“The enemy’s superior power can no longer be held off. The city struggles to save its arts aboard the fleet of living galleons. To protect its valued paintings, music, literature, and all the company of its theater, the ships must sail on the hour if their culture is to survive. But 40 fathoms beneath those waves, Poseidon spies the underbellies of the ships, and readies his own advance for the bounty.” – Haveit Neox, the designer and builder of Poseidon’s Abyss
The Arts & Entertainment sim, Poseidon’s Abyss, is a treasure trove of fantasy art set into a sim-wide installation by Haveit Neox. Within the living story of attempting to save what is most precious — beauty, art and culture — the visitors can find four different art galleries. Two of these are on the surface, two more in the depths of Abyss.
In these galleries there are paintings of fantasy art work from 26 different Second Life fantasy artists that have their work displayed in Flickr. Each of the artists was contacted for permission and only the art that we received the permission for is displayed in the Faire.
Haveit Neox, the artist and builder behind our Arts & Entertainment sim Poseidon’s Abyss, shares with us the story of this marvelous mer-world, his growing involvement with the Faire, his love for fantasy and SL architecture’s possibilities and his favourite Faire memory involving flamingos!
This is your second year in the Faire-builders: last year you created the fantastic art installation in and around the Palace of Tears, and this year you have built the whole Arts and Entertainment sim. What made you return and go so much bigger?
Thank you for the compliment Sonya! Elizabeth Tinsley had extended the invitation about half a year ago to participate in Fantasy Faire 2015. When she contacted me in early March to confirm, I could not have predicted she would offer me a whole sim to develop. It is one of those extra joyful moments when you gasp! I was actually still in the middle of building another world on one of the LEA sims when this surprise arrived, yet I felt confident in getting them both completed by the deadlines. A little panic never hurts.
How was Poseidon’s Abyss born? What inspired it, what is its story?
When Elizabeth informed me that the water depth at the Faire would be set to 40 meters instead of the standard 20 meters, I knew instantly that I would take advantage of including an underwater world. There were several things she needed on the sim: a place to show an art collection (I made 2 floating galleries on the ocean, 2 sunken galleries on the seabed, and 1 aqua theater in the shallows of the continental shelf. For that large room of the theater, I asked Elizabeth if she would show her sculpture there, and also asked Lilia Artis if she would hang her marine series on the walls.)
Elizabeth needed a stage for performances which I placed in the heart of the sim. She also wanted a place for the hunt, and a clearly visible path leading to my neighbors. All of these requirements helped me shape the layout of the sim. I began building the living fish galleons in a sandbox along with other elements for the ocean’s surface. The abyss itself had to wait until I had access to the sim. Gauging how far away to place the elements from each other underwater so that the murkiness would read effectively, had to be done on site. I learned that my original plan for a crack in the seafloor would have been far too narrow. By opening the gap to a wide trench, the water veils the creatures and their habitat as I had envisioned.
There was help for the sim’s name. Moeuhane Sandalwood suggested ‘Poseidon’. Then Lilia Artis completed the idea by adding ‘Abyss’. Now, when people arrive and see the name of the sim, there is no mistaking that there is more underfoot than they might have otherwise realized. Fantasy and myth of course, also inspired the plans for the sim. Deep waters were the realm of Poseidon. Terraforming the abyss uncovered the god’s long lost palace. Entering a new age, Poseidon awakens.
The story: The enemy’s superior power can no longer be held off. The city struggles to save its arts aboard the fleet of living galleons. To protect its valued paintings, music, literature, and all the company of its theater, the ships must sail on the hour if their culture is to survive. But 40 fathoms beneath those waves, Poseidon spies the underbellies of the ships, and readies his own advance for the bounty.
How did you begin creating art in Second Life? What inspires you, what brings you most pleasure in creating?
I began with a cube! Even after 5 years being in SL, rezzing the simplest plywood cube remains so enjoyable. I’m an artist in real life. But I cannot produce there what has always been a deep interest for me… building cities. In Second Life, you have the tools to do this. In addition, there are no constraints of gravity. Builds do not require practicality. They can be functioning cities and simultaneously artworks. One of the things that excites me are the plans for the simple hoop stage I built. During the 10 days or so of the Faire, live performances will take place there. I’ve seen a couple examples, and they are awesome. Thanks to the performers and the audience, the city will truly become alive.
What calls you to fantasy? When was the first time you encountered the genre and realized you enjoyed it?
What I love about fantasy is how it broadens real life with its mystery. In Second Life, it is no longer an unlikely story, but rather very much a part of our environment without gravity, and without any limitations to imagination. As children we are introduced to fantasy. I loved it for its magic, for its color, for its stories. And I still do.
Do you have a favourite Faire memory? What are you looking forward to most this year?
Something remarkable happened a week ago, as the sim developers were being given their plots of land. While building, I saw an enormous pink bird foot plant itself in the water. I cammed up to see a flamingo tall as the cloud level. And there were more behind her on the neighboring sim. At first, I thought my neighbor had mistakenly rezzed her bird in my ocean. But then came another, and another, one using the stage I’d made as a bird bath. Before I could lower my eyebrows, Alia Baroque gave a friendly welcome and explained the tradition of the giant flamingos making a path over the entire Fairelands. As the birds approach each sim, the builders join in to fly as a group to welcome the next sim down the line. I already knew that Fantasy Faire would be a unique experience, but this took it to the next level… people sharing in the fun and celebrating what is to come. The sense of community support is widespread.
As the builder of the Arts and Entertainment sim, one of the things I’m most anxiously awaiting are the performances slotted for the stage at Poseidons Abyss. I’ve been awed by the rehearsals. Having flown over the Fairelands since building began, I now look forward to finally getting a chance to explore its impressive territory. I’ll do this by slipping on my shopping shoes, and heading forward.
Thank you, Haveit, for taking the time to talk with us. Thank you for adding your magic to the Fairelands!
CONVERGING ON THE PALACE OF TEARS Builds in the gardens by Haveit Neox
Delighted by Elizabeth Tinsley’s invitation to create an installation in a garden, I had the opportunity to set up my work on the grounds around Rynn Verwood’s exquisite Palace of Tears. With the massive stone edifice in the background complementing the flowing green gardens framing it, I had an ideal site at my disposal. The cherry on the pie was the hunt story David Abbot had written. He described it briefly to me something along this line: An Emperor has gone missing, and if not found soon, civil war might be on the horizon. With a family visit planned in RL, I would only have about 3 days to build the garden scenes. I decided to base it on my interpretation of the hunt story.
This being Fantasy Faire, I set down fanciful rival clans: frog people, centaurs, and yes, even humans from average height to the size of a mouse. The armies are composed not only of the soldiers, but their whole villages including streets and houses which are towed into the promise of battle. In the case of the Fiery Centaurs (red, orange and yellow skinned), a city grows from the back of their queen’s long robe, stringing its buildings and streets down the length of the garment, overflowing onto the ground like a delta, and finally disseminating itself into the green hills. Up the weighted robe they gallop, the Fiery centaur warriors, as their giant leader, intent on taking the title of Empress, trails her precious load with slowly measured but enormous steps, shaking the earth and rattling the bones of her enthusiastic subjects. Every citizen of the land, their houses and their fields march, converging on the Palace of Tears.
I mix art and utility. ACC Alpha is a full sim city I’ve developed during the past 4 years which shows a love of the painterly while remaining down to earth. I build in the hope that the artistic expression is inviting, and along with its unusual nature, makes the visitor feel they recognize something of home from it. The city is neither flat nor predictable. I built ACC Alpha for the walker – this is the best way to fall into the city. All are welcome.