The Colour of Unspoken Words in Second Life

Nitroglobus Roof Gallery: The Colour of Unspoken Words

Officially opening on Thursday, May 24th, 2018 at 12:00 noon SLT, is the latest exhibition at Nitroglobus Roof Gallery, curated by curated by Dido Haas.

One of the reasons I return to this gallery so often is Dido’s ability to inviting artists to exhibit who have a talent to provoke the mind, give rise to feelings, and give us pause for contemplation with their art. In this The Colour of Unspoken Words by Natalia Serenade is no exception.

“Looking around me I’ve been wondering why at certain moments there’s silence and no words are spoken,” Natalia says in her introductory notes. “Where do all these unspoken words go? Do they disappear in nowhere, get stuck in our throats, or are they flying away like birds? When this happens you realise how much silence there really is.”

Nitroglobus Roof Gallery: The Colour of Unspoken Words

She continues, “I want to paint the silence, the words not spoken, the freedom, thoughts swirling around me, the desire, the joy, the fear, the pain; AND there is my mind that is thinking constantly as it’s always filled with ideas and I have no choice but to create. Putting the colours together, with many cheerful tones, I will colour the day before it gets dark. So, let’s make today the most colourful of days.”

The result is 16 images of a distinctly abstract tone, utilising a measured approach to tone and colour which are both unique and also rich in emotional content. This might be hinted at when looking at a specific painting and then given form by its title, or it might be clear from the lines of an image without the need to reference its name.

In the latter category, I’d point to the likes of A Broken Heart Can’t Bare To Speak and If You Would Know… Then there ar pieces which seem to contain subtext within them: Someone hears every unspoken word and Reborn, both of which can offer up at least two potential narratives within their lines. In all of them the use of colour plays an important role if revealing their meaning and story: the colours used, their proportions relative to one another, their individual prominence in an image.

Nitroglobus Roof Gallery: The Colour of Unspoken Words

“Some people only speak when their words are more beautiful than the silence, some hide their words because of shyness,” Natalia says of the exhibition. In these paintings she brings all of those words and the silence in which they can exist, colourfully to life.

SLurl Details

Advertisements

Out of Here in Second Life

Nitroglobus Roof Gallery: Out of Here

“My images don’t have a bar code, from time to time they scream. Today is the first day of peace though,” Nevereux notes in her Preview to Out of HereNitroglobus Roof Gallery, an exhibition of her work now on display at , curated by Dido Haas. An evocative artist whom I’ve admired through these pages on a number of occasions,  Nevereux offers sixteen images which, as show notes in a mere general introduction to the exhibition, form something of a reflective, emotional journey.

Out of here is despair converted into media with intrinsic meaning and no pretenses,” she sates, “… it’s a spiritual thing, the individual perception of feelings after breakup. We seek in our beliefs sensory encounters, something beyond the words uttered. The words may reverberate subtlety, but the raw feelings, truth, irony and an imaginative point of view wrestle us each moment to create image after image.”

Nitroglobus Roof Gallery: Out of Here

And so we are presented with images of raw emotional depth, each one presenting not a narrative or idea, but a feeling; a response; a desire. All but one are really presented as standalone moments; flashes of an emotional state, a state with which, in all likelihood we can each identify. The exception is Adieux. Beta version, seen at the end of this piece, which conveys emotions through words as well as by image.

Love and loss obviously result in darker feelings – emptiness, loneliness, despair, hurt, and so on. This is certainly the case with the majority of the pieces offered here – but that shouldn’t be taken to mean these are in any way bleak images. Entirely the reverse, in fact. As noted above, these are images that are powerfully and evocatively familiar in their interpretation; so much so that rather than sinking us into bleaker thoughts, they offer a journey – possibly cathartic – through feelings and responses. Some may even offer more than one potential interpretation.

Nitroglobus Roof Gallery: Out of Here

Take Every Song Is A Lament (above, left), for example. Clearly, the title reflects how songs can feel to us when a relationship ends;  that sense of loss, not just of love and companionship – but also a of oneself. This is beautifully framed by the image itself – a body partially dissolved into a trail of feathers leading to an escaping bird. But so to, is there an alternative here: that need to escape; a wish not to feel the hurt and upset evoked by song, and to simply escape.

