La Maison d’Aneli: new exhibits; new look

La Maison d’Aneli Gallery: Sweet Susanowa

Wednesday, May 20th marked the opening of a new ensemble exhibition at La Maison d’Aneli Gallery, curated by Aneli Abeyante, together with a new look / set-up for the gallery’s spaces.

For those familiar with the gallery’s former “indoor” futuristic look with the display spaces all physically linked, the current appearance is very different. On the ground sits a warehouse-like building tucked into a corner of Virtual Holland. With an outdoor seating area / event space, the warehouse offers two routes to the exhibition spaces.

La Maison d’Aneli: Desy Magic

The gallery spaces are now located in the sky overhead and connected via teleport both with the ground and one to the next. These new spaces actually gives artists more physical space with their exhibitions / installations, including the freedom to add the the décor / environment in which they are displaying their art.

The teleports, as noted, take two forms: individual Anywhere Doors that, from the ground, take visitors directly to a specific exhibit / installation. These also connect one exhibit to another, if a little randomly in terms of you don’t know where you’re going next when you open a Door on any given exhibition space.

La Maison d’Aneli: Nox Kirax

For those who prefer to select where they are going, the gallery spaces and the ground level are also connected via teleport disks that will offer a menu of destinations within the gallery, allowing visitors to pick where they go next.

The artists displaying at the gallery comprise:

  • Ilyra Chardin, with The New Normal: The Date, 3D installation offering a commentary on the current state of physical / social isolation resulting from the SARS-COV-2 pandemic.
  • Slatan Dryke, with a redux of his installation, Crumbs from my Nightmares.
  • Thoth Jantzen, presenting Vortex one of his  immersive, mesmerising media shows.
  • Nox Kirax, with a set of his portraits in which visitors are invited to consider the expressions on the faces of the subjects and reflect on what they might be saying.
  • Desy Magic, offering a captivating selection of avatar studies, paintings, and 3D sculpture.
  • Sophie Marie Sinclair, presenting a number of her physical world nude and abstract paintings.
  • Sweet Susanowa, with an intriguing selection of photographs and abstracted paintings / drawings.
La Maison d’Aneli: Ilyra Chardin

Together, they make for an engaging mix of art and expression. I admit to having a certain attraction to Thoth’s work and Desy’s images that tends to make me lean towards them, and that is true here -although admittedly, a still image of Thoth’s work really doesn’t convey it, it really does have to be experienced.

Ilyra’s piece is certainly of the times, and the staging of a couple sharing a romantic meal  whilst keeping strictly to their own apartments, and they sharing it whilst separated by the gap between their balconies is certainly of the time, whilst Slatan’s redux offers the chance to re-visit an installation that challenged introspection the first time around.

La Maison d’Aneli: Sophie Marie Sinclair

Nox Kirax, Sophie Marie Sinclair and Sweet Susanowa was three “new” artists for me, inasmuch as I’m not aware of seeing their work in the past, and all three offer something entirely engaging, in very different ways to one another. I particularly found the portraits by Nox to hold my attention in full, while the sheer diversity of imagery with Sweet’s exhibit offer a richness of imagery and a different style of narrative within them, while Sophie’s nudes have a wonderfully fluid feel to them that is suggestive of life and vitality.

A further engaging ensemble of exhibitions well worth seeing.

La Maison d’Aneli: Slatan Dryke

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Expressive art at La Maison d’Aneli in Second Life

La Maison d’Aneli: FionaFei

Aneli Abeyante opened the April 2020 exhibition at La Maison d’Aneli on Wednesday, April 8th, and once again she offers an intriguing and engaging selection of art and artists, with content running from physical world art through to digital media whilst enfolding both 2D and 3D art. In keeping with the gallery’s ensemble style of art shows, six individual exhibits are presented for April, the work of seven artists in total split between the lower and upper levels of the gallery.

On the lower floor, and to the south side of the central aisle are contrasting 2D art displays by Agleo Runningbear and Tralala Loordes.

La Maison d’Aneli: Agleo Runningbear

Known as April Louise Turner in the the physical world, Agleo is a woman of many colours – art, shaman, teacher, poetess, to name but four – who presents her work under her own name and the title ArtShifter. She is a gifted portrait artist and caricaturist, who here presents 20 of her pieces in both line drawing and colour, of celebrities from the worlds of art, entertainment and fashion, some of them more than once.

Most of the faces (particularly if you have a long memory or a love or the arts, entertainment and fashion) may leap out at you, as did for me, Jaques Brel, Charles Aznavour (x2), Gerard Depardieu, the charcoal (?) caricature of Catherine Deneuve, the pairing of Karl Lagerfeld images (one a slight giveaway as his name is added) and the pair of Yves Saint Laurent pictures (although I did initially wonder if his blue-toned painting might be Isaac Asimov on first sighting it).

