Tag Archives: Art in SL

Testing the water and pretty in pink at Holtwaye

Hows the Water? Holtwaye ArtSpace

Hows the Water? Holtwaye ArtSpace

Eupalinos Ugajin fired over an invite for my to join a group of friends trying out How’s the Water? This is a giant catapult Eupalinos has been able to install over the Holtwaye ArtSpace.

I last visited the gallery, which is co-managed by WayneNZ and Holter Rez, back in June, not long after it had opened. So as well as visiting How’s the Water? I took the opportunity to see what was going on down in the gallery itself.

How’s the Water? is a wonderfully huge piece of interactive art / fun involving – as noted – a giant catapult. But this isan’t any catapult; at one end, where the “missiles” sit, is a huge wash basin with hot & cold taps, and a large counterweight at the other. Across a void sits a tall tower. The aim – literally – of the game is to add one or more objects to the basin using the cold water tap, and then fire them at the tower using the hot water tap.

Hows the Water? Holtwaye ArtSpace

Hows the Water? – Missile away! Holtwaye ArtSpace

The objects which are “fired” can be selected from a menu, and feature pieces from a number of artists, some of which can be sat upon, if you wish to take a ride yourself! When the hot water tap is touched, a giant strawberry (what else? :) ) descends from the sky to add its mass and velocity to the counterweight, swinging the catapult into action.

Hitting the target tower – despite its size – isn’t easy. But should you do so, there’s a bit of an explosion, and rather than collapsing, the tower is bent back from the force of the impact, juddering and weaving with the imparted energy before righting itself for the next onslaught.

A small red canon and lawnmower at the base of the tower may also be worth investigating…!

If you’re looking for art that is a little … calmer … in nature, then down on the ground and inside the Gallery is a new exhibition entitled Be Our Art: Pink Edition, featuring pieces by Tomais Ashdene, Bryndarkly Cazalet, Awesome Fallen, Hottie Biscuit Lockjaw, Ziki Questi and Bianca Xavorin, all of which have, as the name suggests, a pink theme to them. Fuschia Nightfire also presents a piece for the exhibit in the media room, entitled Faerie Grotto. You’ll need to stand just inside the room and have media enabled to play this.

Be Our Art: Pink Edition

Be Our Art: Pink Edition, Holtwaye ArtSpace

Also still on display in the various gallery areas of the building are works by Chuckmatrix Clip, Fordis Flores, JJ Goodman and Waynenz, which I reviewed last time around, and Olio, a series of images by my friend and fellow SL aviator, Tomais Ashdene; while sculptures by Bryn Oh, Nessuno Myoo and others can be found in the gallery and its surrounding grounds.

If you’ve not had the chance to visit Holtwaye ArtSpace before now, I do recommend to add it to your list; not only are the exihibitions there worth seeing, as I noted in my original piece, the building itself – designed by Waynenz, who also designed the beautiful Toru, the Enchanted Forest.

Olio - Tomais Ashdene, Holtwaye ArtSpace

Olio – Tomais Ashdene, Holtwaye ArtSpace

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That’s Italy for you

Now open at MIC Imagin@rium is Mexi Lane’s installation, That’s Italy, a curious piece combining elements from a previous work, with the hulk of a ship, containers and … hovercraft.

You arrive on the familiar sandy shoreline of the MIC Imagin@rium art region, co-curated by Mexi, standing alongside a wooden jetty. Out to sea sits the ship, the titular Italy, listing to port as if she’s run aground, objects in the waters around her surrounded by a mass of objects which at first might suggest the tops of the rocks upon which she has come to grief. A closer examination, however, reveals the objects in the water to be the flotsam of her cargo, either driven from her deck as a result of whatever accident befell her, or perhaps subsequently pushed overboard as jetsam as her crew fought to refloat her…

Draw closer still, and the cargo reveals itself to be somewhat unusual; while the metal hulks of containers sit in the water, the majority of the seaborne cargo is tiny houses, more of which are jumbled on the freighter’s tired deck and scattered in her rusting hold – the Italy is clearly a vessel that has seen better days.

Buoys mark the ship’s location, red lights winking as if in a baleful warning, “keep away! Keep away!” Seagulls wheel over the ship while, when seen from certain angles, the MIC Imagin@rium island forms a backdrop, it’s Roman style adding further depth to the piece to the enquiring mind, conjuring images of seafaring accidents which have scarred otherwise picturesque coastlines.

So, is there a message here? Perhaps there is – although what it might be is up to you to decide, as Mexi says of the piece herself, “[It is] a vision that I wanted to communicate. A state of mind? A metaphor? I do not know, you decide.”

Metaphor is certainly here, and richly layered as well, both with the piece as it is seen and in how it has been put together. Is it, for example, perhaps a commentary on how our consumer-driven need, represented by the little houses, is impacting the world through pollution (the oil drums floating amidst the flotsam) and man-made disasters (the wreck of the Italy itself?). Or is the fact that a portion of the piece  – the houses – are re-used from an earlier work, now all carefully re-textured, a commentary on the need to recycle, to re-use and so reduce to potential burden we place on this world in dealing with our waste and rubbish?

The best way to drawn any conclusions is to visit That’s Italy for yourself. Oh, and the hovercraft, mentioned at the top? They’ your transport out to the wreck, if you wish; just keep in mind that the warning buoys I referred to are there not only to warn passing ships away from the wreck, but also to alert you to the presence of the region boundary.

