Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Rising Tide: Alizarin Goldflake

Digital artist Martha Jane Bradford thinks big. As Alizarin Goldflake in Second Life, she's collaborated with big noises like the Caerleon Art group, and big events like Burning Life. In the LL booth at the Shanghai World Expo last year, seventy squillion people from forty-two different planets got a chance to admire her work via the machinima Acquarella: the fable, by Chantal Harvey and friends.
Acquarella is an original story by Alizarin. Inspired by her love of all things aquatic, it's a tale of apocalyptic upheaval and change inspired by (among other things) the Fukushima disaster. Acquarella got its first outing in Second Life, which is still the default grid when it comes to virtual art meeting the virtual art-loving public. But, while Alizarin keeps a consitent foothold there, she's expanded the concept on Nexus Central, part of Jeri Rahja's  arty archipelago on the InWorldz grid.
Alizarin Goldflake: The sim tells a fable in 4 quadrants. All of it happened because White Lebed couldn't understand why
my all-white aquarium had some green lily pads!  Some time ago, I asked White to critique the piece before I released it, and the green lily pads struck her as inconsistent, so I made up a story to explain why. And it ends up here.
The goddess Acquarella has to deal with nymph advisors, scary monsters, pollution and the forces of evil, stupidity and greed. No wonder she's a little pale.
Ultimately, she seeks a happy compromise between a too-perfect world of absolute whiteness, and the fiery darkness of man-made disasters. It's a tough life, being a goddess...

On the upside, Acquarella gets to lounge on a very girly fish-roe throne and ride a nice seahorse merry-go-round, which in itself is a delicate reminder that, when it comes to good and evil times, nothing stays the same for long. That's huge.

Within SL, the tide has been turning for some time towards guest builders taking over whole sims, thanks to both independent galleries and groups like metaLES, and behemoths like the UWA and LEA. Being plugged into the SL Showcase system gets you your fair share of artourists, but Post-Linden grids have three distinct advantages for the creative heart. Space and  available prims are abundant. There are fewer sharks and hustlers. Patrons in SL cycle through builds a month at a time; on other, less fretful grids you'll find hosts who are perfectly content to let an artist beaver about for three, six months or even longer, without batting an eyelid.
Having so much available space was overwhelming at first, but Alizarin has loved putting together this vast ensemble, and has finally taken the plunge, and invested in a sim of her own, together with Maeve Eiren.
For many, showing art is as important as making art, and the cross-pollination of competition, critiques, script innovation and  retrospectives feed and develop their vision. So how can post-Linden grids step up to the challenge of bringing in the punters? A November Art Festival is in the works on IWz, and this sim will be a part of that. Other notable big builders in InWorldz include Ub Yifu's Gulliver, soror Nishi's Transubstantiation, and the multi-handed Tower of Babel led by Betty Tureaud, so if you haven't yet got an InWorldz avie, you're missing out on some great art-ventures.
lizarin Goldflake: I think the festival is a good promotion of virtual art. Quadrapop Tree and Jeri are doing a great job, and it's sponsored by the Founders of IWz who are loaning us 4 sims. I feel like the layout by Quad has a much more organic and lovely look than Burning Life, for example.
Aliz is doing the stage and landing centers for the event, and her interest in driving visitors along a narrative current is evident throughout this immersive build.
Alizarin Goldflake: I want to have people see an area that looks different, and get curious. Here, for example, it's all dark and fiery, but over there, you can just see something white - it makes you want to walk toward the white perfection!
Fish, diatoms, and plants, the art here was made using Corel painter software and a wacom tablet, and Aliz is currently learning Blender -whoa, check out her sea serpent. *fangs a lot*
The tetras and the goldfish now gracing this vibrant sector of the install were in a RL show curated by Jim Dine. Attention to detail is evident everywhere, from the intricate drawings to the anatomically correct sushi.
As in her fable, Aliz has found that the artistic life is a series of episodes, in which judicious compromises can give rise to interesting results. And change and choices make the world go around. The ocean, too.

Visit Acquarella on sim Nexus Central, on the Inworldz grid. It's going to be big.


  1. This is one of Ali's masterworks - a must-experience.

  2. Miso Susanowa also has a sim on Inworldz, as does yours truly. My sim is called, oddly enough, "Wizard." More surprises are coming there soon so stay tuned. ;-)

  3. All the builders and artists in IWz are doing great stuff, and I hope to gradually cover it in upcoming visits! Thanks for all the support and love, guys!