Sunday, December 12, 2010

Thinking Ahead

The Sunshine Coast Treeline project has finished for this year, but we hear that it will be back in 2012, so I'm starting to think ahead looking at ways trees are being celebrated with new technologies- in virtual worlds and in the real world. Maybe some ideas will come out of it for 2012.

The first is a brilliant tree build at the Museum of Singapore, traditionally associated with a grand old Banyan Tree, but now with a new, glowing metal contemporary take on the Banyan. The Farm site has images of the tree in the gardens, with people interacting in much the same way they might with a real banyan, as well as drawings and specifications showing how the tree was made.

The Breath of Life is another project over at Design Milk ( that caught our eye. While this first version isn't quite a tree yet, there are lots of possibilities here.Scotland -based artist Fraser Ross has used shape changing alloy and LEDs to create a plant that reacts to the carbon in the human breath. There's a video on the site showing how the plants light up, move and change. Pretty usual stuff in virtual worlds, but not so easy to do in real life.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Real/Second Life Crossover- Treeline Opening

The real world Treeline opened officially on Friday night at Noosa Regional Gallery in Queensland, Australia. The Treeline exhibitions will take place at various venues and all Sunshine Coast Galleries over the next few months.

Virtual Treeline is part of the Noosa Gallery show. A slide presentation documents the involvement of the project in Second Life and shows the work of all the artists who participated and showed work at the Treeline galleries in Second Life. A second slide show shows the virtual environmental artworks of Juanita Deharo.

There will also be several live presentations from Second Life to an audiences in the gallery.

Two books which have been published as part of the Virtual Treeline project, and are being shown at the gallery as part of the exhibition. The first is a pictorial essay documenting and making comment on the work of each of the Second Life artists who participated in the Treeline exhibitions, and smaller book shows the virtual environmental artworks of Juanita Deharo, with an accompanying essay. These books are available to be read or purchased on line at or via
There are more images of the opening on the Virtual Treeline Flickr site.
Thank you to everyone who has supported this project, both in Second Life and in my own community. There has been tremendous interest and expressions of delight from visitors to the Noosa Gallery since the show opened.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Treeline V- Scottius Polke

For our last show at Treeline, everyone's favourite otter, Scottius Polke, has kindly and very carefully transplanted some of the trees and plants form his magnificent Lunamaruna build (at Project Z) to our Sky Gallery platform. It was done with care, and they seem to love the watery environment here as much as in Lunamaruna.
Scottius' trees, as with the work of many of our exhibitors in previous shows, reminds us that virtual worlds can have their own ecosystems, and their own plant species. Not everything needs to be a replica of the real world. Sometimes, in making and seeing new and never before seen environments we are better able to understand and appreciate reality.
Something in us responds to the notion of a tree, whether it is one of Jadyn's magnificent redwoods, or one of Scottius' strange but evocative virtual trese that survived its first transplanting, but can not exist in the real world.

Treeline V - Fuschia Nighfire, Jadyn Firehawk and Araminta Kroitschov

For our last show at Treeline we have welcomed back some of the artists from previous exhibitions.
Since exhibiting at Treeline in our first show Fuschia Nightfire (Nina Camplin) has gone on to develop her work in Second Life in a number of directions. We are pleased to be showing her small immersive installation that was a prize winner at UWA, and some of her evocative 3D work incorporating figures and trees.

Jadyn Firehawk was also part of an earlier Treeline show. For this exhibition she has treated us to a taste of majesty with her images of giant redwoods. These giant trees, some of the largest on earth, are a living reminder of how insignificant we are in the scheme of things, and yet how much impact we have had on the planet. For anyone who has not seen these giant trees, Jadyn's images perfectly capture the feeling of awe one gets looking at such a huge and very old living things.

We are also pleased to welcome back photographer Araminta Kroitschov, who is continuing to do wonderful things, taking photographic works off the wall and into installations. Her experiments with the possibilities of the virtual environment show just what can be done when creative people think of ways to bring together real life art practice and the tools of Second Life.

Araminta has also charmed us once again with her images that speak of the joys of human contact with organic things and our own close ties with the natural world. We all respond positively to the idea of bare feet on leaves, but it's a sensation many of us rarely experience these days.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Treeline V - Marcus Inkpen

J. Matthew Root is the real life name of Marcus Inkpen. In the real world he is a fantasy/surreal artist, illustrator and web/graphics designer and when he's got some free time he writes cerebral science fiction stories, composes and records his own music and occasionally acts (and dies) in horror movies.He graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 1999 having studied under mentors Susan Waters-Eller and Julian Allen with a concentration on illustrative painting.
After working in the newspaper/magazine industry for nearly a decade he decided to go freelance and hasn't looked back.
He's a seriously talented Second Life creator and a really nice guy, and we are delighted to feature his work 'The Great Tree' at ground level for our last exhibition.

