Invention/Reinvention Opens Today

New work by emerging artists Jessica Belmer, Isla Gealach, Rikku Yalin
Private View today, 23 September 2010, 2-4pm
Avalon Arts Initiative
Music by DJ Walt Vieria

At long last, the Avalon Arts Initiative will reopen today in a new building designed by our competition winner, Winter Nightfire, with an aptly named exhibit Invention/Reinvention.

Avalon resident artist Winter Nightfire won the competition to build the new space earlier this year with this gorgeous open plan build that takes advantage of both virtual and virtuo-physical considerations of art viewing.
‘Woody Robot’ by Rikku Yalin. Image courtesy of FreeWee Ling, UWA.

The AAI continues its mission of giving exhibition space to emerging artists whose work shows considerable promise in using virtual media. While the three artists in this show are not new to SL, they are relatively fresh in using it to make works of art.

Those who have visited the LEA art sandbox might be familiar with the work of French artist Rikku Yalin, who has been leaving her rather delightful robots on view in the self-curating gallery. Yalin has been a sim designer for three years, creating atmospheric spaces such Amancio, Hope, and Cocoon. Yalin states that with her landscapes she likes to ‘create special and poetic atmosphere’, and that with her new venture into sculpture, she hopes to give a sense of life and emotion to her beautifully crafted automata.

Just off from her first exhibition, Jessica Belmer was originally showing her strangely beautiful images via flickr only. I stumbled across her work there, some of which subtly evoke the work of her German Surrealist namesake, Hans Bellmer (although in a decidedly less disturbing fashion).

‘Ghost Bride’ by Jessica Belmer.

The title for this exhibit was in fact inspired by the name Jessica chose for her own selections, ‘Reinvention’:


During a conversation with a friend, she made the chance comment that she would rather be a character in a novel than a real person. I got to wondering just what the difference was.

Who do we think we are. In Second Life, The Self, that cherished idea of a unique personal identity, is also a blank page for truth and fiction. This creates an open-ended opportunity for intrigue and narrative that I try to exploit by making images. I hope my pictures blend and coalesce beauty and mystery with a dash of uneasiness, and serve as a nice reminder that appearances and narratives are deceiving and regardless of the virtual world we all participate in, we only have dominion over things of which we have direct sensual knowledge.

All my work functions and is steered within this narrative architecture.

jessica belmer

Finally, in perhaps what might be a surprising addition, I asked the incredibly talented Isla Gealach of Cheeky Pea to contribute a small selection of her virtual photography.

‘Self-portrait [A Rusted Development]’, by Isla Gealach.
While many Prim Perfect readers know Cheeky Pea (and Isla) for incredibly high-quality and beautiful virtual home and garden furnishings, creating images that reside more in the realm of art than design is a new foray for her. In fact, to me, there are many incredible designers who may not be considered to be ‘artists’ by the wider community (or even by themselves), but which to my eye make some truly stunning images and objects which certainly fall into that category. I hope that we can feature more of these creators in the future, to perhaps see them in a new light.

So please do join us today at 2pm for the opening of this strangely beautiful new exhibit, and an equally stunning new gallery.

Poster by PJ Trenton, with art by Jessica Belmer, Isla Gealach and Rikku Yalin.

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