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UWA announces Freedom Project books available

The Freedom Project FINAL 26 Aug, 2013

Launched on Sunday September 1st, 2013, the Freedom Project was a joint undertaking by the University of Western Australia,  Virtual Ability Inc., and the Centre for ME/CFS and Other Invisible Illnesses.

A 2D and 3D art and film event, the project extended an open invitation to artists suffering from a disability or chronic illness, or associated with those suffering from either, to demonstrate how virtual life has enabled them to engage in activities and interact with others in ways which may not be possible in the real world.

I covered the launch of the project at the time, and subsequently reported on the opening of the Freedom Project art exhibition in the UWA’s gallery spaces in March of 2014 (the exhibition is still open for viewing at the time of writing for those who would like to visit, although the exhibition will be taken down in the next two or three weeks to provide the UWA’s Transcending Borders project additional display space.

At the time the challenge was announced, it was indicated that art pieces submitted to the Freedom Project would feature in a commemorative book – both digital and orinted – in the hope that both the book and the exhibited pieces and films will inspire others, and will demonstrate how virtual worlds can be used to help some people who may have had difficulties finding other means of expression to believe in themselves more, or to connect with others.

The Freddom Project book is now available in in or electronically as a part of the UWA's Studies in Virtual Arts (SiVA) series of e-journals

The Freedom Project book is now available in print or electronically as a part of the UWA’s Studies in Virtual Arts (SiVA) series of e-journals

On Friday September 5th, FreeWee Ling, curator of the UWA’s gallery spaces and co-ordinator of the UWA’s virtual world art projects, announced that the Freedom Project book is now available.

Lavishly produced and illustrated, the book tells of the origins of the project and provides an overview of the global nature of the project and the events which took place within Second Life where it was represented; information on the project’s partner and sponsor organisations is also provided.

Central to the book is the art itself and the artists. The illustrations throughout are beautiful, with many of the pieces being given wonderful two-page spreads. The artists’ stories, told in their own words, are equally as moving, making this a powerful piece of reading.

The Freedom Project book is lavishly compiled and presents both the artists and their work beautifully

The Freedom Project book is lavishly compiled and presents both the artists and their work beautifully

The electronic version si available on-line as a part of the UWA Studies in Virtual Arts e-journals series. The printed version can be obtained for L$5000 (around $20.00 US), shipped anywhere in the world. Those wishing to purchase a copy should contact JayJay Zifanwee of the UWA for ordering information.

Artists and groups who participated in the challenge can also claim a free copy of the printed book – again, please contact JayJay Zifanwee for ordering details.

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Ferrisquito: the early works of Bryn Oh

Ferrisquito (l) displays one of the pieces of Bryn's art

Ferrisquito (l) displays one of the pieces of Bryn’s art

Opening in Second Life at the Rift Horizon Gallery on Wednesday September 3rd at 08:00 SLT is an exhibit by Chance Acoustic entitled A Room for Ferrisquito, featuring elements of  Bryn Oh’s work from the period 2008 through 2011, and which will be marked by a special presentation by Art Blue.

The room is situated over the gallery, so if you arrive at ground level, use the teleport sign to reach it. The oval room offers an intimate display space, with images of Bryn’s work, as photographed by Chance, framed around the curved walls, and The Consumerist Sherpa sitting on one side of the floor. Overhead, the Beetlebot presides from a high perch, watching everything.

However, the focal-point for the exhibit is Ferrisquito, an angelic-appearing character, who can be summoned via a wall panel close to the “door” into the room. When summoned, he’ll acknowledge in chat, then duly arrive and stand on a pose ball. Once there, he’ll rez elements of Bryn’s work, displaying them on the floor space around him and sometimes overhead in the upper gallery area which can be reached via the staircase, allowing them to be viewed and examined by visitors.

In all, there are 25 3D pieces of Bryn’s work to be seen, comprising: Under the Poumbrella [poembrella], Mayfly machinima, Downloading …, The Violinist, Run like a fawn, Run Rabbit Run, Mother, Feed me, Steamdragon, Wee little Steamclock, Standby, Carriage, Consume, Poumbrella, Pouncing Fox, Confused eyes, Bryn Oh´s bicycle, The Rabbicorn, 26 Tines, Cerulean, Willow, Angler Girl, The Violinist and Nightmare. Ferrisquito himself is a reference to the icon representing the robot theme park featured in Immersiva, while the room in which the pieces are displayed is seen by the Art Blue and Chance as a time capsule, designed to keep the pieces forever safe and available for display for as along as Second Life exists.

In keeping with this idea of time, the exhibit’s opening will feature a short play by Art Blue entitled Knowing. Lasting 20 minutes, it involves a story of time travel, an attempt to uncover the secrets of life, and the discovery of Bryn’s work; all of which is narrated by an owl, Nervual.  Following this, visitors will be invited to enjoy Chance’s images of Bryn’s work, and witness the arrival of Ferrisquito, ready to reveal the 3D pieces he carries with him. Visitors will also be invited to collect a special book of images and text from the exhibition as a keepsake of their visit.

Following the opening of Ferrisquito in Second Life, Art Blue will also be hosting an exhibition on Metropolis grid featuring the room, together with two of Bryn’s 3D pieces – the Beetlebot and the The Consumerist Sherpa, – for which he has had special permission to transfer to Metropolis grid. The exhibit will form part of his Vulcanicus OpenSim art time capsule.

This opening on Metropolis grid will be marked by a special event in which Art Blue will call the room and its surroundings into existence before his audience, the artist giving form to a new “world”. Those wishing to attend the event should contact Thirza Ember via the HG Safari Facebook group, as sitting is limited for the performance.

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