Tag Archives: Art in SL

Rock’n’Roll

Roll'n'Roll, Molly Bloom - Holtwaye ArtSpace

Roll’n’Roll, Molly Bloom – Holtwaye ArtSpace

Now open at Holtwaye ArtSpace is a exhibition of recent work with a distinctly musical theme by Molly Bloom, entitled Rock’n’Roll.

Molly’s art is beautifully intriguing because with it, she often plays with our perception of depth: figures and elements of her images are unconstrained by the picture frame in which they sit, but  frequently extend beyond it. Individuals often appear as if they’re about to completely step out of the picture or are at least leaning out of the frame, while props and accessories often extend beyond the picture, or sit on the floor in front of it.

Roll'n'Roll, Molly Bloom - Holtwaye ArtSpace

Roll’n’Roll, Molly Bloom – Holtwaye ArtSpace

This approach gives Molly’s images a fresh and involving appearance which draws the observer into them, to almost become a part of the story each picture is telling. This is something which itself is given further dimension by some of the pieces forming duet and triptych-style groupings, with two or three pieces coming together to present a narrative flow.

An artist primarily known for her work in glass in the physical world, Molly regards herself as something of a “purist” in Second Life, by which she means her pieces are almost entirely created in-world. “Part of the challenge of making good art,” she says of her work, “is the joy of building and problem solving.” What minimal post-processing is used is restricted to correcting minor defects in images; any attempt as image enhancement and refinement through more extensive use of tools such as Photoshop are strictly avoided.

Roll'n'Roll, Molly Bloom - Holtwaye ArtSpace

Roll’n’Roll, Molly Bloom – Holtwaye ArtSpace

While the title of the exhibition might give the impression that the focus is purely on rock’n’roll, this is not the case. While various forms of rock are featured, including glam rock and blues rock (love the cover of the cover of Blind Faith’s album), so too are other genres portrayed, including classical and a good, old-fashioned hoe-down; even the mythical is beautifully touched upon in a stunning image of a demoness playing a lute, which also has faint echoes of a play on Pan and his pipes about it.

All told, another excellent selection of art from an artist who always piques my imagination with her work. If you’re like me, and enjoy Molly’s art, then this is not one to miss. If you’ve not encountered Molly’s work before, then thing exhibition is an opportunity to get introduced to it; you might also want to check Molly’s new gallery space afterwards as well.

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Viviana Houston concert to benefit MIC Imagin@rium

MIC's watery exhibit space not only offers a unique environment for installations displayed there, the gallery's own builds are works of art themselves

MIC’s watery exhibit space not only offers a unique environment for installations, the gallery’s own builds are also works of art and well worth exploring, celebrating as they do the cultural heritage of Rome

On Monday, April 20th, starting 13:00 SLT, Viviana Houston will be singing at a special Save the Culture concert to help raise money for the MIC Imagin@rium gallery in Second Life.

One of the leading privately held venues for art for a number of years, MIC has drawn  respect from across the community for hosting a wide range of art installations and exhibits, and for also offering a beautiful venue for a range of activities and which celebrates the rich cultural history of Rome.

However, a shortfall in finances of around L$50,000 means the gallery is currently unable to meet its upcoming tier, and the aim of the concert is to help raise funds to make up the shortfall and allow MIC to remain active in Second Life.

No Signal, MIC, May 2014

No Signal by Nessuno Myoo, MIC, May 2014

To further assist in the fund-raising effort, there will be a special sale of MIC Imagin@rium fashion at the gallery’s store in the Temple of Portunus, commencing on Sunday, April 19th.

“This has been a hard thing for me to face,” Mexi said. “After years of hard work from a lot of people, we have encountered a shortfall in tier. I had considered taking the region offline; but there is always the worry that once it goes offline, it may never come back.

Viviana Houston, singing in support of MIC from 13:00 SLT on Monday, April 20th

Viviana Houston, singing in support of MIC from 13:00 SLT on Monday, April 20th

“We have several projects going on in the physical world, which have meant we’ve been unable to host any installations lately, and so funding from donations have fallen sharply. However, most of that is behind us now, are we are convinced that if we can get past this immediate problem, we’ll be OK for the future.

“Thanks to the extraordinary generosity of Viviana, we now have a real chance to make-up the shortfall, and I hope everyone will come along to the concert and help us keep MIC Imagin@ruim alive for people to continue to enjoy.”

One of the hallmarks of MIC Imagin@ruim is that as well as hosting in-world art exhibits and installations, it has also bridged the divide between the physical the virtual. One such example of this came in December 2013, with Red Shoes, which saw MIC and 25 artists in Second Life collaborating with the Il Margutta Gallery in Rome and Mexican visual artist Elina Chauvet.

