The fourth in my series of LEA Arts Festival 'peeks' is Cries & Whispers by the very creative Nino Vichan. This is really two installations in one. It contains dramatic representations of scenes from two of Shakespeare's plays, Macbeth and The Merchant of Venice. The textures and visuals are amazing - the moving forest is particularly spooky. 

To assist viewers, note cards are dotted throughout the build (click the books) and quotes from the play pop up on your chat screen from time to time. For those who haven't had the opportunity to read or see these Shakespeare plays before, I've provided brief overviews of the plots below. They are very cool stories!

Macbeth - the plot

Macbeth is driven to murder the King of Scotland so that he can take up the throne himself.  He immediately assigns the blame to someone else, leaving himself free of suspicion. Not only does he refuse to come clean, but he does everything in his power to make sure that his secret doesn’t leak out - including murdering others.  His wife, Lady Macbeth, is an accessory and an accomplice to the King's murder. In fact it was she who came up with the devious plan in the first place... 
Cries and Whispers, Nino Vichan, sl art, second life art, virtual art, 3D art, second life
Macbeth - the three witches

Three witches (also known as the weird sisters) make several prophesies that spur Macbeth to undertake his murderous acts. 

The prophecies included him becoming Thane of Cowdor and eventually the King of Scotland. 

Cries and Whispers, Nino Vichan, sl art, second life art, virtual art, 3D art, second life
Macbeth - the bloody hands

No artistic work that explores the story of Macbeth could ignore Lady Macbeth's horrific hallucinations - blood on her hands. 

These  symbolise her guilt, the onset of her insanity and are the reason for her ultimate suicide. 

This is only my third LEA Arts Festival "peek" but I'm lucky to have survived! 

Upon arrival Danse Macabre appears to be a gothic art gallery. All the paintings on the walls have, as the name implies, macabre subject matter. A sign informs me that the exhibit is inspired by an ancient art genre that depicts myths and stories. 

Spooky SL art and photography? Cool! I walk innocently through the archway, further into the gallery's gloomy interior ... 
Danse Macabre, Fae Varriale, sl art, second life art, 3D art, virtual art
Yup, there sure were freaky pictures in this gallery
What I'd thought was going to be a slightly scary photo exhibition soon took a major turn for the worse. The more pictures I saw on the walls and the further I wandered into the gallery, the more creepy, horrifying, monstrous scenes I was forced to pass through. My poor little avi was on her own and she was soooo frightened! (And she's not usually a wimp.)
Danse Macabre, Fae Varriale, sl art, second life art, 3D art, virtual art
No matter how hard I scrub I can't get these damned stains out!

The second in my series of LEA Arts Festival 'peeks' is Cica Ghost's, Black and White World. This build is deceptively cute and simplistic. Admittedly, it has undeniable child like qualities such as stick figures and simple line drawings of houses, trees and other typical neighbourhood objects. 

However, the more you explore this little wonderland, the more you discover its sophistication. Everything moves slightly - the wind blows, people ride bikes and fish jump in ponds. It's clever.
Cica Ghost, Black and White World, sl art, second life art, virtual art, 3D art, sl art
Blogging can be exhausting. I decide to relax on a park bench to take in the scenery.
I visited Black and White world with a good friend, Jamie. We started discussing how it was made but Jamie stopped me in my tracks when she posted, "Oh what are we doing? This is so much fun. We should just appreciate it for what it is."  I had to agree and from then on Jamie and I were frolicing like kids over bridges and hills. Pffft to the technical side of things! 
Cica Ghost, Black and White World, sl art, second life art, virtual art, 3D art, sl art
The boy on the bike goes round and round ...

I'll be "peeking" at one exhibition, machinima screening or event from the LEA Arts Festival each day day this month, as long as real life allows me the time. 

The first of my peeks is the electrifying installation called JJCCCART

This build was an eye-opener for me. Just when you think you can identify an artist by their style they trip you up. Sheesh! That's what JJ has done here. That's if the owner of this neon-filled build is the JJ Coronet whose colourful artworks I've come to know and love. I'll assume it is and feel sure I'll be speedily admonished if I've got it wrong :)
The arrival point. Electrical poles and wires are recurring elements in this build
Two things struck me when I arrived here - bright, neon lights and cement - and these two themes proved to thread their way throughout the entire installation. The candy coloured lighting was a stark contrast to the concrete architecture. The overall atmosphere was close to, but not quite, industrial. I wonder if there's such a thing as candy-industrial? 
A sea of beautiful coloured lanterns

Many know Melusina Parkin as an excellent SL photographer but few know that, as the owner of Melu Decu, she also creates Art Deco furniture. The Art India Gallery has invited Melusina to combine her passion for the era with photography and building - the result is 'ART DECO'.

Melusina has created a spacious Art Deco environment to display her latest photos and her new releases of low prim mesh furniture.  

The uber cool Art Deco Lounge will host events: a fashion show by Sonatta Morales; talks about this special era and parties.  

To complete the show, info boards about different styles of Art Deco around the world and other interesting facts will be placed in a skybox.  

