?
P.S. There will probably some more pics to come in the future….

– Trinity on Around the World with My Lil’ Friends.

Hoot Suite Gallery: Trinity Yazimoto

This is a set of 11 pieces split between the two floors of the gallery that show Trinity’s bears and other little friends engaged in everything from a first romantic dinner for two through to racing go-karts and splashing around in a swimming pool or sitting in quiet contemplation, admiring nature – and more.

Each image offers a little story of its own, charmingly framed and easy to follow. Some of these actually spill out of the frame and into the 3D world of the gallery, with several little vignettes of these “lil’ people” set out in the various rooms and on the balcony, in either a continuance of a particular picture or in reflection of it.

This is a genuinely delightful selection of images, complete with engaging audience – and for those who want to see more of Trinity’s lil’ friends, make sure you wander the garden of the gallery.

Hoot suite Gallery: Trinity Yazimoto

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