Highlighting my interview with Gem Preiz for Kultivate Magazine

Fractal 397 (Wreck, 2016) by Gem Preiz, on FlickrFractal 397 (Wrecks, 2016) by Gem Preiz, on Flickr

I’ve been an admirer of Gem Preiz’s fractal art ever since I first encountered it several years ago on my travels as a reviewer of art in Second Life.

This year, 2017, marks the fifth anniversary of Gem’s first exhibitions in Second Life, and he has been marking the with two retrospectives. The first, A Retrospective, was held at the start of the year, and you can read about it here. The second, appropriately called Five Years of Fractals, opened in September 2017, and you can read about it here.

To help celebrate this anniversary – and the fact that Gem himself is fast approaching his 10th anniversary in SL -, I had the opportunity to sit down with him in late September 2017 and discuss his work with him on behalf of Kultivate Magazine. It was a fascinating opportunity to learn about his arrival in Second Life, his art, his interests and inspirations. If I say so myself, the interview is well worth taking the time to read simply because Gem does have so much to say that is worth reading; this being the case, I thought I’d help whet appetites by offering a few excerpts from our chat.

No Frontiers 10 by Gem Preiz (2017), on FlickrNo Frontiers 10 by Gem Preiz (2017)

On Second Life and The Potential for Artistic Expression

I actually discovered Second Life in 2007 while on a trip to America. I was actually there to study new technologies for use in business, but discovered a world with wonderful personal opportunities in this social and playful virtual world.

My awareness of the potential for sharing creations coincided with a growing interest in digital imagery. In particular, I discovered two artists – Fiona Leitner and Milly Sharple … Seeing Milly’s work helped me see the possibilities for displaying my own art within Second Life, and in reaching an audience from around the world while also having the freedom to create exhibition spaces which would be impossible in the physical world.

On His Passion for Fractals

I have a science and maths-focused education and have always worked with technology. Because of this, the computer naturally became my paint brush.

Some of my passions include ecology, Earth sciences, and humanity’s relationship and place in Nature. Astronomy and cosmology particularly bring together my fascination with science with my own imagination and fascination for the human capacity to imagine, discover, explore and learn. All of these play a role in my creative expression and imaginings.

… Fractals allow me to create – to paint, if you will … with such a diversity of results … In addition, the underlying mathematical aspect make them welcome to my rational, scientific side.

Fractal 296 (Polychronies, 2014) by Gem Preiz, on FlickrFractal 296 (Polychronies, 2014) by Gem Preiz, on Flickr

On Science and Science Fiction

We are the ultimate product of life on this planet. We have been granted a brain which allows us to understand and influence our environment. At the same time, we question what is our purpose as a species …

Science, in its broadest sense, is the means by which we do so, through exploration, analysis, deduction, questioning and reason … We have it in us to resolve all of society’s issues – health, wealth, the environment – if only we are willing … I have a passion for science and a concern for the environment. We need both to secure our future – if we are to have a future.

Thus, Fractals and digital art are a means for Gem to express all of this to an audience, while at the same time giving flight to his creative narrative through both his visual art and the written word – as narrative forms a strong element in his pieces. Sometimes this may be obvious, such as a story running within one of his exhibitions, as with Heritage: Wrecks reviewed here) or it may be subtle: a story suggested by and introduction to his images, but which is left to the visitor’s imagination to flesh out.

Kultivate Magazine-October 17Through the interview, we were able to explore these ideas at some length, delving into just how some of his more recent exhibits came into being. We also explored his unique approach to reproducing his work in Second Life, as well as his ruminations on the platform as someone who has been a part of it now for almost a decade.

Gem is a genuinely warm, caring individual, and it was both a privilege and pleasure to chat to him for Kultivate. You can read the full interview in the October edition of the magazine, beautifully illustrated by images from Gem’s work selected directly from his library, which he kindly opened up to us to peruse in preparing the piece.

Click the magazine cover on the right to open it for reading in a new browser tab. You can also catch up on all of my reviews of his work in these pages through a dedicated blog tag.