La Maison d’Aneli: Tralala Loordes

Tralala – perhaps best known for her Tralalas Diner location designs, presents a further series of self-portraits featuring LODE headpieces in what might be described as a celebration of the warmer seasons mixed with a hint of fantasy. These are quite gorgeous pieces – although I admit to feeling that the ambient lighting for the display does not do them the justice they deserve.

Across the central aisle to the north are the digital media presentations by Etamae and the combined talents of Kalyca McCallen and Eifachfilm Vacirca (aka Proton d-oo-b) operating under the combined name of Alchemelic.

La Maison d’Aneli: Etamae

Hailing from the UK, Etamae has a gift for producing striking images from Second Life of – to use her own words – “the things she has seen and loved which have inspired her to transform them into something else – not more, nor better – simply different.” The results are always captivating, and here she offers an installation of what might be described as two parts – both of which require the use of the viewer’s Advanced Lighting Model (ALM: Preferences → Graphics, with the further advisory that your local viewer time is set to midnight). The first presents a series of animated digital images that challenge the eye in an almost hypnotic manner, the subtle motion drawing us into them and gently holding us in a trace. The second part is an equally hypnotic chamber that again involves animated elements.

Alchemelic describe themselves as “a Zurich-based music and art project with cinematographic background, mixed media, and 3D modelling [who] aspire to spark your imagination and elevate your mood with our unique blend of visual art and original music.” At La Maison d’Aneli they offer a two-part installation, The Space Between, which again particularly requires ALM to be enabled) might be described as an examination of the nature of space and relationships that has taken on something of a new meaning in recent times.  Take the Anywhere Door to reach the second part of the installation.

La Maison d’Aneli: Etamae

On the upper floor of the gallery, and lying to either side of the events areas are the exhibits by FionaFei and Xirana Oximoxi.

An artist from Catalan, Xirana describes her art as reflecting her concerns and moods at different times, abstractions or “mental landscapes” that are rooted in a number of artistic mediums and genres. With Lost Souls she offers a marvellous unique series of images that have been born out of the pandemic worries of 2020, and which offer an entrancing play on the the idea of portraiture. Trapped by social isolation and visiting a rooftop, Xirana  found herself drawn to the irregular nature of the walls and their coverings. Weathered and cracked, in places broken, rough conglomerate abutting smooth surface finish, lined and cracked, the surfaces suggest – with a gentle touch of post-processing – faces and characters. The result is is series of utterly captivating “portraits” of “souls” caught within plaster, stone and concrete that brings an entire new meaning to the expression if these walls could speak.

La Maison d’Aneli: Xirana Oximoxi

Facing Lost Souls, FionaFei offers us the chance to visit a wonderful ink wash garden of water lilies in bloom as they are admired by butterflies. Initially appearing to be 2D pieces, these are all more of Fiona’s thoroughly delightful, almost fragile-looking sculptures-as-paintings. Six are offered as hanging scrolls, the seventh, sitting behind a small pond of Fiona’s lilies, as a painting. A small table offers 2D representations of this main painting as a gift to all who visit.

Individual, evocative and fascinating, April at La Maison d’Aneli presents another collection of art that should not be missed.

La Maison d’Aneli: FoinaFei

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Digital expressions at La Maison d’Aneli in Second Life

La Maison d’Aneli, February 2020 – YadeYu Fhang

Now open at La Maison d’Aneli, curated by Aneli Abeyante, is an exhibition that sees artists both familiar and perhaps new to followers of art in Second Life, displayed within a new layout for the gallery space.

The untitled exhibition features the work of JadeYu Fhang, Eylinea, Gaston Wonder, Vroum Short, Adwehe, and Aneli herself, five of whom present pieces of a distinctly digital nature, with Gaston Wonder providing a balance with photography grounded in the physical world.

La Maison d’Aneli, February 2020 – Gaston Wonder

In describing his work, Gaston notes:

I find it interesting the way we have to interpret Art, we are all different, we did not have the same feeling while looking at an Art object or a photo, I don’t care about the rules for Art has no limit, there are no things better than others, there is only one emotion specific to each.

His work, often focusing on the inorganic – wooden planks, chains, wood and stones on a beach, a broken wall and more – offers a marvellous glimpse into the organic world, the lay of metal and shadow, chain against background, grain and knot of wood forming facial features, sometimes almost human, sometimes alien or even insect-like. Each evokes familiarity that in turn generates a focused emotional response.

