CioTToLiNa’s Hope in Second Life

Solo Arte: Hope

Now open at Solo Arte, curated by Melania (MelaniaBis), is Hope, an exhibition of sculptures and art by CioTToLiNa Xue.

CioTToLiNa is an extraordinary artist, working primarily in 3D sculpture, although she also produces unique 2D art as well. She is entirely self-taught since joining Second Life, and I’ve long admired her work, having first encountered it at Art on Roofs in 2015, where she has a few pieces placed out as a part of the gallery’s setting, rather than directly on display. I was immediately captivated by her work, and when invited to present a full sim installation at LEA that year, I knew I wanted  CioTToLiNa – despite her own shyness – to share the opportunity with me, and worked to include a number of her pieces into that build (see: Impressions: a personal view of Second Life).

Solo Arte: Hope

Since that time, CioTToLiNa has clearly grown in confidence as an artist, producing ever more complex pieces which are not only beautiful and highly collectible (we have a number in the gardens of our island home), but also reflect her own interests / concerns for the world, and  how we relate as a species one to another and the world around us. So it is that she has produced pieces focusing on women’s rights, the environment, LGBTQ rights, racism and more, as well as pieces which reflect things like a love of music, thoughts on love and relationships, and so on.

With Hope, CioTToLiNa has selected some 24 of her pieces – three of them 2D art, the rest sculptures – which are displayed around the paths and canals of Solo Arte (itself a beautifully coordinated venue designed by Terrygold) and within one of the gallery buildings. These present many of the facets of her work and concerns, with several marvellously scaled up to fit the spaces within which they sit, offering a perfect opportunity for her work to be properly appreciated.

Solo Arte: Hope

These are evocative pieces, both in presentation and in naming. Many directly represent an emotion, reaction of desire – such as  Tenacia (Tenacity), Pace (Peace – using the CND symbol),  Il Desiderio (The Desire) and Escapology. Others are more layered in meaning, such as Babele (Babel), which carries within it assorted cultural references as well as reflections on relationships and the entire male / female dynamic.

What is particularly fascinating to me is the way other artistic influences on CioTToLiNa’s art have been incorporated with her work. For example, and as noted above, I first came across her work at Art on Roofs, which at the time was exhibiting Mistero Hifeng’s work. He also as a unique and evocative approach to sculpture in Second Life, and often moves within the same artistic circles as CioTToLiNa. Little wonder then, that one or two motfis that he perhaps pioneered in SL sculpture are reflected in some of the pieces included in Hope – such as with Donna Spremuta (Juicy Woman) and Salvezza (Salvation). However, in doing so, CioTToLiNa is by no means copying his approach: she is incorporating techniques into her work whilst producing something equally as unique and attention-holding.

Solo Arte: Hope

Hope is another superb exhibition at Solo Arte featuring a marvellous talent. It is a delight to visit and I have no hesitation in recommending you hop over and spend time wandering the canal side paths and gardens of Solo Arte to admire  CioTToLiNa’s work.

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Not Only … But Also in Second Life

Solo Arte – Not Only … But Also

Opening on Wednesday, July 19th, 2017 at 1:00pm SLT is a new exhibition at Solo Arte entitled Not Only … But Also. It features the art and images of Boudicca Amat and myself.

Receiving an invitation to display my images always comes as a mixture of thrill and nervousness. Thrill, because I don’t regard myself as any kind of Second Life photographic artist – my images are primarily concerned with illustrating the posts I write about the places I visit. Nervousness, simply because my work, as illustrative, tends to be a little “plain Jane” when compared with the true masters of the SL landscape.

Solo Arte – Not Only … But Also

I mention this not out of modesty, but because I’ve previously written about exhibitions at Solo Arte, and the idea of filling the space there with only my work actually filled me with a feeling akin to panic. Hence the suggestion to Solo Arte’s curators, Terrygold and Melania, that a second person is invited to share the available space. And to me, this second person could only be Boudicca Amat.

Boudicca’s work is, in a word, exquisite. Beautifully composed and executed, the artistry encompasses not only the image itself, but the vision and creativity poured into the entire process of producing such richly evocative moments in time, including, often, are care pouring over poses and sets. As such, I’m genuinely delighted to be sharing the Solo Arte space with her. Her avatar studies also – I hope – form a counterpoint focus for my landscape images.

Solo Arte – Not Only … But Also

As Solo Arte is a mixed indoor / outdoor venue, offering pleasant walks along a canal, a little bar and outdoor events area, Bou and I have split the space up between us in with the aim of making a visit more of a mix for people. On the landing point side of the art space, my own images can be found outside around the garden area, while further along the canal, Bou has a display inside one of the two exhibition halls. Across the canal bridge, the positions are reversed: I’ve used the second of the exhibition halls, and more of Bou’s would can be found in the courtyard behind the hall, which opens off of the events courtyard. We’ve add exhibition posters  to help point the way to the different locations.