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Rock Your Rack 2017 charity art show opens in Second Life

Rock Your Rack Art Show and Auction

The 2017 Rock Your Rack Art Show and Auction in support of Rock Your Rack opened on Saturday, September 30th, 2017, and will run through until Saturday, October 14th, alongside the main Rock Your Rack 2017 events.

Rock Your Rack is the annual fund-raiser started in October of 2012 by Jamee Sandalwood and the team at Models Giving Back for the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF). Founded in 1991, NBCF’s mission is to help women in the United States by providing help and inspiring hope to those affected by breast cancer through early detection, education and support services. NBCF is also joining hands with organisations around the globe to provide breast cancer education.

Curated and coordinated by Kultivate Magazine on behalf of Rock Your Rack, the art show features 32 2D and 3D artists, all of whom are offering one or more items in their art displays with 100% of proceeds going to Rock Your Rack.

Rock Your Rack Art Show and Auction

The participating artists are: angyel Resident, artandsoul constantine, Astrid Zhangsun, Beth Pentewyn, Booyakashaka Resident, CalystiaMoonShadow, captainofmysoul, chanasitsayo, Daruma Boa, DrusillaGwind Resident, Eleseren Brianna, Elle Thorkveld, emberdearheart Resident, Eucalyptus Carroll, FreeDom Voix, ilyra chardin, Inquisitor Titanium, Jamee Sandalwood, John Brianna, Karma Weymann, Kerry Streeter, M8ty Resident, Meishagirl Resident, Myra Wildmist, NaTaS Janus, retroye resident, Sandi Benelli, Sheba Blitz, tisephone resident, Veruca Tammas, Vivienne Darcy, and Wintergeist.

Events accompanying the Art Show include the return of the Pink Art Ball with live performer SaraMarie Philly on Saturday, September 20th at 16:00 SLT, a special gift card raffle, and a special art auction bundle, featuring work by Cica Ghost and Bryn Oh. The art show will participate in the Rock Your Rack hunt, where hunt goers can search for hangers throughout the art area and the rest of the region.

Rock Your Rack

As well as the Art Show, Rock Your Rack features shopping, a silent auction, live entertainment, DJs, the aforementioned hunt … all in a beach themed location so those of us facing the approach of winter can enjoy a last moment of sunshine for 2017, and those in the southern hemisphere can greet the forthcoming arrival of summer!

The complete schedule of events can be found at the Rock Your Rack calendar, and on the entertainment page of the website, together with details of the hunt and auction, and a list of participating sponsors.

SLurls and Links

Kultivate’s Black and White exhibition in Second Life

Kultivate Black and White

Opening on Sunday, August 27th and running through until Sunday, September 3rd is the last of the Kultivate event exhibitions for 2017.

The Black and White Exhibition features over 40 artists are showcasing some of their best black and white imagery! The event will also feature live performers and a special hunt, plus a Black and White masquerade event.

Hana Hoobinoo at Black and White

The artists participating in the exhibition are: Anouk Lefavre, bluesrocker, Booyakashaka Resident, ByrneDarkly Cazalet, Caingrovesnore751, demonista, Callipygian Christensen, Catalina Staheli, Char6666, Christian Ayden, Coltonvond Resident, Daruma Boa, DrusillaGwind Resident, Eleseren Brianna, Elle Thorkveld, emberdearheart, Eucalyptus Carroll, FreeDom Voix, GlitterPrincess Destiny, Grazietta Cazenove, Hana Hoobinoo, Hikaru Enimo and Marcusgay Lefevre, Karma Daxeline, John Brianna, ilyra chardin, Inara Pey, iSkye Silverweb, IthilwenRose Resident, jaime poutine, Kaijah Chrome, KodyMeyers Resident, Kylie Sabra, Lanne Wise, Lusus Saule, Myra Wildmist, Paradox Messmer, retroye resident, roxaane Fyanucci, Sheba Blitz, Slatan Dryke, Storm Blauvelt, Tayren Theas, Tiszo cioc, Veruca Tammas, and Vivienne Darcy.

Event Schedule

All times SLT.