Giorgio Mayo's piece for Red Shoes at MIC, December 2013

Giorgio Mayo’s piece for Red Shoes at MIC, December 2013

Save the Culture with Viviana Houston will take place in the MIC  Amphitheatre on Monday, April 20th. On offer will be great music and the opportunity to help a wonderful venue for art continue into the future. And if you can’t make the event, donations to Mexi will be put directly to the region’s tier.

Watching the balloons

Balloons is Cica Ghost’s latest installation at Wondering Dew, where it replaces her wonderfully atmospheric Ruins, which I wrote about here. Having officially opened on Sunday, April 12th, Balloons is a similarly atmospheric piece, although in a somewhat different manner.

From the landing point, you look out over a low-lying landscape which undulates gently. Flowers and grass grow tall here, and a lone tree stands on the coast. In the distance stands a city, but a city that’s most unusual in form; rather than rising up into the sky, the tall buildings are bent and oddly deformed, stooping back towards the ground on which they stand. Fog or smoke enshrouds them, and giant cobwebs lay stretched between them, giving the city a neglected feel.

It is something that is seemingly lost on the denizens of this strange place. While most of them stand in the fields surrounding their city, few appear to be paying it any attention; their focus is instead on the balloons bobbing gently in the breeze, strings hanging tantalising down, most of them just out of reach.

Most, but not all; some have clearly dropped down to within reach of outstretched hands, to be grasped firmly and, whether it be with shocked surprise or sudden pleasure, have then lifted the ones grasping them up into the air, carrying them on the eddying currents of air so they float over the crowd and drift between the city’s curled towers.

Flying in this way is obviously a delight, something several of those left on the ground clearly wish to experience. To this end, some have been enterprising in their attempts, calling upon step ladders to help increase their ability to grasp passing strings as ballloons float overhead as other watch and point. Such is the wonder of these balloons, that even the bed-ridden reach longingly for a passing string and the hope of … what? Freedom? Flight? Escape?

And what of us, those who stand and watch, alongside the island’s cats as they look on mournfully, as neglected as the city itself? What are we to make of this scene? Is this perhaps a commentary on the dangers of obsession? The wilting fingers of the city’s tired towers with the shimmering cobwebs spread between them, perhaps a warning against becoming too focused on a single thing, be it an activity, object or something else?

Or are the balloons themselves a comment on our quest for freedom, to be able to soar above the problems of everyday life as presented by the shadowy city, its cobwebs symbolic of the many things which can obscure our view or even bind us in the mundane? The artist doesn’t seek to enlighten us; instead she leaves us to interpret things as we choose.

What she does provide, however, is a balloon which visitors can obtain for free at the landing point, allowing them to experience what it is like to float above the ground and beneath the sky like the citizens of this strange land. I won’t promise it’ll help you decide what is going on in this deceptively beautiful land; but I can say that floating around on the end of a piece of strong can be a lot of fun, and it’s easy to see why the locals enjoy it!

Bolloons should remain open through until the end of April, so why not hop over and see what’s going on for yourself?

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A fractal rhapsody

Officially opening at 13:00 SLT on Saturday, April 11th, at the Influence Art Community is a new exhibition of fractal art by Gem Preiz.

“I spend my time amazed with the extraordinary detailed patterns of the fractals, as well as their incredible diversity,” Gem says of his work. “From my explorations in this fascinating universe, I bring back digital images that I have been displaying on SL for two and a half years, using them to illustrate themes which inspire me.”

The result is a series of pictures which come together under the title Rhapsody in Blue Fractals, which Gem uses to form a narrative tracing the story of the universe through to humanity’s arrival and our attempts to fill it with our own creations.

The pieces  – twenty in total – are displayed two and three at a time through a series of rooms hanging in space, a single blue walkway running between blue-framed doorways providing the means of progress from one room to another. The choice of blue is deliberate, as Gem notes, “blue as the water from which life arises, as the sky and the air we inhale.”

Each piece bears its own title, giving a clue to its place in the story: Genesis, emerGence, BioloGy, and so on – the capitalised G another link to the blue theme and the title of the piece; Rhapsody in Blue being George Gershwin’s famous 1924 musical composition for piano and jazz band. And it is also, as Gem notes, a play on the first initial of his name, and the person to whom the exhibition is dedicated.

The pieces themselves are also rendered in blue, and each one is intricately detailed and quite beautiful in depth; so much so that time is really required to study and appreciate each piece fully – and even then, it is possible to come back and pick out yet more details on a subsequent visit.. They also represent something of a retrospective of the various styles of fractal art he has produced over the last 30 or so months, something which adds a further layer to the exhibition as a whole.

I’m not sure if there will be a music stream running once the exhibit formally opens, however GEM suggests three YouTube tracks should be listened to when visiting the exhibition, and having wandered back and froth through it with them playing, I tend to agree with him:

Oh, and when you reach what appear to be the end of the blue path and are facing the last image – trust to fate and step off the edge; there’s a little surprise waiting, which is perhaps itself a commentary on the possible cyclical nature of the universe!