29 February 2016

Black & White

Open for a limited time is a chess-themed space called Black & White, designed by Charlie Namiboo and Frislanda Ferraris. (Teleport up to the build from the landing point on the ground.) True to its name, the captivating space is primarily black and white, reflective of the chess boards and pieces, with the exception of a large clock and some overhead mirrors that shine light down onto the installation. Originally designed as a creative dance floor for an event, Black & White is situated over Club Bohannon.

"I am running a club with friends and my master of building, Frislanda Ferraris," explained Charlie. "Last week, we had a fantastic event called Black & White, and a lot of people asked us to let the location open and available for the possibility to take pics there or just visit it." Photographers will no doubt enjoy exploring the environment, which will remain accessible for about a month.

26 February 2016

Art at the Park

Now open at the Holly Kai Art at the Park exhibition space, bordering the Blake Sea and curated by Inara Pey, is a group show featuring works by two-dimensional artists GoodCross, Hana Hoo, Io Bechir and Sisse Singh, and three-dimensional artist Mistero Hifeng. Mistero's striking sculptures, some familiar and some new, are elegantly distributed throughout the park and can be seen as one ventures through the two-dimensional galleries.

The photographs are all available for sale; collectors interested in works by Mistero are provided with a landmark to his store. Visitors to this natural outdoor setting may enjoy exploring other parts of Holly Kai, including Inara's own gallery on the northeast corner of the sim. The show will remain on display until Sunday, April 10.

25 February 2016


Now open is a new installation by Rebeca Bashly entitled Chronophobia. Along with Jo Ellsmere's brilliant Biomechanical (which concludes its run on February 29, read here), the piece marks the welcome return of programming to Dividni Shostakovich's Split Screen Installation Space, which he discusses on his blog post about Chronophobia here.

From a psychological standpoint, "chronophobia" refers to the fear of time itself, or the passage of time. For Rebeca, what is reflected in her work may have a broader context: "It's not the fear of the future," she explained, but rather "that time will pass, and you will not be able to do things you thought you would — you see that time already ran over some things, and you can't take it back."

At Chronophobia, three stone platforms rise sequentially higher into the air. All are in a state of decay, with the highest the best preserved and the lowest the most crumbling; chunks of rock often break from each to tumble into the sea below. Covering the top surface of each platform is a large sundial, and in place of the traditional gnomon (the arm that casts shadows upon the face of the dial, thereby showing the time) are skeletons that serve the same purpose: on the lowest level a heart, then the mythical winged horse Pegasus, then a nuclear family — a man in recline nestling a woman, she in turn protecting the skeleton of an unborn child within her. These symbols of hope and life are now but forlorn shadows, lost to time. Of the skeletal heart, Rebeca added, "I think that it is the hardest thing — the realization that the heart has no spine, but somehow we never stop demanding for it to grow one."

Rebeca suggests using [NB]-MistyDay-4pm for the environment, but she would have preferred a dynamic setting that would have allowed the sun's shadow to travel across the dials. (Parcel limitations apparently came into play.) Perhaps significantly, with [NB]-MistyDay-4pm Pegasus looks directly into the setting sun. The images in this blog post (click on any to zoom in) used a custom setting designed to mirror the green hues of the skeletons. Chronophobia will remain on display through the end of April.

24 February 2016

The Galleries (images NSFW)

Venturing through the impressively expansive The Galleries can seem almost endless, and, as curator Ernie Farstrider says, "To do the art and artists justice you may need more than one trip." The multi-level build contains a staggering 40 galleries featuring both Second Life and physical world photographers (and a few three-dimensional artists), including Uleria Caramel, Artwolf Eternal, Fuschia Nightfire, Victoria V. Lennoire, in inaka (image above), Amona Savira (image below), Sisi Biedermann, Zedber Zabelin, Littleone Aries, Monroe Snook, Freyja Merryman, Zifira, Vonnie, Sabine Mortenwold, Collin Key, Talullah Winterwolf, Ohsoleomio, Janine Portal, Moewe Winkler, Iphigenia, Elin Egoyan, Lilyane Nayar, Bianca Xavorin, Cornelia Khaos, Dantelicia Ethaniel, Barbie Adored, Graham Collinson, Xirana Oximoxi, Louly Loon, and Leydi Yifu, Domitalia Jinx, Savoree LeDesir, Kicca Igaly, and Kayly Iali, Jema Pearl, Gitu Aura, Trinity Yazimoto (lowest image), Rage Darkstone, catmee, Nintin, JudiLynn India and Tani Thor.

