Tag Archives: Art in SL

Do not leave me: the emotional power of art and lyrics

I received an invitation to preview Canary Beck’s new exhibit which opens to the public on Thursday, November 20th in the attic gallery space at the Arts & Culture Community (A&CC) on Wanderstill Ode (when you arrive, go into the gallery and climb the stairs all the way to the top).

This is a highly personal display of 20 self-portraits married to lyrics from Jacques Brel’s 1959 classic Ne Me Quitte Pas (Do Not Leave Me), a song many may more readily recognise under the title If You Go Away, with (alternative) English lyrics by Rod McKuen (and which, while powerful, doesn’t measure up to the raw emotional content of the original).

The best way to describe the display is to use Becky’s own words:

I have aimed to express what I am only now able to express coherently in words. I’ve even lifted the titles for the pictures from the verses of Jacques Brel’s plaintive poetry set to music, feeling unable to write them myself.

These very personal pictures are the result of two months of taking hundreds of similar pictures on my bare white platform – most of which I obliterated soon after I took them. I never planned to share them. As I’ve reviewed these works for showing; however, I see them now like heavy pages in an old diary; a shabby book that reflects a threadbare me, depleted by gravity and, I hope, now hardly recognisable.

Even without the use of lyrics from the song, the pictures arranged around the walls of the gallery’s loft carry a powerful story. One doesn’t need to read the artist’s notes to understand the depth of loss and grieving represented in each picture. Yes, they are nude studies, but this also adds to their emotive strength; this is not the nudity of sensual posing for the camera – it is the nudity reflective of vulnerability, of being exposed to the world, defenceless, lost.

When taken with their titles, as drawn from Brel’s lyrics, each image becomes more emotionally intimate, drawing us into the artist’s thoughts and feelings: Je t’offrirai des perles de pluie – I will offer you pearls of rain; Je ne veux plus pleurerI will cry no more; Laisse-moi devenir
L’ombre de ton ombre
– Let me be for you the shadow of your shadow
. All offer an emotionally charged reflection on the lyrics, and the tumult evident in the artist’s thoughts when taking the original pictures.

For me, the fact that we cannot, in any of the images, see the Canary’s eyes brings further depth of feeling to each piece. Shadow hides them from view, yet in many, shadow traces what might be the flow of tears from them; black pearls of rain traced over pale flesh.

All told, a remarkable exhibit, and one I cannot recommend highly enough. As noted, Ne Me Quitte Pas opens on Thursday, November 20th, and will run through until Saturday, January 201th, 2015.

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Art in a park – and it’s me (at least in part)!

Art In The Garden - Kirsten Smith

Art In The Garden – Kirsten Smith

OK… time for full disclosure. The following is a mini-review of a place I previewed earlier in the month, and which is now open to the public. I have a vested interest in re-visiting and covering it, as it features some of my work, in what amounts to my first gallery-style display with art for sale.

At the start of November, I wrote about the redevelopment of Holly Kai Park, a public space on the region of Holly Kai, to the north of Blake Sea. As I noted at the time, the new and expanded park offers a lot of amenities to visitors: one hour quayside rezzing time (so you can leave your boat safely moored while exploring), a beach area, parkland, trails to wander, an events space, and places to sit and rest.

The Park is also the home for a new gallery space – Art In The Garden, and I’ve had the honour of being invited to participate in the inaugural exhibition, which had yet to go on display when I first visited the park to write my preview about it0.

Artwork by Yany O’Real, Kirsten Smith, Em Larsson, Elvira Kytori, Marga, Mirabelle Sweetwater, RickerR, Io Bechir, Carelyna, Madi Fray, and Bambi Foxdale is on display throughout the park, together with efforts by yours truly. Taken together, it offers variety of themes and styles, ranging from photography through painting to pen-and-ink, featuring landscapes, portraits, wildlife, and a touch of abstract.

Art In The Garden - Yany O'Real

Art In The Garden – Yany O’Real

Pieces are displayed so that they encourage visitors to explore the park, following the various paths and trails, with each artist being displayed in a specific location, almost like individual display spaces within a gallery. While all of the art can be seen whether you start from either the west or east side moorings, I’d recommend starting on the east side of the park (if there is space to moor there, should you come by boat), and then follow the route as indicated on the maps there.

If you’re looking for art for your home, all of the pieces on display are available for sale, and I believe all are modify, and so can be resized, offering flexibility of placement. There is also an Art In The Garden group, with free enrolment, you can join to keep abreast of events and activities related to the gallery.

Art In The Garden - Yep, and yours truly ...

Art In The Garden – Yep, and yours truly …

If you’re looking for a new gallery to enjoy, Art In The Park may well offer you exactly what you’re seeking, complete with the opportunity to meet with friends, chill out under the park awnings and even, should you have one available, rezz a boat and take a trip around the local islands.

I admit to feeling very privileged at being included in the gallery’s first exhibition, the pieces on display from the other artists are of an amazing standard (and I’ve quite fallen for Yany O’Real’s sea and sailing paintings). My efforts aside, a great place to visit.

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la maison d’Aneli

La Maison d'Aneli - FrancheskaCarter

la Maison d’Aneli – FrancheskaCarter – click any image for full-size

I received an invitation from Aneli Abeyante to attend a special vernissage of the first exhibition to be held at her new gallery, la Maison d’Aneli, which opens on Tuesday, November 11th, 2014. Unfortunately, I cannot attend the preview itself, so I hope she won’t mind me writing about it in advance.