The ART DECO exhibit opens Saturday 2nd February at 2 PM SLT with a Flapper Party - feel free to come dressed for the occasion! (The location will be closed until the exhibition opens.)
The LEA Arts Festival is packed with interest and fun. It features twenty sims with:
  • art installations 
  • machinima screenings 
  • artist talks 
  • interviews
  • tours
  • performances
  • classes, and 
  • more! 

For more details you can check the LEA blog and/or refer to the SL Art Exhibits Schedule (below). 

Opening 2nd Feb! Play, explore, watch, listen, learn - visit the LEA Arts Festival to enjoy a fabulous range of Second Life art exhibits and events!
LEA Arts Festival 2013 - Arrival Point and Directory on LEA 4
I attended the opening of the Unified Heart 2013 exhibition at the Palais Orleans Gallery Complex today. 

This is the second iteration of this very popular art show so the gallery was, as expected, packed with avi's. 

It was a glamorous affair with many artists and guests donning their best gowns and fashionista attire. 

Art shown: In My Secret Life by Petra Messioptra
This year 21 artists participated and their artworks, all based Leonard Cohen songs, are exceptional. The artist's chosen lyrics have been positioned next to each piece so you can match the words with the artist's interpretation. 

It's an interesting and clever thematic approach. It gives the pieces a voice - literally Leonard Cohen's voice - and results in a powerful visual impact. 

Although we labored under the weight of some serious lag (thanks for that LL), the event drew lots of "ohhh's" and "ahhh's" from all who were present. 

Say Goodbye To Alexandra by Morgana Nagorski

In this month's edition of BOSL (Best of SL Magazine) a talented real life and SL artist makes his mark. 
M4SK22 Melody pictured at Lumeria Art Gallery. Photo by Morgana Nagorski for BOSL Magazine.
Known as M4SK22 Melody in SL, David Moss is an artist, writer and musician in his first life. Active in the SL art domain, David's current focus is machinima, including works created to span the two worlds' boundaries by featuring his 1st life band. Additionally, he's the owner of the Lumeria Art Gallery where up and coming artists' works hang proudly beside those of well known artists. The gallery is based firmly on the principle that there's no pecking order, hierarchies or discrimination. 

For more about this interesting and engaging SL entity, click the BOSL link below. The magazine contains even more arty news, so you may find yourself reading this article and beyond - I know I did! 

BOSL Magazine, January 2013: Page 218  
Article Author: Pindar Kanya  
Photographer: Morgana Nagorski
My space suit, worn to protect me from the toxic air.
Dreams in Space (Imagination) is colourful, themed 3D Installation by Barry Richez. If you're into space travel, this destination will get your rockets firing! It contains lots to see and do. 

When you arrive grab a free space suit to protect you from the nasty, toxic gases in the air. (Buy for L$0, rez the box, save the contents to inventory and wear each item.)

There's also a note card giver that outlines the story in a number of different languages. 

Only a few humans have survived

The entrance to the pyramid, with one of the bio-domes in the distance.
Here's the gist of the story ... there's been a chemical disaster on Earth and, using a cargo spaceship, a few humans have managed to escape just in time. They are the sole survivors. 

Settling in the galaxy Centaurus, the survivors eventually discover a pyramid back on planet Earth that still contains fresh water and air. Hope for their return to Earth is renewed! 

After much experimentation, Professor Ama Avro (one of the survivors and an eminent scientist) has managed to recreate trees, flowers, vegetables and even animals in "biobulles" (bio-domes) on Earth's damaged surface. 

Perhaps they can resettle the planet? 

I read about New Synthetic Theatre on Ziki Questi's blog and just had to try it for myself. This theatre makes you one of the actors in a 10 to 15 minute production. 

How does it work?
At the New Synthetic Theatre's arrival point, instructions were given to me in English via streaming sound (turn this on) and there were signs explaining how to set up my preferences (remove AO). In summary:
  • Buy a ticket for the "next show" at the arrival point (2 productions to choose from, L$50 or L$75)
  • Wear the ticket that's delivered to you and don't remove it until the show is over
  • Wait for the TP to the appropriate theatre be sent and click it when it arrives (this can take a little longer than expected, so be patient), then
  • Wear the hud that's given to you when you arrive.

The experience 
The production I saw was called 'Ninety Nine Percent'. I was expecting a fantasy story of some kind but it seemed to be a safety training tool for warehouse employees. Ironically, in real life, I'm an Instructional Designer (a fancy job title for someone who creates training programs for businesses), so I found it very interesting. My avi manoeuvred her way through a busy, animated warehouse. My task was to find as many safety hazards as I could. There were several - boxes fell from racks and I was run over by moving trolleys. I scored a point on my hud for each hazard I identified. 

It was interesting and cleverly done, but perhaps not everyone's cup of tea - especially if warehousing or logistics are not your 'thing'. I was the only ticket holder there at the time and can imagine it would be even more fun with others. Maybe you could go with a friend or two or three? 

Ziki mentioned that she found the other production 'Jabba, Jabba, Jabba' more engaging. I didn't see this one but perhaps it's more along the lines of what I initially expected, meaning story-based. Regardless of the plot, this new style of theatre is a fun, immersive experience and well worth checking out. 

Make your own!
The owners of New Synthetic Theatre also encourage you to create your own theatre production and are happy to offer those who are interested a degree of guidance and support.