For ease of orientation and organization, Ernie has constructed The Galleries in three large wings — east, west and north — and from the landing point given above, one can walk into either the east or west galleries, or take a teleporter to the north. A directory via a notecard is available to help visitors find particular artist displays. Many of the works on the walls are for sale, so collectors of artworks will certainly find something to their liking — the variety is substantial — and contributions to support The Galleries may be made near the landing point.

23 February 2016

Three Oaks

For the past couple months, sim designers Jac Mornington and Romy Mornington (Eara Rosea) have been quietly enjoying their privacy on Three Oaks, a serene wintery land they created for themselves. But now that spring is on the horizon, they've decided to open the doors to visitors for a couple weeks. After that time, they'll either close the sim or convert it into something new, so explorers have a limited window of time to enjoy this delightful island.

The setting is rural, with hazy views that sweep from one side of Three Oaks to the other. A stone-lined county lane wraps around much of the interior of the space, home to a venerable manor house, stately gardens and a meandering stream. Outside the lane are situated a couple of ice-covered ponds, plus farmlands, livestock and a stable.

As Jac and I conversed, he shared with me a beautiful physical world photograph of Little Langdale, a valley in the Lake District of northwestern England, and the connection was immediately apparent. "One of the inspiration photos I used," he explained. "That is what is most fun about the places that Romy and I make — the research that goes into it, and then trying to make it here." Shown in these images are the sim's default environmental settings, which embrace the land perfectly, but photographers will no doubt enjoy experimenting with others.

22 February 2016

Harvey Memorial Ensemble ALS Awareness Music Festival

Organized by Sniper Siemens, Elettra Beardmore, Kristine Blackadder and Terrygold Resident, the Harvey Memorial Ensemble ALS Awareness Music Festival is a charity event, now underway, designed to raise general awareness of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a horrifying disease also commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. (On a personal note, I lost a family member to ALS several years ago.) The festival is named in memory of Harvey22 Albatros. Throughout the week, a series of live performers and djs will present music that can be enjoyed in a large stadium area (oddly, with a disquieting faux-security checkpoint), and the performance schedule is posted prominently on the side of the space.

Four prominent artists have contributed artwork that is now up for auction: Byrn Oh (top image), Mistero Hifeng (immediately above), Kicca Igaly (image below) and Solkide Auer. In Bryn's case, her contribution (a dead bird wrapped by string, entitled To Dad, love Bryn) is very personal: her father lost his life to ALS, and Bryn has written a touching post on her blog. The events and auction conclude on February 28.

21 February 2016

Spring in Furillen

Explorers who visited the sim Furillen during its snowy debut (read more here from November 2015) will experience a new sight if they return: spring has arrived. Here, the seasonal change brings with it the appearance of perhaps an arid climate, and might at first remind those who knew Anita Witt's Dryland of that stark but beautiful landscape. In the case of the real world Furillen, it would seem its desolate landscape is more owing to its previous existence as a limestone quarry, rendering it something of an industrial wasteland.

Be sure to have your local sounds turned up, as wildlife, newly arriving with the change in the season, includes a number of songbirds and a woodpecker. The buildings and structures are much as they were, but creator Serene Footman often makes subtle changes to their contents (or other things around the sim), so visitors should habitually investigate both inside and outside spaces. The sim's default environmental setting, shown here, bathes the scene in a glowing but muted grey-green light.

