Kultivate’s The Edge Gallery opened its first exhibition for 2020 on February 2nd. Specialising in black and white photography, the gallery invites submissions for its monthly exhibitions – those interested can apply here – which means that exhibitions there can be an interesting mix, and such is the case here.
For this exhibition, the gallery presents selections of art by Kapaan, MTH63, Ragingbellls, Wintergeist, John Brianna, Carisa Franizzi, Anibrm Jung, Lena Kiopak, CybeleMoon, Jamee Sandalwood, and Karma Weymann. Together they offer a rich mix of avatar studies, portraits, Second Life landscapes and art studies and photos of physical world locations.
When visiting the exhibition I was particularly drawn to Carisa Franizzi’s work, located on the lower floor of the gallery and to the left of the entrance. She offers 20 pieces divided between avatar studies and landscape pieces, with several of the avatar studies being striking in their classic composition and presentation.
Another name new to me is that of Karma Weymann. Her eight avatar studies, located diagonally opposite Carisa work in the gallery, are equally as striking, offering as they do unique glimpses into their subject’s lives. These are pieces that do not appear to have been posed or framed, but stand as moments caught in time – possibly as private moments of fun or introspection.
I’m going to restrict myself to highlighting these to artists – not because the others are not worth mentioning – quite the reverse, in fact – but simply because they are names new to me, and so tended to attract my attention somewhat more whilst visiting the exhibition. But make no mistake, this is another attention-holding monochrome ensemble of art well worth taking the time to visit.
Located on the ground floor of the gallery space the ensemble exhibition opened on Sunday, January 26th, and it features the artists Ragingbellls, John Brianna, Skye Joubert, Lena Kiopak, Sonatta Morales, Solana Python, Nils Urqhart and Myra Wildmist. Between them, they offer a mix of Second Life photography and physical world art that is richly varied in content and style.
From stunning photographs of the French Alps by Nils (and which forms a nice companion series to his In the Clouds series I was able to review in November 2019), through unique painted portraits by Skye, to avatar studies by Sonatta, this is a selection of art to please all eyes.
However, when visiting I would emphasise the need to ensure you have Advanced Lighting Model (Preferences > Graphics) during a visit. This is because Myra’s single piece is another experiment in using lighting projectors. Entitled Snow Field, it’s a piece you should pan your camera across it to appreciate the the use of the projector in concert with the image of sunset.
Take the stairs to the mezzanine, and – for a while longer at least at the time of writing, due to the fact I’m getting to it on the late side – is an exhibition of Kody Meyer’s photography. Covering multiple genres, and with a delight in experimenting, Kody always present pieces that are stunningly beautiful in execution.
There is something uniquely peaceful within Kody’s landscape images, and his love of exploring Second Life and capturing the locations he visits is clearly evident in his work. Similarly, his avatar studies offer a depth of narrative within each that draws one into them.
Kody notes of his approach:
Each picture depicts a story or is a reminder of an experience one can reflect upon when admiring it. As a perfectionist, I take the time necessary to capture the picture, experimenting with different angles, framings and windlights, until the perfect shot is created — the one that comes alive. Using different programs and techniques to create my pictures, the result is always a surprise. My goal is to portray the magic behind the raw image. To be able to contribute to peace and happiness in this world is an honour and an endless pleasure.
I’m not sure how much longer Kody’s work will be on offer at Kultivate – as noted, I got to the exhibition late myself – so do be sure to drop into the ground floor exhibition sooner rather than later to appreciate the work there, and then hop up the stairs to the mezzanine.
The October exhibition at Kultivate’s The Edge Gallery opened on Sunday, October 13th. Primarily a black and white / monochrome exhibition space, The Edge features for this exhibition images from both Second Life and the physical world by aht1981, Angyel, M8ty, MTH63, John Bianna, Lena Kiopak, Anouk Lefavre, Moora McMillan, Veruca Tammas and Tintin Tuxing.
As with such ensemble exhibitions, this is a very mixed collection of art, each display offering something unique and potentially appealing to visitors.
Perhaps the most striking in terms of catching the eye due to the colour text used, is aht1981’s The Future Is Yours, a set of three portraits of avatars presented with mini interviews with each of the subjects, together with an introductory set of notes. The latter reveal the images are part of a planned larger project intended to present images and interviews of some 20 people, the interviews intended to give greater depth to the portraits of the interview subjects.