Similarly, and alongside of Every Song Is A Lament, is Going from Belonging 2 B Longing. Again, the title and the image perfectly convey the idea that there comes a time when a relationship ends – for whatever reason – when we a deeply aware of that shift in state: for a couple (or family) or an individual; we feel more a shadow than a presence. But again, perhaps, there is an alternative metaphor here: when a relationship ends, we are often surrounded by support; and as well-meaning as that support might be, we nevertheless feel apart from it, rather than a part of it. We simply want to fade away and escape it all.

Nitroglobus Roof Gallery: Out of Here

An open display of images reflecting inner thoughts and feelings, Out of Here is an expressive exhibition, one not to be missed.

SLurl Details

Cold’s Fading in Second Life

Nitroglobus Roof Gallery: Fading

Now open at Nitroglobus Roof Gallery, curated by Dido Haas, is Fading, a selection of art by Cold Frog. Cold is a long-time Second Life artist, but time and health is placing limits on her ability to produce new pieces. So, as Dido notes in her introduction to the exhibition, Fading is something of a retrospective of Cold’s past work, rather than being an introduction of new pieces. The title also perhaps stands as reflection of Cold’s situation, as Dido also notes: Cold is sadly finding her own sight is fading.

There is a strong sense of melancholy about many of the pieces offered in this exhibition, again perhaps in keeping with the title, although the subject of death has often been evident in her work, as has suicide; both either directly or through intimation – the splash of blood here, a skull there or perhaps a repose or  reference in a title.

Nitroglobus Roof Gallery: Fading

This might cause some to think of Fading as a dark and dour exhibit, but I would argue the reverse. Yes – again as Dido notes – death and suicide are serious subjects, but there is a depth and sensitivity layered within Cold’s pieces that draws one into them. There is also, in some, a little sense of playfulness, as if she is quietly saying, “OK, let’s not get too heavy with this. We’re still alive.”

This more light-hearted aspect can, for example, be seen in Sending a Tweet from My Grave, a piece both rich in its imagery, particularly in Cold’s hair, and playing on the idea of tweeting. There is also a certain darkness to the piece; a question, perhaps of how will we be remembered – by others after our passing. Will we have a place in their thoughts, or will memory be fleeting, a flash of remembrance equivalent to a 280-character line of text. Across from it, 40 Days of Isolation is again rich in meaning, and may well reveal itself to different people in different ways; however, to me there is a subtext on the subjects of loneliness, depression and conditions which might lead to suicide.

Nitroglobus Roof Gallery: Fading

For me, the most poignant of the images displayed at Nitroglobus appear to be somewhat self-referential: Losing Parts (seen above centre, alongside 40 Days of Isolation), Even Lost My Shadow and the titular Fading (seen directly above). All three seem to point towards Cold’s own circumstances, and while they might be regarded as melancholic, all three are beautifully rendered, allowing them to stand apart of any deeper or more personal meaning. I admit to being particularly drawn to Fading and Even lost My Shadow, while the way both are partially faded speaks to Cold’s situation,  so to does the approach present a pair of hauntingly beautiful pieces, their beauty heightened by the muted tones.

Nuanced, rich in detail, presenting several approaches to art and photography, Fading is another exhibition featuring work by a gifted SL artist and which further demonstrates why Nitroglobus is one of the leading galleries in Second Life, and Dido one of the most gifted curators of fine art in SL.

SLurl Details

An Inner Journey in Second Life

Nitroglobus Roof Gallery: Inner Journey

“You will not find art in this exhibition,” Marie (mariajo60), aka Pepa Cometa, states disarmingly of her exhibition, Inner Journey, now open at Nitroglobus Roof Gallery. She claims she is not an artist, but rather regards herself as a traveller, a witness to all that is to be found in Second Life.

On the strength of Inner Journey, I have to say that I disagree with Pepa’s assessment of herself as an artist. The twelve images she has selected for display at Nitroglobus are most assuredly artistic. Entirely “raw” shots of Second Life, they are entirely without cropping or post-processing: they are presented precisely as Pepa sees the scenes on her screen. As such, they are beautifully framed and composed.

Nitroglobus Roof Gallery: Inner Journey

The images present something of a personal view of Second Life, and the fact the images haven’t been additionally processed deepens their personal nature and attractiveness. There is also an air of melancholy  – or at least of introspection – within many of the pictures. This is particularly evident in Life Revolves, Rain in My Fairy Tale, Furillen in Blue, The Windows of My Kingdom, Hey You – the One in the Box. and, perhaps, Wet Sand. Others among the set suggest love, innocence, and perhaps childhood memories.