La Maison d’Aneli, February 2020 – Vroum Short

Next to Gaston, Eylinea is a relative newcomer to Second Life, an environment that that encouraged her to explore artistic expression through digital mediums. Here she displays a series of pieces, a selection of which are animated, and all of which sit within abstraction and expressionism.  Her work is reflected across the hall by Aneli’s exhibition, which offers further animated abstractions together with pieces that suggest they have been formed from copper beating as modern expressionism.

Making up the four displays on the lower floor, Yadeyu Fhang offers an immersive space, that once again presents a surrealism environment that deliberately cross the line between the physical and the digital. Yadeyu notes she is often influenced by the work of Kubrick and Lynch, and there is evidence of that here, together with a touch of French noir through the use of monochrome and lighting.

La Maison d’Aneli, February 2020 – Adwehe

On the upper floor of the gallery space, Vroum Short presents a further immersive space, rich in colour and form, suggestive of he undersea environments or an alien landscape alive with plants. Adwehe is another relative newcomer, and – while I’m not sure – this might be their first exhibition. Featuring both 2D and 3D pieces, it’s an expressive display, one in which Adwehe acknowledges the support and influence of Vroum and her work at VeGeTaL PLaNeT.

A half-dozen fascinating displays by six fascinating artists.

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Lalawood: unconventional, interactive and anarchic

Lalawood, La Maison d’Aneli

Now open at La Maison d’Aneli, curated by Aneli Abeyante, is a multi-level collaborative installation entitled Lalawood which is quite the most unconventional – and potentially controversial (for some) interactive installation I’ve seen in Second Life for quite a while.

Designed by Onyxxe, Iono Allen, JadeYu Fhang and Theda Tammas, Lalawand is difficult to quantify. Intended to be humorous, it is also in part pointed, perhaps controversial, irreverent (with what appears to be a healthy dose of self-satire), anarchic and – perhaps most of all – unconventional.

You never heard of LALAWOOD? What a pity! It is the best playground in Second Life. A kind of LEGOLAND, just without the first L. Yes you understand well. Finally a place where you are allowed to show off your talents, value and persona without any restraints … You will meet kings, queens, godfathers, godmothers and many other successful gods. You even can bump at Philip Linden while wandering around.

– Onyxxe, describing Lalawood

Lalawood, La Maison d’Aneli

The installation comprises six levels, including the landing point where something of an introduction to the installation is to be found, together with instructions on how to best view the installation. From here there is a teleport to the first actual level of the installation itself.

To describe the five primary levels of the installation would be to spoil the element of discovery and perhaps unduly influence personal interpretation of Lalawood. suffice it to say each includes interactive elements, starting with the “iLala” music player that provides a music track to accompany your exploration of the installation (it is essential you have local sounds active). These interactive elements combine in-world objects and those presented to your inventory you are asked to add to your avatar.

Perhaps the easiest way to define Lalawood is that it is an exploration of self and the role of ego in our Second Life persona. In this, it raises topics we may well find familiar through our experiences in Second Life (the roles of sex and drama), and a sideways look at many of the attractions / activities people find within the platform (artistic expression, creativity, the ability to generate income), and how these might affect, challenge and change us.

Lalawood, La Maison d’Aneli

In this, the presentation of the themes might best be termed anarchic; some may seem to border on being insulting to those who engage the the various pursuits noted above (art, etc.) – hence why a sense of humour is emphasised in the instructions for the installation. However, there is a strong dose of self-irreverence on display by the four artists themselves as they satirise themselves as much as anyone else.

How one responds to Lalawood really does come down to a mix of personal sense of humour and ability to interpret the various elements found throughout its different levels. I confess that while I found myself smiling in places, in others I found things perhaps a little forced, while the inconsistency of teleports (some are interactive click-to-TP, others open the map and require a manual TP) a little distracting as the latter drew me out of any sense of being involved in the installation. So I’ll leave it to you to plumb the depths of the installation and draw your own conclusions, lest anything I might add here unfairly biases your experience.

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A new ensemble at La Maison d’Aneli in Second Life

La Maison d’Aneli: Senka Beck

La Maison d’Aneli, curated by Aneli Abeyante, opened its November 2019 ensemble exhibition on October 30th, once again offering a rich mix of art.

The featured artists for this exhibition comprise IndigoClaire, Gitu Aura, Beertje Beaumont, Senka Beck, Treacle Darlandes, Lala Lightfool and Norton Lykin. With the exception of Treacle Darlandes’ Undiscovered Planet / La Serre, the individual exhibits primarily focus on 2D art.

La Maison d’Aneli: Beertje Beaumont

Beertje Beaumont and Lala Lightfool present their physical world art, with some very different pieces on offer.  Lala presents a display entitled Flowers, a series of watercolour paintings of trees and flowers, some of which are conventionally presented – trees in fields, flowers in pots, while others are more abstract in nature.