When visiting, do note that Solo Arte is presenting two exhibitions: not Only … But Also, and Riflessi Sul Nero (which you can read about here). As such, you may be directed to Riflessi Sul Nero when teleporting. If this is the case, please use the teleport disc alongside the landing point to reach the main Solo Arte exhibition area to find us.

Solo Arte – Not Only … But Also

Not Only … But Also officially opens, as noted, at 1:00pm SLT on Wednesday, July 19th, featuring music by DJ Faby and DJ Melania.

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Reflected on Black in Second Life

Riflessi Sul Nero

Riflessi Sul Nero (“Reflected On Black”) is the title of the latest installation by Italian artist Terrygold, which is now open to the public at Solo Arte. It comprises a series of around 15 large format avatar studies, all set out within the setting of an old mine works visitors must explore.

On arrival, visitors should be sure to set their viewers in accordance with the local instructions – accept the local windlight, then ensure Advanced Lighting Model (ALM) is set via Preferences > Graphics and, if your system can handle them, enable shadows (a little is lost in terms of general ambience by not having shadows active, but not enough to spoil the installation). Once set, follow the tracks down into the mine.

Riflessi Sul Nero

Within the tunnels and vaults of the mine can be found Terrygold’s self-portraits, and the reason for the title . Rather than being in her usual alabaster skin, she is using an ebony skin for the portraits – so she is literally a reflection (image) of herself in black. Presented in a large format, these are to be found spaced along the tunnel walls and within the side room and chamber opening off of the main horizontal shaft as it slopes and twists gently downwards.

The mine itself is  superbly done – testament again to Terrygold’s skills as a designer.  Beautifully lit and atmospheric, it gives a very real impression of going underground. The lighting is extremely well done (again, just make sure you have ALM enabled), while shadows further add to the ambience.

Riflessi Sul Nero

The setting might also be a play on words, working on a number of levels. Gold is often mined, and we have Terry’s full name – Terrygold, so we are literally entering a mine to discover the gold of her images. Coal is also mined, and this is a celebration of an ebony look, so again there could be a thematic tie.  Finally – and as Caitlyn pointed out, there is the reference to black gold used in jewellery. Just as the latter can be produced  by a variety of means, including eletroplating, which sees the gold coated with black rhodium or ruthenium, so Terrygold has coated herself in an ebony covering to produce these images.

My one minor quibble with the installation is that the lighting does in places work against the images; in places it can be a struggle to fully appreciate them. Nevertheless, this is an intriguing and interesting installation to visit.

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Solo Arte in Second Life

Solo Arte – Mistero Hifeng

Solo Arte, the open-air gallery space for art and culture designed by TerryGold, and originally operating as the Melania Gallery, has a new home in Second Life. To mark its re-opening, it is featuring a dual display of 2D art and sculptures by Terrygold and Mistero Hifeng respectively.

The gallery design is very pleasing to the eye, presenting a natural environment well suited to display art both indoors and outdoors, with an emphasis on the latter. A central canal dissects the setting with open-air park spaces, courtyards, and cobbled streets on either side, together with a gallery building on one side of the canal, and a salsa dance club and a bar on the other, all offering indoor spaces where art can be displayed. Bridges span the waters of the canal to link things together, and the exhibition spaces are surrounded by the low façade of other buildings, giving it the look and feel of an arts district within a much larger conurbation.

Solo Arte – Terrygold

For this exhibition, Mistero has placed his familiar sculptures out along the footpaths, sitting on benches or walls or on the grass of the little park areas. The presence of many of them lends a feeling that the place alive with people, giving it a warm feel. Only the larger figures rising from the waters of the canal, and those sitting atop a high arch remind us that this is an art display.

Terry’s work, presented in its evocative monochrome style for the most part, is almost entirely displayed within the various buildings. This is a clever, as entering / leaving the gallery, etc., when viewing her art provides a very natural division between her art and Mistero’s, allowing both to be appreciated and enjoyed without and visual overlap.

Solo Arte – Mistero Hifeng

As Solo Arte occupies a portion of a region, some viewers may not automatically adopt the parcel windlight – Breakwave Building Light (if installed). The gallery notes also recommend enabling Advanced Lighting Model (ALM) and Shadows (both via Preferences > Graphics.

To be honest, while enabling shadows does add depth to the outdoors elements of the venue (obviously), foregoing them on the grounds of system performance should not unduly detract from a visit (although I would recommend having ALM enabled). Similarly, if you do not have the recommended windlight available in your viewer, this also shouldn’t detract from a visit.

The exhibition will run through until the end of June, 2017.

Solo Arte – Terrygold

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