Enthusiasts will want to keep abreast of developments at Furillen with the sim's very active and lively blog, which features news about upcoming events (including occasional art exhibitions and photography contests), examples of some of the outstanding photography emanating from the sim, and information on the physical world Furillen. Photographers will delight in revisiting the familiar but altered, and still austere, expansive landscape.

20 February 2016

Shadows of a Dream (images NSFW)

Opening tomorrow, Sunday, February 21 at 12:30 pm slt, at Nitroglobus Hall, is an exhibition of works by Angelika Corral and SheldonBr entitled Shadows of a Dream. Each artist created black-and-white images — Angelika via photography in Second Life, and Sheldon via charcoal sketches in the physical world, and their works are presented together here in a mix of roughly equal numbers. With a singular exception — that of a male nude that was added after all the photographs and drawings were in place — the images are all female, often nude. As always at Nitroglobus, the installation of the images is excellent, and curator Dido Haas has placed sculptures by the late Nitro Fireguard throughout the space as well.

"We decided that we wanted to do this mix of RL works with SL photos," Sheldon explained as we talked. "On one hand, the charcoal, one of the first mediums used by the first primitive humans in the caves...on the other hand, the digital images...and we put them together. We enjoyed a lot this feeling of looking this mix, and we brought the result here. We liked this duality: charcoal and digital works — black and white — shadows and lights, RL and SL." Each of the images in Shadows of a Dream is available for purchase, and the exhibition will remain on display into March.

18 February 2016

Mandel Solano at LEA28

Now open at LEA28 is an untitled installation by Mandel Solano, who is one of five artists working collaboratively in the sim as part of the 5D group (5 Dimensions). At the landing point, instructions emphasize the need to employ advanced lighting model (to best effect with shadows enabled as well, set to sun/moon + projectors), and this is essential, because otherwise visitors will see little else than grey walls. Once prepared, visitors descend a spiral path to the heart of the installation. (The spiral is not particularly easy to navigate, and it might be necessary to dispense with the higher graphics settings until one reaches the bottom.)

At the main level, visitors will find themselves situated in a large hexagonal space, each wall of which is a projector. As the arrows on the floor at this juncture indicate, one is invited simply pass through any of the walls into yet another hexagonal space, and so on. There isn't any destination or endpoint — but many, many hexagonal rooms. "I think there are 12x13," Mandel offered, which would be 156 of them. Each is a distinct visual environment: the mesh surfaces that serve as projectors are themselves textured — sometimes with a monochrome grey, but other times something to lend them a three-dimensional appearance — and when projected lights are turned on they come to life.

The projected textures are all abstract, with one representational exception that I could see, that of a woman (image below). "It just happened," explained Mandel. "At first [I intended that] I should not have anything from Earth." Venturing from space to space, the content begins to seem almost limitless: a seemingly endless array of designs, shapes and colors. (And after a while it's difficult to guess how many of the rooms one has ventured through.) In some cases the textures slowly move, and many rooms have an additional light source in the ceiling, so that occasionally the observer will notice his or her shadow on one or more walls.

All that said, this is not a space that is necessarily easy to visit. I experienced difficulty even moving around, as did my partner, Kinnaird Fiachra. (Even Mandel, who encourages people to move about rather than cam around, admitted to me that he crashed in the middle of our conversation.) Additional installations from the 5 Dimensions group will emerge in LEA28 and adjoining sims over the forthcoming months.

17 February 2016


Sometimes, less is more. At Sorrow, designers Voshie Paine and Dizzy Sparrow have achieved remarkable results on and around a snow-covered rocky island that thrusts up from the sea, employing only a few trees, a handful of exterior decor items, a pack of dogs, a modest stone tower and a striking environmental setting. Shooting stars shine down from a night sky onto this ethereal scene bathed in violet and amethyst.