Along the back wall of the lower level of the gallery are three displays that particularly attracted me: those of M8ty, Angyel and Lena Kiopak. For his work, M8ty, presents a series of avatar portraits that are striking in their presentation and depth. Alongside of his work is the display by Angyel, a wonderful mix of landscape-style images some encompassing famous locations within Second Life and the physical world. Similarly, but equally fascinating in presentation are the half-dozen pieces presented by Lena Kiopak offering unique visions of in-world locations.
When dealing with an exhibition like this, I often say that singling out one or two artists or pieces in an review like this isn’t entirely fair to the exhibition as a whole, which is why I emphasise that while I might only mention four artists here, all of the displays within this exhibition have much to offer, as noted above. As such, I do encourage those lovers of art in Second Life to drop in to The Edge gallery over the next four weeks and see this exhibition for themselves.
Their mission is to raise awareness, tolerance, and funds for diabetes in the virtual world of Second Life. According to the World Health Organisation in 2016 some 422 million adults in the world have diabetes and 1.5 million deaths are directly attributed to diabetes each year.
The 2019 Team Diabetes of Second life season will run from October through to December, with the following events scheduled to take place:
October 18th though 26th: Scare Me Silly (off-season event – see below).
November 1st through 30th: National Diabetes Month, featuring:
November 1st through 30th: The Red Hunt.
November 3rd: The Red Ball.
November 14th: World Diabetes Day.
December 5th to December 14th: Christmas Showcase & Winter Art Show.
Scare Me Silly
Scare Me Silly is an annual event taking place around Halloween. It features live performances. DJ parties, a hunt and a quest, tricks and treats, a haunted mansion, ghostly rides and – of course – shopping!
As noted above, this year the event will take place from Friday, October 18th through Saturday, October 26th inclusive. Registrations for the event from both merchants and artists are now open, and the application form, with guidelines and terms can be found here.
About the American Diabetes Association
Established in 1940, the American Diabetes Association is working to both prevent and cure diabetes in all it forms, and to help improve the lives of all those affected by diabetes. It does this by providing objective and credible information and resources about diabetes to communities, and funding research into ways and means of both managing and curing the illness. In addition, the Association gives voice to those denied their rights as a consequence of being affected by diabetes.
About Team Diabetes of Second life
Team Diabetes of Second Life is an official and authorised fund-raiser for the American Diabetes Association in Second Life. Established with the aim of raising funds in support of diabetes treatment and to raise awareness of the disease in SL, Team Diabetes of Second Life was founded by Jessi2009 Warrhol and John Brianna (Johannes1977 Resident), who serve on the Advisory Board along with Eleseren Brianna, Veruca Tammas, Rob Fenwitch, and Dawnbeam Dreamscape.
SL Through My Eyes is an extensive exhibition of Second Life photography by Jamee Sandalwood that is currently open at the Windlight Gallery, curated by John and Eleseren Brianna. As the title of the exhibition – located on the upper floor of the gallery – implies, this is something of a personal look at Second Life, with Jamee introducing it thus:
This has been three years of inspiration in the making, and I am so proud to share it with you all. I hope you will find something that is special and reminds you of why you are part of this virtual world. SL has so many things to offer with so many talented and amazing people sharing their talents in ways that inspire. Each of these photos was taken as I was inspired by the beauty and creativity of someone who took the time to build something that was beautiful to me.
Jamee’s work covers fashion photography, avatar studies, abstracts and – obviously – landscapes. And while the focus of SL Through My Eyes is on the latter, it also touches on her other areas of artistic interest as well. A number of the pieces include self-portraits that also have a slant towards fashion, for example, while a study of a lion’s head is rendered as a painting that, while not abstract in style, has a wonderful sense of abstraction about it which suggests it could have been sculpted and that were one to reach out and touch it, fingers would be able to trace their way over the lines and creases that appear to give form to the fur and mane.
It is this richness of life and presence in Jamee’s work that I find so attractive. Her landscapes in particular always strike me as not just capturing the memory of a location, but its very breath as well.
Whereas others tend to post-process to the point that while they have produced a work of art in its own right, they have in doing so perhaps lost the core essence of the place their works features. In her work, Jamee offers a lighter touch, one that still results in expressing her artistic muse and creativity, but which also retains the essence of the place in which the original image was taken.