Marcus says:
I've always been in love with trees and I've not been alone. Historically so much of our architecture is actually faint echos of humanity's love and admiration for the ultimate symbol of life, the tree.
When Sharni and I were building items inspired by the movie Avatar the vision of the great tree in which the Na-Vi live was the top of my list. You couldn't hope to more powerfully embody the idea of embracing life than to be living in a tree. Add to that the obvious life reference in the double helix staircases (which work as perfect metaphors on practically every level) and you have all that the "Tree" truely is. As balanced in its ever renewing lifecycle as we humans could ever hope to be.

Inside Marcus's Great Tree one climbs the double helix stairway to platforms hidden here and there amongst the foliage of the tree. It's an inspiring and rewarding experience, and is as close to be part of a living thing as one can get in a virtual world.
Marcus and Sharni Azalee have also 'decorated' our ground level around the giant tree with some of their plants and objects, all of them closely aligned with nature. Thanks to you both for making the ground level such a brilliant space.

Treeline V - Sharni Azalee

I first saw Sharni's work when she entered the UWA Art Challenge, and was immediately impressed with the quality of her texturing and attention to detail. Her work 'Forest of Dreams' which is a feature piece in this last exhibition at Treeline in Second Life represents to Sharni a space where she escapes, to create and forget the troubles of the world. She says she has always been immersed in creativity, with a mother who was an artist and many exceptionally talented friends, however it was not until she found Second Life that she found a medium that allows her to express my feelings and thoughts.
'Forest of Dreams' has an almost luminous, stained glass quality to the textures, whilst at the same time being reminiscent of textile. That doesn't seem quite possible, but it is.
Sharni is from Western Australia and the piece is influenced by native plants such as the boab tree, callistemon, and pincushion hakea, all very distinctly Australian plants.
Sharni's wish is that you may you find love and peace in your own Forest of Dreams

Friday, April 23, 2010

Treeline V - Opening

The last of the in-world artist exhibitions opened at our Virtual Treeline site in Second Life today. It's a brilliant show featuring Scottius Polke, Fuschia Nightfire, Araminta Kroitschov, Marcus Inkpen, Sharni Azalee and Jadyn Firehawk.

At ground level Marcus Inkpen's giant tree towers over the landscape. It provided the perfect backdrop for the lovely Miso Susanowa.

Up in the sky gallery the guests crowded around Scottius Polke's trees with amazing poses by Alexx Fernstalker (above). I think Marcus might have decided to live in Scotti's tree.

Fuschia Nightfire's winning work from UWA is on show, along with sculptural and 2D works depicting other sculptural works. (Are you confused?)

RAG Randt waitied patiently for a RAG doll to appear in Sharni Azalee's hammock, but she must have been washing her hair today.

Araminta Kroitschov's new funky piece was enjoyed by an equally funky avatar, Spiral Silverspar

Sharni Azalee's beautiful work from UWA was admired by fellow artist Sheba Blitz.

And Jadyn's Van Gough dress was set off perfectly by Melchizedek Blavvelt's avatar full of eyes(and who wouldn't need a lot of eyes to take in that dress?)

The next Virtual Treeline exhibition will be in real life at Noosa Gallery, Queensland, Australia in May. In the meantime I will be blogging about each of these artists separately and talking about their work over the next few weeks.
Don't miss this brilliant show.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Soror Nishi - Maker of Trees

Soror Nishi is one of that group of Second Life artists whose work has ‘grown up’ with the game. We are pleased and proud to have turned over the whole of the Treeline site to her for a survey show of her trees and other plants, from early, sometimes prim heavy or cumbersome work that still revealed the same spirit and creativity we see today, to her latest elegant and highly crafted, award winning works.

Soror has generously set up a display that gives an insight into both the development of her work over time, and the techniques she uses to create her work. Some of her compelling textures are included as 2D wall works, as well as untextured sculpted prims that indicate her current skills with Blender and the way she makes her plants. The exhibition is a must for anyone interested in making flora in Second Life.

From her early days in Second Life Soror has not been much interested in replicating real world plants and environments, but has argued that the culture and visual style of the new world should be respected . Many of her pieces reveal both a fertile imagination and a quirky sense of humour.

Her short bio provides the following as a background to her work

Born in Harajuku, the daughter of a flower seller and her husband a software magnate, she started creating at an early age and quickly turned her attention to the natural environment. Concerned about the diminishing native flora of Second Life she set about planting and nurturing the plants that the Lindens had cleared from the land with an over-grazing of goats and the like.
Her work in preserving "the Ancient Ones" for future generations is well known, and recent discoveries of rare orchids has generated much interest.

Soror’s work is always a delight to see, and will coninue at Treeline until next Monday.
If you miss the show her principle nursery and shop are on Lifstaen (an island) and neighbouring Moldorf.
Her blog is at

Monday, March 22, 2010

The best Of Soror Nishi Opens at Treeline

Soror Nishi's retrospective 'The Best of Soror' opened yesterday at Virtual Treeline Galleries, with a bumper crowd treated to the usual awe inspiring work of this talented artist.

The exhibition is over two levels, with some of Soror's latest trees mingling with earlier works at ground level, in a profusion of colour and texture that somehow seems to come together as a whole.