The mirror-like surface of the water, including the oil-like ripples that seep into the harbor, encourages use of the highest (life-like) settings. Sojourners will be find some respite from the cold inside the stone tower, the interior of which is decorated and offers places of repose. Landscape photographers will take delight in this beautifully lonely region.

16 February 2016


Now open for intrepid explorers is Imesha, a fabulous futuristic creation by Shaman Nitely and Ime Poplin. A complex city constructed on several interlocking levels, Imesha is filled with bright colors and movement everywhere — flashing billboards, spinning lights, and illumination that constantly travels through the space. (These images, showing the default environmental setting, don't quite convey the experience.) And everywhere one looks is something to see or someplace to venture: this is a delightfully dense build that requires time to fully investigate.

"We just wanted to make a futuristic place — happy looking, with colours and lights — for a private home, to begin with," Ime said of her creative work with Shaman. "So we just started to lay out some roads, and then it just came along this way. The two of us work really well together, so we didn't really have a plan other than we wanted it to be a home for us. Also, it's a homestead, which means we had to push it to the limit here — it shows what you can actually do with 3750 prims."

Although it's possible to fly, visitors will probably have a richer experience by sticking to the ground and traveling on foot — otherwise it's too easy to zoom by some of the many small spaces and corridors. A teleport system at the landing point can take you to various locations, including an arcade, a diner, a park (of sorts!), a skatepark club, a pool and other areas. Couples will find places to dance and cuddle throughout the build.

The scenery is not devoid of nature — trees, plants and grasses are actually commonplace, picking up the rich hues of the surrounding environment. Imesha is also home to a couple of gallery spaces at which artworks by Ime are on display. "My hobby," she explained. "Mostly on the computer – Wacom pad and pen — but I also do oil paintings. Lots of inspiration here from Second Life." Please consider leaving a contribution toward the sim's support if you enjoy your visit.

11 February 2016

The Yorkshire Moors

Inspired by her physical world home — "the flawless, bleak Yorkshire landscape" — designer PinkRayne has created The Yorkshire Moors, echoing the quiet and simple beauty of the location in northeastern England bordering the North Sea. Encompassing nearly a full sim, the bleak but haunting landscape invites us to explore along a quietly meandering path that winds its way across a stream and through tall grasses and clusters of trees. While it's possible explore by foot, one can also grab a bicycle upon arrival.

Water surrounds the moors on all sides, and a tall lighthouse stands at the southeast corner, a windmill by its side. Elsewhere, various small structures and many animals (dogs, deer, sheep, ducks, weasels, goats, butterflies, even a peacock) appear on the scene. It's possible at many vantage points to see clear across the sim, and couples will find several locations to cuddle or dance as they take in the expansive views.

Shown in these images is the sim's default environmental setting, a mysteriously atmospheric grey-green. The Yorkshire Moors is also home to PinkRayne's retail store, Rayne Couture, which is situated at the landing point for the moors, and where one can also find an opportunity to leave a contribution toward the sim's support.

08 February 2016

Elo à Nu (images NSFW)

Now open at [Corruption] is an exhibition of erotic photography by Elo (Elorac Paule, also known as Lil' Frenchie Elo) entitled Elo à Nu. In nineteen images spread across three rooms, Elo explores the female form: generally nude, and usually (but not always) restrained in some way (cuffed, collared, bound). In the larger center room, images contain a hint of color, while those in the two outer rooms are black and white, and many of the images are seen here for the first time, all employing beautiful use of light, shadow and composition. Elo à Nu continues through February 29.

05 February 2016

Mainland Matters

Indeed I have posted a few times in this blog, now and then, about mainland places to visit, but I'll admit those times have been few and far between. I'm delighted to say that my partner, Kinnaird Fiachra (Kinn), has just launched her own travel blog to encourage broader exploration of those spaces, and, with thousands of sims sprawled across several continents, she has almost limitless material. So please add her new blog, Mainland Matters, premiering just today, to your reading list.

(Top image from the Second Life Wiki, copyright © 2007-2012 Linden Research, Inc., licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.)