A further attractiveness with this exhibition is the dressing Jamee has given the gallery space around her work: fantasy settings fronted by night flowers that seem to offer a way into the images; the accoutrements of a beach location accompanying her coastal and water images; ivy hanging from walls to bring together images of ruins and horses to form a vignette of their own. Among these elements are a series of small photos of Jamee and her SL companion, Matt Thomson; these add a further personal dimension to the exhibition that is delightful to see.
SL Through My Eyes is an engaging and evocative exhibition of art by an exceptionally talented photographer and artist. I believe it will be open through until the end of September, and a visit is thoroughly recommended.
Now open at Kultivate Magazine’s The Edge Gallery is the August-September exhibition of black-and-white / monochrome art and photography.
The featured artists for the exhibition are Tatjab, MTH63, Wintergeist, Chic Aeon, Belua Broadfoot, Illrya Chardin, Sophie Congrego, Roxaane Fyanucci, Euridice Qork, and someone called Inara Pey, who is really just along for the ride. The artists offer a rich mix of portraiture and landscape images in their selections, as well as a mix of styles that make for an engaging exhibition.
While the range of images is both deep and broad, I admit to finding myself repeatedly gravitating towards two of the artists in particular. The first is Tatjab – also known as tattoo artist (hence his SL and Twitter handle of “Tatjab”), painter, and pencil portrait artist, Jesse Boren. Located on the upper mezzanine level of the gallery and facing the entrance, he presents fourteen pencil portraits taken from the physical world that are utterly stunning.
Ranging from fantasy pieces (such as portraits of Cthulhu) through personal pieces (Blaze, Leland and Pam’s Grandpa, for example) to those of famous individuals such as Barrack Obama, Sir Anthony Hopkins (as Hannibal Lecter) and Clint Eastwood (as Josey Wales), these are truly marvellous pieces, one and all; the manner in which the very essence and life force of Hopkins, Eastwood (a picture I could barely take my eyes off of!) and guitarist Justin Furstienfled has been captured is just amazing – as is true of all the other pieces Tatjab offers here.
Just to the left of Tatjab’s area in the gallery are nine pieces by Euridice Qork. All are avatar portraits and studies, but again I found myself repeatedly drawn to them because each and every one is powerfully evocative in its own very individual way. Within them all, one can find a sense of the subject’s self or can feel an emotional response or been drawn to thinking about a certain era – or perhaps all three, and more.
Take, for example the rightmost image of the woman at the microphone. While her style of dress might be a little more risqué than would likely have been the case at the time, the pose, the soft-focus background, the poise of the fingers of her left hand – all evoke a sense of 1940-1950s America, and a time when both jazz groups and big bands fronted by a vocalist where the means of a Saturday evening’s entertainment. Indeed, each time I look at this particular image, I cannot help but hear the words of Blue Moon, accompanied by a lone trumpet playing in the background.
Two other artists exhibiting here to and to whom I was drawn are Chic Aeon and MTH63 each of whom can be found on the lower floor of the gallery.
Chic opts for a series of close-up images of items in-world. In this, I found the images to carry an echo of a technique that has become a signature of Melusina Parkin, and which I find particularly engaging: close-ups that suggest they are part of a large scene or story. In their presentation, be they focused on suitcases stacked one upon another or an oar in an aged and damaged rowing boat or the partially open drawers of a dresser, they drawer us to them, encouraging us into them in an attempt to peek beyond their borders, so to speak, and discern the wider story that may be just out of sight.
MTH63 offers a series of images of locations within Second Life, but rather than present them as “simple” monochrome pieces, he offers all but one of them as “negatives”, or perhaps reverse processed images (as used in the motion picture industry). Thus we’re presented with five unique views of settings within Second Life, with the one “positive” image sitting within them as the focal “glue” to MTH63’s “album”.
Truth be told, all of the artists featured in this exhibition offer a unique perspective on SL photography, be their work focused on avatars or landscapes or a mix of the two. The only potential exception is yours truly – and I say this not out of any sense of false modesty or to seek praise, but simply because I do not consider myself an artist. My images are purely intended for illustrative purposes within this blog; they are not posed, nor do they share depth of creative nuance evident in the other images, be it with framing, lighting, post-processing, and so on. As such, I count myself fortunate to be included in an exhibition where there are some genuinely breath-taking pieces.