Art vignettes at Solo Arte in Second Life

Solo Arte, September 2019

Currently open at Solo Arte is an art garden created by Terrygold and MelaniaBis that features the work of invited artists displayed in a series of pods. At the time of my visit, the garden featured the work of CioTToLiNa Xue, Dekka Raymaker, Annalisa Muliaina, and Terrygold, together and an exhibition of art by Magda Schmidtzau. These are individual exhibits, rather than a combined installation – Magda’s art being the most recent addition. As noted, Each artist has their work displayed in an individual pod, with the the pods either placed on, or close to, the garden’s lawn.

In this, the setting has something of a feel of the Explore and Enjoy exhibition from 2018, also designed and curated by Terrygold and MelaniaBis (see:  Solo Arte: “explore and enjoy” in Second Life), albeit on a more modest scale. I have no idea if further pods will be added given the available space, although there appears to be room for more, if required. As it is, the four available at the time of my visit made for a contrasting group of 2D and 3D displays.

Solo Arte – Magda Schmidtzau (l) and CioTToLiNa Xue (r) – September 2019

Truth be told, I don’t have too much to say about the individual exhibits, as they all tned to speak for themselves. CioTToLiNa offers New Trips, which carries something of an echo of her piece from Explore and Enjoy, while Terrygold presents  a piece from her 2018 installation, Rusted Farm (see: A Rusted Farm in Second Life), while Magda’s 2D art is, as always, captivating in it richness of avatar studies.

However, the reality is these are art vignettes that should be seen for themselves – and in the case of Dekka’s, tried, as it is interactive – so I’ll leave you yo pay them a visit.

Solo Arte, Dekka Raymaker – September 2019

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Terrygold’s Oxygen in Second Life

Terrygold: Oxygen

Oxygen, with the subtitle The Suffocated Planet, is the title of a new installation by Terrygold, which officially opens at 13:30 SLT on Friday, January 25th. As with The Rusted Farm (read here for more) before it, it offers art with an ecological theme.

As with The Rusted Farm, Oxygen focuses on the myriad ways in which humans are systematically poisoning our own planet. But where the former dealt with the ruining of the world’s oceans and lands, Oxygen focuses on the manner in which we are slowly destroying the very air we breathe.

At its core, the installation provides a story, told it words and pictures, of a woman born in 2030, a time when the atmosphere has become so polluted people are unable to live outdoors without the aid of a respirator, which to her feels as suffocating as the deadly mix of gases in the unfiltered air. She longs to witness first had the world she has never known; a place where the sky was as blue as her eyes, and where plants and flower grow in abundance.

Terrygold: Oxygen

Her world appears to be that of underground habitation; a place of concrete walls, floors and ceilings, of passages and vast rows of tanks used to sustain our race. But even here the air is not fresh or clean, and the ever-present respirator imprisons her. There is only one place she can escape the cloying grasp of the mask, and then only briefly – and it brings forth all the longing she feels for the world that has passed, together with a renewed hated for the mask she’ll all-to-soon have to return to wearing.

My weekly hour in the municipal greenhouse is almost over; I’m already wearing my mask and in a little while I’ll be back into that fog. 59:55 … 56 … 57 … 58 … 59 it’s here. The Noise.

That “noise” is the sound of her own confined breathing, the beat of her own heart, reminders of her imprisonment.

Through the story, we follow her attempts to find peace, or rediscover all that humanity has lost. These attempts lead her to a truth: that nature is in fact stronger than we might think. While our own foolishness may bring about our own end, Nature herself will ultimately survive and recover, healing the wounds wrought by humanity in our foolishness.

Terrygold: Oxygen

Throughout the installation, the story is told through words seemingly painted on the walls of the drab halls of living spaces, and through self-portraits of Terrygold wearing the all-encompassing mask, a heavy, ugly affair. Through these images we witness her longing, her desires and ultimately, her discovery.

This tale is in many ways dark and sad; even the outcome is tinged with shadow as well as hope for the future or the natural world. However, the message is clear: should we not work with Nature, to cease our wilful destruction of environments, poisoning of water and polluting of the very air we breathe, in order to ensure the continuance all of this fragile ecosystem in which each and every one of us is born and depends upon? Or are we going to continue along a path in which, while it is true Nature through her hardiness will eventually survive and recover, will nevertheless leave humanity’s mark on the world akin to that of the dinosaurs, our passing marked only by the bones of our towns and cities?

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  • Oxygen: Solo Art (Casvian Caye, rated: Moderate)

Solo Arte: “explore and enjoy” in Second Life

Solo Arte

Opening on Friday, September 14th, 2018 at 13:00 SLT is a new group art installation at Solo Arte curated by Terrygold and Melania (MelaniaBis), Featuring an ensemble cast of artists, it has been given the informal title of explore and enjoy.

Those participating in the exhibition cover the realms of both 2D and 3D art, and comprise Oema, Terrygold, Jill Agresti (Jillx), Solkide Auer, Judy Barton (Mitla), Giovanna Cerise, Desy Magic, Annalisa Muliaina, Maddy (Magda Schmidtzau), Eupalinos Ugajin, Ciottolina Xue, and Moke Yuitza.

Solo Arte: Oema

The setting for the exhibition is rather unique, a three-dimensional space that initially appears as a rooftop garden, dotted with large hollow spheres, each of which contains (or will contain) an element of 3D art by some of the artists, together with some additional buildings and a little stream flowing between rocks and cliffs. However, there is more here than meets the eye: under the garden are numerous spaces, some of which can be glimpsed from above, others of which are fully enclosed and hidden, where more art and other points of interest can be found. Getting around these forms something of a mystery tour, making a visit to this installation a journey of discovery.

The spheres are intended to be worlds of their own – each has at least one entrance / exit, and visitors are invited to step inside them and become fully immersed in the art within. The dioramas and vignettes may come with explanatory text, or may stand alone or – as in at least one instance – share a poetic theme with the words of Jill Barton, whose poetry, inspired by the space, can be found on media boards to one side of the rooftop area under the eaves of a building.

Solo Arte: Ciottolina Xue

Once inside a sphere, you are fully enclosed in the space to generate a feeling of immersion – and which also makes finding your way back out a little interesting if you get turned around inside! But for a deeper sense of immersion, I suggest trying first-person view whilst within a sphere. Note that to fully appreciate some of the art, you must have your viewer’s Advanced Lighting Model option (Preferences > Graphics) enabled. Shadows are also recommended as being enabled when visiting – but I would suggest that this is a more optional requirement, depending on how well or otherwise your viewer performs with shadows enabled.

The 2D art is more traditional displayed on the walls of the lower levels of the structure. These have been designed in such a way that each 2D art area is at least partially open to the natural daylight of the environment (using the local windlight or setting your viewer to sunset is recommended). Maddy’s and Desy’s art is set out so as to appear in garden style environments, while Oema’s is in more of a built-out area that forms the main route into the lower levels from the rooftop garden when exploring on foot.

Solo Arte: Maddy

To fully get around the installation however, requires the use of the Teleport Anywhere Doors that can be found throughout the build. I particular, one of these is located alongside the location for Jill’s poetry, and another on the lower level of Oema’s 2D art display. Together, these two doors form (depending on which you use first) the start / end point for a journey through the installation, passing from display area to display area – including one tucked away deep inside the build, where more 3D can be found.  Nor is this all; also hidden down inside the build – and accessible on foot, should you spot the tunnel – is an underground events / bar area.

With Nessuno Myoo and Kicca Igaly due to join the exhibition during its run, this is a creative approach to displaying art that makes for an engaging and fun, as well as visually impressive, visit.

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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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