Each of these images conveys a story. Obviously, each story is personal to Pepa – but so too does each speak to visitors. This is another marvellous exhibition, one in which it is a delight to spend time at, savouring each of the images. Kudos to both Pepa and Dido.

Nitroglobus Roof Gallery: Inner Journey

SLurl Details

Melusina’s Absences in Second Life

Nitroglobus Roof Gallery: Absences

“Absence,” Melusina Parkin states in introducing her exhibition, Absences, at Nitroglobus Roof Gallery, “is a negative concept: it means that something should be there and it doesn’t. So, when we look at an empty place – a room, a seashore, a road or even a chair – we can’t avoid thinking of something or somebody who has been or will be there. That’s even more true when a world, including nature and landscape, is entirely made by humans, like Second Life.”

Absences is a set of twelve images on this theme, presented in Melusina’s familiar approach of offering a macro-like study, each scene a single point of focus – a beginning, not an entire story. Rather than the entire room, we are instead given an empty hanger on a hook, deserted chairs at a table, a glimpse of an empty couch facing windows without a landscape, the rumpled sheets on one side of the vacated bed, and so on. All suggest a story, of a presence lost but still felt; of  time when two were once one, but now only the one remains, the observer, the keeper of memories.

Nitroglobus Roof Gallery: Absences

But are the absences we see permanent – the result of the ending of a relationship or the passing of someone close to us? Or are they temporary –  the absence felt when a lover is away for an extended period, or who has just departed for a time and with the promise of reunion in the future? Or are they the absence created by changing circumstances – the empty room symbolic of possessions packed and gone, in transit to a new home while we remain, recalling all that has happened in the now deserted spaces – and the promise of new beginnings when next we see those possessions in their new home?

“I’m not completely aware of these thoughts when I take a photograph,” Melusina notes. “But when a detail, a colour shade, a light catches my eye and pushes me to freeze it in a photo, I think it happens ’cause they suggest me an atmosphere that any word, any human presence could better express.”

Nitroglobus Roof Gallery: Absences

And here is where the power of these pieces resides. Because they are each so focused, so macro in content, there is no sense  that we are being particularly directed to view any of them one way or another. Instead, each is but an opening word or line, awaiting its story to be told.

In this, we become not so much observers of each image, but playwrights, sharing each canvas with Melusina, writing stories of ending and beginnings unique to each of us, filling the page she offers us through each image. Because, and as she notes, the blank page holds so much more power than the sheet upon which words have already been written. And so these images, as evocative as they are, are made even more meaningful to each of us through our involvement in the narratives that flow from them.

Nitroglobus Roof Gallery: Absences

SLurl Details

Black and White Women in Second Life

Nitroglobus Roof Gallery: Black and White Women

Now open at Nitroglobus Roof Gallery, curated by Dido Haas, is Black and White Women, and exhibition of photography by Christower Dae.

“Chris likes to explore, experiment, is curious and loves making pictures. Photography for Chris is immortalizing avatars in ambiguous attitudes,” Dido states in the liner notes for the exhibition. “His dedication to the avatar portraits, to the capture of those expressions that a skin can offer by giving (according to many people) a soul to the avatar and its personality begins.”

Nitroglobus Roof Gallery: Black and White Women

The result is a series of stunning avatar portraits presented in black and white, focusing on the female face. Presented in the familiar large format for Nitroglobus. However, these are no ordinary portraits. Each offers a considered, unique moment in time captured in the life of each subject; that all are presented in black and white services to heighten the beauty within it.

Each of the images is perfectly framed to offer a story; what that story might be is left entirely up to us: there are no visual clues within the pictures themselves; those which do offer any background do so in soft focus, ensuring attention remains on the face before us. Shown in close up, every detail of each face is presented to us: the brush of freckles across a cheek, the reflection of light within an eye, the spread of eyelashes, the fullness of lip – all are beautifully captured and rendered.

Nitroglobus Roof Gallery: Black and White Women

I’ve seen many images of avatars in Second Life, both through exhibitions and via Flickr, but Black and White Women is one of the more remarkable sets of such studies I’ve seen. The natural cast to each is – to repeat myself – genuinely unique. This is an eye-catching exhibition, one I recommend visiting.

Nitroglobus Roof Gallery: Black and White Women

SLurl Details