As anyone who visits the Fantasy Faire Flickr pool will know that among its many achievements, each year’s Faire bring forth an outpouring of creativity through people’s photographs of the Fairelands regions. It’s also not unreasonable to say that fantasy art as a whole is one of the staples of Second Life photography as a whole, such is the popularity of fantasy realms in-world.
It’s therefore fitting that Fantasy Faire embraces this wellspring of individual creativity each year by offering Second Life photographers and artists the opportunity to display their work. In fact, this year fantasy art is doubly celebrated, with not one but two galleries of art to be appreciated.
Both can be found within Opal Flight, the Arts and Entertainment region of the Faire, which sees Haveit Neox and Lilia Artis bring forth a magnificently unique region which is itself a work of art, extending as much below the waves as it does above. The galleries play host to the work of 40 artists, including the likes of noted Fantasy Faire photographers Alisaundra Andel and Caitlin Tobias, as well as a host of names familiar and perhaps new to those who follow Second Life art. You can find the full list of artists, with links to their Flickr streams on this page, so I won’t repeat them here.
The first of the galleries is presented above the surface of the water on the west side of the region, beautifully hung from the stems and leaves of great white gallery plants. A path of floating leaves offers the way to them, but such is the scale of the gallery space – and if you have the luxury – I would suggest flycamming to view the art more completely. Follow the path around to the end of the art display, and it will lead you onwards and beneath the waves to the underwater part of the region.
The second of the galleries can be found underwater within a coral rotunda at the centre of the region, which if teleported to directly can also act as a gateway to the undersea environment Haveit and Lila have created; an environment I thoroughly recommend visiting.
The art displayed within the galleries offers a broad mix of style, narrative – something regular readers of my blog will know attracts me – emotion, power and sense of fun. The names of the artists are not directly displayed, but provided you are within whisper – I think – range of an image, touching it will cause the title and artist’s name to be displayed in local chat. I have no idea of the criteria used to select the images, but the number of images displayed by any artist seems to vary between one and two pieces.
On a personal note, and through both of my visits to the galleries, I did find myself feeling that the this exhibition is a little one-sided, with the onus very much on avatar studies. But over the years, Fantasy Faire has produced some fabulous realms over the years, many of which have been the subject of photographs and art. So having a few of these recalled among the preponderance of avatar sets would not have been amiss, and might have further broadened the depth (and possibly the appeal) of the exhibition.
Nevertheless, given how easily an art exhibition can be overlooked with so much else occurring at Fantasy Faire, I do very much recommend that anyone who enjoys Second Life art and photography stop by Opal Flight and visit the galleries. And as noted, while doing so, they take the time to explore the region as a whole. It truly is a delight.