  • Sunday, August 27th, 2017, 04:00:
    • Exhibition Area Opens to the Public.
    • Yīnyáng Hunt Begins – scattered throughout the grounds are 20 yīnyáng symbols. Touch them all and win a free prize-if you can find them all.
  • Sunday, August 27th, 16:00: Live Performer Parker Static.
  • Tuesday, August 29th, 2017, 16:00: Live Performer Lark Bowen.
  • Wednesday, August 30th, 2017, 16:00: Live Performer Dimi Van Ludwig.
  • Thursday, August 31st, 2017, 16:00: Live Performer AM Forte.
  • Friday, September 1st, 2017, 16:00 Live Performer J Lively.
  • Saturday, September 2, 2017, time TBC: Live Performer Loreen Legeion
  • Sunday, September 3rd, 2017:
  • 13:00: Live Performer Melenda Mikael
  • 23:59: Exhibition Area Closes to the Public and Yīnyáng Hunt Ends.
My own efforts at Black and White

Note that the SLurl to the event will only be available when the exhibition opens at 04:00 SLT on Sunday, August 27th, 2017.

SLurl Details

Kultivate Homes for Our Troops Fund raiser in Second Life

Homes for Our Troops fund-raiser Gallery

Kultivate Magazine will be holding a special fund-raising event in support of Homes For Our Troops on Saturday July 2nd through Tuesday, July 4th.

The event will feature live performers, DJ parties, a special flag hunt, and an art auction with proceeds going to Homes for Our Troops (HFOT), a privately funded 501(c) (3) non-profit organisation that builds and donates specially adapted custom homes nationwide for severely injured post – 9/11 veterans, enabling them to rebuild their lives after military deployments and war – see more below.

Homes for Our Troops fund-raiser outdoor art auction

The schedule for the event is as follows (all times SLT):

Saturday, July 1, 2017:

  • 08:00: Event area opens; art auction begins; hunt begins
  • 16:00-17:00:  Live performer Melenda Mikael

Sunday, July 2, 2017:

  • 12:00 noon – 14:00: the Red, White, and Blue Ball
  • 16:00 – 17:00: Live performer Lark Bowen

Monday, July 3, 2017:

  • 16:00-17;00:  Live performer J Lively

Tuesday, July 4, 2017:

  • 12:00 noon – 14:00: 4th of July Party (daytime)
  • 16:00-18:00: 4th of July Party (evening)
  • 18:00: Fireworks; art auction ends; hunt ends.

The Fund-raiser is taking place on Kultivate’s home region of Water Haven – but please note access may be restricted until the event opens at 08:00 SLT on Saturday, July 1st.

Homes for Our Troops fund-raiser part of the gallery space

The following artists are participating in the event: Booyakashaka Resident, captainofmysoul, Catalina Staheli, Eleseren Brianna, Eucalyptus Carroll, Ilyra Chardin, Isis Desmoulins, iSkye Silverweb, IthilwenRose Resident, Jamee Sandalwood, John Brianna, Karma Weymann, KodyMeyers, LailaKnight84, Meishagirl Resident, Miele Tarantal, mmorganwhitfield, Myra Wildmist, retroye resident, Sandi Benelli, Sheba Blitz, Solana Python, Syphera Inaka, talligurl resident, Veruca Tammas, Vivienne Darcy, wild Alchemi, and WrenNoir Cerise.

About Homes For Our Troops

HFOT builds homes as a departure point for Veterans to rebuild their lives, and once again become highly productive members of society. Despite their life-altering injuries, many Veterans have embarked on new careers, completed their college degrees, or started families.

Empowered by the freedom a mortgage-free and specially adapted home brings, these Veterans can now focus on their recovery and return to their life’s work of serving others. Many have embraced their roles as motivational speakers, sharing their messages of persevering through tragedy with groups and classrooms around the country; others take to a national platform to promote awareness of veteran suicide, homelessness and PTSD. Their incredible stories are the driving force for the work for HFOT.

For inquiries about Homes For Our Troops in Second Life, please contact Frets Nirvana

SLurl Details