Fantasies and Illusions in Second Life

Lost Unicorn Gallery: Serina – Fantasies and Illusions

Currently open at the Lost Unicorn Gallery, curated by Natalie Starlight, is a superb exhibition of fantasy avatar studies by : SERINA :: ( SerinaK ) entitled Fantasies and Illusions.

Hailing from Japan, Serina is the owner of the Alter Ego mesh clothing brand, and I’m not sure how long she has been involved in SL photography – she joined Flicker in 2018; but I believe this is the first time I’ve see her work in a solo exhibition. And I use the term “superb” above quite deliberately: the pieces exhibited at Lost Unicorn are genuinely captivating.

As avatar / fantasy studies, the pieces presented in the exhibition are rich in colour, detail, motif and visual story, where everything has clearly been carefully considered in compositing and frame that makes them instantly attractive. Most are rendered in colour, although some monochrome pieces are hidden within the collection, their muted tones deliberately chosen to bring forth their story for the eye to see without the need to view any title.

Lost Unicorn Gallery: Serina – Fantasies and Illusions

Whilst focused on fantasy figures and framing, several of the images touch upon the surreal – perhaps most notably with Blind Justice, but elsewhere as well, in subtle touches. This reflects Serina’s broader interest in art that encompasses fantasy, surrealism and fine art. But there is more to be found within these pieces.

Although each an every piece can be appreciated as it is seen, its initial narrative ready to be captured by the eye, this is but an illusion; each carries a deeper story. In some, this might appear to be a personal statement, in others more a comment on society at large. I’m not going to point to individual images here as is often my wont, because these deeper narratives are best discovered by seeking the name of each piece through a right-click → Edit after each has been viewed free from preconceptions brought forth by knowing an particular picture’s title in advance.

Occupying the main lower hall at the gallery, Fantasies and Illusions makes for a grand exhibition – one that flows into the rest of the gallery space as a whole, where the fantasy theme continues with images by a number of artists. Thus the gallery offers a broader, worthwhile visit that I also recommend.

Lost Unicorn Gallery: Serina – Fantasies and Illusions

As noted above, this is the first time I’ve seen an exhibition focused on Serina’s work, and on viewing, I hope it is not the last that I have the opportunity to do so.

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Miro’s postcards from Second Life

Lost Unicorn Gallery: Miro Collas

Opening on Friday, July 5th, 2019 at the Lost Unicorn Gallery, curated by Natalie Montagne, is an exhibition entitled A Kaleidoscope of Colour: Postcards from Second Life, featuring the photography of friend and fellow Second Life traveller, Miro Collas (who also regularly points us towards regions we can explore).

Located in the main hall of the gallery’s magnificent castle, the exhibition features an extensive selection of Miro’s photography taken – as the sub-title for the exhibition indicates – during his travels around Second Life. In all, over thirty photographs are presented, both within the main hall and within some of the rooms leading off of it.

Lost Unicorn Gallery: Miro Collas

However, the thing that draws one to the pictures is Miro’s use of tone, colour and soft focus.

The colour and tone are clearly evident in these pieces, which has been set within the rooms in reflection of this. In the main hall, for example, blue is the predominant hue seen in his images. This gives the pieces a particular tonal quality evocative of fantasy moods and setting. In this, the choice of colour often reflects the locations where with the photos were taken, as with those for The Sanctuary and Tagus Enchanted Forest. Elsewhere, the blue presents a sense of enchantment or mystery to a place one might not necessarily associate with a fantasy setting – such as with Florence Bay.

Lost Unicorn Gallery: Miro Collas

Brighter tones are evident in the selections found in the adjoining rooms as well, notably yellow and orange. Warm colours, these add a sense of homeliness, warmth and familiarity to the locations which, again, is fully in keeping with their nature when visited, or which  presents the subject location in a new perspective, such as with his picture of sunrise / sunset over the shoulder of Ukivok.

Miro’s use of depth of field and soft focus adds a further nuance to many of the images, giving them a painting-like aspect. This really brings each piece to life, as well as adding a great sense of narrative to each piece.

Lost Unicorn Gallery: Miro Collas

All told, an extraordinary exhibition by a Second Life explorer whose work should be displayed far more in Second Life. The formal opening for the exhibition will be marked by a live performance by Phemie Alcott from 15:00 SLT, dress code: “classy casual”.

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