For her part, Beertje presents a series of pieces that share a floral theme with Lala’s. However, Beertje prefers working in acrylics, often working them over a layer of sand and gesso. As shown in a number of pieces offered here, this gives them a marvellous textured look that is particularly effective given their subject matter.

Beertje Beaumont: IndigoClaire

With her installation, Senka Beck presents Detoxomania, Reboot, which she describes as her “individualistic version” of her collaboration Detoxomania, presented at La Maison d’Aneli in 2018 (see: Abstract and surreal in Second Life). This is a piece that must be viewed with Advanced Lighting Model enabled (Preferences → Graphics) and with local sounds enabled, presenting a mix of 2D and 3D elements that are best experienced rather than described.

IndigoClaire and Gitu Aura present exhibits predominantly focus on avatar studies, while Norton’s exhibit comprises a series of pieces intended to be reflections on nature, love, perception and cognition.

Beertje Beaumont: IndigoClaire

Eclectic, diverse and rich in presentation and colour, this is another intriguing selection of art.

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Visiting La Maison d’Aneli’s new home in Second Life

La Maison d’Aneli: Eylinea and Desy Magic

La Maison d’Aneli, curated by Aneli Abeyante, relocated mid-year to a new home in the skies of VeGeTal PLaNeT. In making the move, the gallery space has also been redesigned, the former two-level build giving way to a more labyrinthine space that retains the open plan nature of the former venue whilst also making one’s passage through it more interesting by splitting individual display spaces across multiple levels, both “up” and “down” relative to one another, linked by stairways and walkways, together with a number of individual display spaces – all of which work together to encourage exploration and discovery.

At the time of my visit, a new set of exhibitions was due to open on Wednesday, September 18th, featuring work by: Eylinea, Akim Alonzo, Desy Magic, Jolielle Parfort, Megan Prumier, Olympes Rhode, and Moki Yuitza, all of whom present a rich mixing of 2D and 3D art. While all are opening at the same event at 12:30 pm SLT, I have to admit that I was drawn to dropping in ahead of time after receiving personal invitations to see the exhibits by Akim and Moki.

La Maison d’Aneli: Akim Alonzo

Located in one of the individual galley halls, Akim presents The Matrix, a series of images he’s created based around his love of The Matrix movies. While some of them have previously been displayed at Akim’s own gallery (see: Water and a Matrix: reflections on life by Akim Alonzo), I was drawn back to them because of both their captivating nature and because they are so nuanced and layered. Not only do they offer an interpretation of the manifold memes on the shaping of reality as found within the films and as we can create for ourselves within SL; they also present a commentary on identification – that perennial theme common to Second Life -, as I noted back in April when writing about these images:

Within these pictures is a subtle reminder that, no matter how hard we might try to distance self from character within SL, no matter what the roles we play in-world, the backstories we build; the fact remains that facets of our own natures, our own identities, will be impinged on those characters. They are inevitably a projection of self into the virtual. What’s more, their daily encounters and experiences within the virtual realm equally reflect and inform upon our physical selves. Thus, we have a genuinely visceral intertwining between the “real” and the “virtual”.

La Maison d’Aneli: Moki Yuitza

Moki also has one of the individual gallery spaces to present a 3D installation entitled Ascension. This is a mobile piece offering an interpretation of the subject matter title – the ability for us to ascend our current state mentally, spiritually or potentially physically. Beautiful to witness, this is also an interactive piece, with poseballs available for those wishing to participate in the installation.

Within the more open areas of the gallery space, I found myself drawn to Eylinea’s 2D and 3D animated art; this being the first time – at least that I can remember – I’ve seen her work on public display. There are intricate and fascinating, drawing a number of approaches – geometric, fractal, and abstract to produce some fascinating pieces.

La Maison d’Aneli: Jolielle Parfort

When visiting the gallery, I do recommend following a certain order to progress through the exhibits. From the landing point provided, take the stairs (on the left as you look out over the gallery) down to the main hall space to visit the individual exhibition space housing Moki’s Ascension. After this, explore the open spaces on their various levels and the hall containing Akim’s The Matrix, before moving to the final individual hall, home to Jolielle Parfort’s always engaging art drawn from Second Life.

This route doesn’t give any deeper context for the exhibits – each stands on its own merits -, but it will offer a logical path through the gallery and the exit point tucked into the hall featuring Jolielle’s work. From there is is then possible to visit the other exhibition areas around la Maison d’Aneli, including region holder vroum Short’s visually captivating Mirror (which I’ve also previously written about). All of these spaces are equally worthy of a visit, but which will be subject for other articles in this blog.

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