Chalkboards and photographs in Second Life

Lyric Art Gallery: SecondHandTutti

Officially opening at 10:30 SLT on Saturday, March 2nd, 2019 at the Lyric Art Gallery is the latest edition of the Visual Feast exhibitions, featuring the work of two artists: SecondHandTutti and the gallery’s co-curator, Michiel Bechir. Between them, they offer two very different – but equally captivating – exhibits.

On the ground floor of the gallery is SecondHandTutti’s #26 Chalkboard Dolls, which – contrary to the title is actually 17 pieces of art comprising 14 wall mounted images and three 3D pieces. They are, however, all drawn together by the chalkboard theme.

Lyric Art Gallery: SecondHandTutti

The 14 images, all clearly taken in Second Life have been beautifully rendered to present a series of chalkboard drawings. Each is offered as if freshly drawn, the chalk resting on the board’s shelf alongside an easer. It’s a fascinating way by which to capture Second Life and the degree to which each image genuinely appears to have been hand-drawn on a board is mesmerizing. Granted, on one or two you have to get the camera in close to fully appreciate the detail, but the effort is more than worthwhile.

The three 3D pieces utilise chalkboards to display their names. They are uniquely abstracted studies of figures created with prims, rather than the more common mesh. This gives them a rawness of line that is as eye-catching as the images surrounding them, and  – in the case of Dancer perhaps offers an added sense of tribalism to the figure and the dance.

Lyric Art Gallery: Michiel Bechir

Located on the upper floor of the gallery, Michiel’s exhibit presents 17 of his photographs taken around second Life, either mounted on the walls or on easels. His work has always had a richness to it, whether presented as a gently post-processed photograph, or more broadly edited to give the feel of a painting, and the selection offered at the Lyric presents both approaches for visitor to admire.

As a seasoned SL traveller, one of the things I enjoy with landscape photography that has been captured in-world is trying to identify the locations without cheating by referencing the Edit floater or hovering the mouse over a picture in the hopes of seeing a name. Sometimes the images feature aspects of a region that are so iconic, it is relatively easy to do so: the airstrip at Wild Edge, for example, or the wind turbines at La Digue Du Braek, or the beauty of the Gulf of Lune – all of which can be found in this selection. But sometimes, the setting can be captured in a more subtle manner – and thus I was delighted to spot images taken and Scribbled Hearts and Kekeland, two destinations to which I have in the past made numerous visits.

Lyric Art Gallery: Michiel Bechir

Two excellent selections of art, and I recommend them as being well worth a visit.

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Black and White at the Lyric Art Gallery in Second Life

Lyric Art Gallery – Black and White: Ebcy Clift (l) and Boone Blanco

Opening on Saturday, January 5th, 2019 at the Lyric Art Gallery is Visual Feast: Black and White, an exhibition featuring over 30 artists (and for which I’m kicking myself, as I was invited to participate… and then forgot!). Each of those artists participating was asked to submit and image on the theme of winter landscapes, although some of the art displayed takes a slightly different turn on presentation, with several pieces, while monochrome, focused on avatars.

Exhibitions like this are often an interesting way of getting to see work by artists / photographers with whom you might not be familiar or otherwise get to see – or to re-acquaint oneself with the work of artists not seen in a while. Such is the case for myself, in coming across First Touch by  Leonorah Beverly, and artist whose work I only recently encountered for the first time, instantly finding her landscape work instantly captivating. With First Touch, whilst not a landscape, demonstrates her skill in presenting an evocative story within an image.

Lyric Art Gallery: Emma D’Souza (l); Beccha (c) and Leonorah Beverly

Within those pictures that keep more-or-less to the theme of winter landscapes, these is a fascinating mix; from “straight-forward” pieces with fields of snow or trains chugging between snow banks, or houses sheltering under thick blankets of snow, through to more subtle views of winter: snowflakes drifting through an open window (Black and White by Beccha); or wonderfully atmospheric, with a bridge caught under a sullen sky; the clouds portents of cold weather (Bridge Over Troubled Water by Mishe Mactavish).

The avatar studies are equally  broad ranging, with several encompassing the winter theme as the setting, others focused purely on the avatar(s) imaged. While it is not surprising avatars get to feature in some of the images – we can be much a part of a winter setting as fir trees, snowmen and frozen ponds -, I admit to being surprised at the number of images that more-or-less eschew the winter theme (or present it only minimally) in favour of presenting a portrait, either completely or to a greater degree. Which is not to say any of them are any the less captivating – I found Pure by Andre Mascot (Snouman) particularly striking, for example.

Lyric Art Gallery: Gwen Enchanted (L); Gustaf (pv544); Fenn MacMoragh (r)

All told a very eclectic, engaging exhibition that offer more of a mix than might be expected from the invitation / greeter description. For those able to attend, the official opening will take place at 11:00 SLT, on Saturday, January 5th, 2019, with music by DJ Fae.

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Vintage art in Second Life

Visual Feast – Vintage

Currently open at the Lyric Art Gallery is an exhibition featuring some 40+ artists, entitled Visual Feast – Vintage. Participating artists were asked to submit an image representing a period between 1920 and 1959, and which could be said to be a vintage representation of the specific period the artists selected to reflect.

Ruby Lane notes that “an item described as ‘vintage’ should speak of the era in which it was produced. Vintage can mean an item is of a certain period of time, as in “vintage 1950’s” but it can also mean (and probably always should) that the item exhibits the best of a certain quality, or qualities, associated with or belonging to that specific era. In other words, for the term vintage to accurately apply to it, an item should be somewhat representational and recognizable as belonging to the era in which it was made.”

– From the exhibition liner notes.

Visual Feast – Vintage

The result is an interesting – and somewhat curious selection of images captured from within Second Life and offered as both paintings and photographs. Some opt for what might be called a traditional look at the period they’ve opted to represent: a flapper arriving outside of a club in the 1920’s, fashionable (for the time) cigarette holder in hand, hair cut short; or another young woman in a 50s dress celebrating ownership of a new Fiat Nuova 500; or a girl on the beach in a typical 40s/50s beach costume.

Others have gone for a quirkier approach to their selected  period – such as a pop band standing on another world, in space suits, their classic rocket ship standing as part of the backdrop, all recalling the 1950s heyday of pulp science-fiction. Some are more esoteric, in places suggesting periods somewhat older than the preferred decades through the style of clothing being worn; or which offer a modern take on vintage elements from the intended decades, such as a young woman in what might be taken as contemporary clothing watching a classic steam train speeding by.

Visual Feast – Vintage

Such is the volume of art in the exhibition, naming all of the artists isn’t practical without a post like this reading like a shopping list; nor is it particularly easy to single pieces out. However, in the latter regard, Natalie Montagne’s Music And Lights is for me a stand-out piece, and possibly the jewel in the exhibition. It is a quite sublime piece: a fabulous portrait of Ol’ Blue Eyes Himself, Frank Sinatra, perhaps the embodiment of America and American music in the 1950s.

Details on individual pieces and the artists responsible for them can be obtained by clicking on each piece and accepting the offered note card.

Visual Feast – Vintage

A broad exhibition with an interesting theme, Visual Feast – Vintage opened on November 3rd. Those visiting the exhibition are also invited to tour the wider Sea Island Modern Fantasy Roleplay region, if they so wish.

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