The inaugural exhibition features work by Littleone Aries, Tani Thor, FrancheskaCarter, Nino Vichan and Cayenne Avon, with the opening featuring a special concert featuring Pol Jarvinen’s work and the music of Yummy and Coffee Jaworower.

La Maison d'Aneli - Tani Thor

la maison d’Aneli – Tani Thor

la maison d’Aneli is a brick-built gallery within Impress allen’s region of Virtual Holland. The ground floor feature gallery spaces for Littleone Ares, Tani Thor, FrancheskaCater and a display / telpeort area for Pol Jarvinen and the concert area. Upstairs, the exhibition space is devoted to a joint piece by Nino and Cay, entitled Companions, and of which more anon. Lines on the floor invite visitors to tour the gallery in a specific order of artists, commencing with Littleone Ares, then progressing through the Companions exhibit, then Tani, Francheska and finally to Pol, and the teleporter up to the concert space.

Littleone, Tani and Francheska offer strongly contrasting styles in their work, which makes this a varied and striking opening exhibition. I’ve not been overly familiar with any of their work prior to my visit, but found all three appealing in very different ways; there is a powerful sense of abstract in Littleone’s pieces, which at the same time have a hint of intricate glass art. Tani’s work is more surreal in approach, the images presented quite striking in both their power and statement.

Littleone Ares

la maison d’Aneli – Littleone Ares

FrancheskaCarter’s work, which forms the largest part of the exhibition, draws on a number of themes, styles and influences, presenting a dynamic display of art that is – to me, at least – quite magnetic; and I say that without any intent to slight either Tani or Littleone. There is so much to captivate here, the interweaving of styles, forms and contrasts is entrancing.

Just look at Murbian, with its New York-like street of today and Urbaniste above it, featuring a street scene from over a century before; these pieces both complement and contrast with one another not only in the scenes they depict, but also in the manner in which they are presented. The New York picture possesses bold, modern strokes, the picture showing us a horse-drawn past offer far softer lines and colour, immersing us further in the bygone age it represents. Similarly, Chati offers an immensely powerful statement, while Amoureux magnificently captures the power and sensuality of the Argentine tango.

La Maison d'Aneli - Companions

la maison d’Aneli – Companions

Upstairs, Cay and Nino offer a very different piece. “Welcome to the attic,” the introductory note card reads “Filled with memories of the companions who shared our lives.” following this is a short poem recalling the love and affection offered to us by favourite pets. This is, in short, a little trip down memory lane which is at once very personal, and almost somethings any of us who have shared our lives with a pet will instantly emphasise with.

Here, amidst the clutter one can all too often find in a roomy attic – old copies of newspapers, toys long forgotten, packing crates and travel trunks, furniture past its prime and more  -, lie a series of paintings and drawings of pets and their owners from times past. Each picture tells a story of its own, and each draws us into it in an almost intimate way, at the same time conjuring memories of those pets we have ourselves loved, and who offered us unconditional love in return. This is a wonderfully personal display in many ways, both through the pictures offered and the setting itself.

As an inaugural exhibition, this is, as noted above, quite a stunning array of art (all of which is offered for sale, and would grace any home), and one not to be missed. Congratulations to  Aneli on both the opening of the gallery and this excellent exhibition.

La Maison d'Aneli - FrancheskaCarter

la maison d’Aneli – FrancheskaCarter

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A Taxy! to the Zircus, coming home to Dada

There’s a quote by Peter Greenaway  in Eupalinos Ugajin’s profile. It reads:

The human imagination is surely the most amazing thing in the universe. We do not want virtual reality we want virtual unreality. We cannot replicate reality – why are we wasting our time trying?

It’ a quote that sums-up Eupa’s work perfectly. Whether working individually or collaboratively, there is always something about Eupa’s art that stretches the imagination, often with a sense of fun  and a sprinkling of the wonderfully absurd.

Taxy! to the Zircus

Taxy! to the Zircus

Taxy! to the Zircus, now open at MetaLES demonstrates this in full; it’s a piece that challenges (defies?) description, taking one deep into the realm of Dada, and quite delightfully so, complete with a touch of Terry Gilliam to boot! It is also an installation that really does deserve the label “interactive art” – you are as much a part of the works on display as the works themselves.

Nothing should be ignored during explorations, and almost all the pieces on offer require your involvement via click-to-sit, be it dancing on a horn-spiked platform tethered to a spinning top, floating around in a sphere, bouncing on a trampoline, trying a new form of fencing with a hair dryer and paint brush (something I’d actually like to see taken-up as an Olympic sport!) or – in the greatest of circus traditions – being fired out of a canon (and hopefully through a target framed by a cow), and more besides.

Movement between the main platforms is achieved via teleport  boxes, some of which are indicated by a Gilliam / Pythonesque pointing finger.  Some elements of the work have a walkway connecting them, although speed and accuracy of walking across it is advised! Because there is a risk of falling involved in several of the pieces – and the fact they can only be reached via teleport boxes or flying – a set of wings can be obtained from the landing point; just turn on the tap / faucet (naturally!) to pour yourself a set!

Quite how one defines Taxy! to the Zircus is difficult; there are clear surrealist elements, the aforementioned twist of Dadism and, given the encouragement to experience some of the activities from the very first-person perspective of Mouselook, perhaps even a hint of phenomenology  – or at least, phenomenological reflexion.

But perhaps definition isn’t required here; just your participation, and the sense of liberation through the lighthearted presentation of the absurd. So go, share, enjoy – Be. Taxy! will be open through until the end of December, and knowing Eupa, there may well be additions and tweaks during that time.

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