In the sky galleries Soror has created a sort of visual tour of her work and the way it has developed in Second Life. A roomful of her favourite prims created in Blender demonstrates her considerable talent in making sculted forms. For those interested in the making of plants and the development of this artist's work the exhibition is a must.
I will be doing a full review of the show with more images in a later blog.

Pictured above at the opening, Isabella Alphaville, who greatly admires Soror's work and took the opportunity to add to her collection.
Below is staunch Treeline supporter Asmita Duranjaya whose costume(s) on the day blended perfectly with Soror's works.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Shellina Winkler - Treeline 3 Artist

Also in the Treeline Sky gallery this month are works by Shellina Winkler. Shellina's prim paintings are 'constructed' works, built layer upon layer with prims, as she explores the potential of the medium in Second Life. She also carefully maximizes the potential of each single prim by using textures or merely colours to maximimum effect. The results are serene and sophisitcated works, seemingly simple, but sometimes complex in their construction.

As well as several 2D works on the gallery walls there is also a three dimensional abstract tree made by Shellina. It reminds us how the tree is universally and instantly recognisable - even when that symbol is abstracted and devoid of organic texture. What is it about trees that makes them such an easily recognised symbol?

Shellina is a well known and respected artist in second Life, who has works in many places, usually with her partner Solkide Auer. Her work can also be seen at:

Trill Zapatero - Treeline 3 Artist

This month one of the Treeline Sky Galleries is showing 2D work reproduced from real life paintings by Trill Zapatero.

Trill describes her paintings as travel collages or maps of journeys. Having spent part of her life in Asia, captivated by its richness and diversity, her work resonates with exuberant colours and the mix of reality, myth, fantasy and dream one finds in much of this part of the world. She says what she is looking for is some place to get to that is behind the surface, beyond the material nature of the painting and collage.

Her work is informed in part by the landscape, the flora and fauna of the places she has visited, in part by the 'happening' of the painting where images and ideas form of their own accord, and in part by inspirational material from other sources. Her works in this exhibition are all related to trees.
Trill says:
Trees are a universal symbol of growth and as such inform the organic nature of the process of my painting

You can see more of Trill's paintings on her Flickr site:

Friday, February 26, 2010

Survival of the Wollemi Pt 1 - Olmia Tenk

The survival of the Wollemi pine intact, from the depth of prehistory is truly a remarkable story.
Olmia Tenk’s whimsical installation at Treeline is based on an original story written by Olmia about Muttaburrasaurus, a herbivorous dinasoar that lived 200 million years ago and a Wollemi pine cone. While the Muttaburrasaurus became extinct about 60 million years ago, the Wollemi pine has survived to this day. It was only discovered in 1994 in what is now the Wollemi National Park in Australia. It is a very very special tree and a fitting subject for an artist’s attention.

The installation in the sky over the Treeline site is contained within a giant Wollemi pine cone.

The pages that form the story were originally bound into Second Life book in traditional format but have now become a true ‘artist book’ freed from the binding but still telling their story as the reader moves through the installation, walking inside the cone on Wollemi pine leaves, through rain, snow, fire, all the things the Wollemi has survived through the ages. Olmia has also produced the Wollemi story as machinima.

Olmia Tenk is currently completing a 'Master of Fine Art' by research candidature at Monash University, Australia and is using her experiences and work in Second Life as part of that process. She attended the opening of her exhibition at Treeline suitably attired and blending in perfectly with her installation.

In real life Olmia Tenk is Lily Tan.Olmia is coined from 'Wollemia Nobilis', the scientific name of the Wollemi pine.
You can read more about the Wollemi pine on the official Wollemi pine website at:

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Treeline3 artist- Jedda Zenovka

"Trees are Earth's endless effort to speak to the listening heaven."
Rabindranath Tagore, Indian poet

This month at Treeline in Second Life our feature artists are both Australian, and both have created installations that are a delight for the senses. At ground level Jedda Zenovka's giant tree 'Nuture' towers over the surrounding landscape. Under the tree a fantasy garden, recognisably plants, but not plants we recognise, manages to feel both welcoming and a little alien.

There's something luxurious and overblown about Jedda's work. Well crafted and put together with a disciplined sense of design it still manages to feel like it's bursting forth in chaos. It's organic. It seems alive and unmanageable. It reaches out to you. It reflects Jedda's love of the rainforests of NSW where she lives. She says:
You can take the girl out of the jungle...But you cant take the jungle out of the girl!

Also at ground level Jedda's 'Family Tree' is a fun piece, all the more interesting because it is made using no textures.

Up in the sky, floating majestically through the clouds, Plane Tree Awareness is a quieter, less colourful work but none the less powerful in its imagery.

Jedda has been making art in Second Life for a few years.The works she has created for Treeline in this exhibition are meant to represent the relation ship we as humans have with the planet earth and our trees.
Jedda says:
The fortunes of trees and humans are as intricately linked as the complex branching systems that link tree root to tree crown. We are connected ... As is our fate...
In Second Life her work can be found at Terravia Island and her Flickr site is:
Jedda's installation is a delight to visit and can be found at the Virtual Treeline site in Second Life:
There are more images of Jedda's installations on the Virtual Treeline Flickr site.