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.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Opening of Treeline3

The third exhibition at Virtual Treeline opened today in Second Life. It features an amazing array of diverse works. At ground level Jedda Zenovka's installation built around an enormous tree delighted everyone. Congratulations Jedda- this is an amazing build.

At sky level paintings by shellina Winkler and Trill Zapatero are in the gallery, an installation featuring the work of Richard Newport, and a fabulous bubble tree from Soror Nishi.

Way up in the sky Olmia Tenk's Wollemi installation pays tribute to a tree forgotten by time. Olmia was there hiding amongst the work if you looked hard enough you might have found her.

Thank you to all who came to the opening and to the wonderful artists for putting on such a show.I will be blogging about each of the artists and their works in the coming weeks.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Taking the Virtual to the Real World

Sometimes strange connections come about through this Virtual Treeline Project.
It was a surreal experience for me to talk with Year 12 (senior year high school) students at Pacific Lutheran College in Caloundra (Queensland, Australia)today about virtual worlds and the Virtual Treeline project. Used to sitting at my computer being in charge of a virtual world, there I was, showing a very static Powerpoint presentation on a makeshift calico screen trying explain the delights of virtual world art to a group of very real students who didn't need an animation over-rider to control their movements or a keyboard to communicate their thoughts. Great to see the real world still exists.
(Picture shows students with a projected image of Soror Nishi's Tagliatelle eco car.)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Tree Wanderings

I dropped into Angel of the Mysts Gallery to see littleone Aries show The Ceremony Trees. The colours and textures in her well crafted paintings resonate with the luxurient light and colours of her living environment on a hilltop looking over the rainforest in Peurto Rico.

littleone says:
When looking at and touching the magnificent trees that I see at treetop level from my easel I have come to understand that there is indeed a grand scheme to things. Nature has become my bible, my handbook on how to live my life. it tells me to understand respect and support the connections that bind all together.

Via Koinup's list of favourite places I also happened upon Lemondrops Forest and the adjacent Photon Pink's Castle. The build seems to have been put together from the work of a number of builders, but the resulting whole is a delight to the senses.

Lemondrops Forest is an island taken up mostly by a giant tree, with ground and tree level landing spaces filled with colourful and interesting plants and objects. Photon's Castle is much the same - a smile raising build with nothing sinister and lot of creativity and imagination.

It's a great place to visit if you are feeling in need of a bit of a lift for the sense on a dull day.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Trees are in Fashion?

I couldn't help noticing so many of the works in the January round of UWA competition featured trees. I think the works are removed to make way for the next round in a couple of days- so make sure you get there to see.

Asmita Duranjaya

Sabine Stonebender

420 Xeltentat

OldOak Merlin

Soror Nishi

As well as the works above there are also tree works from Alizarin Goldflake and Araminta Kroitschov.
Great to see so many works based on trees, and such a variation in approach to this universally recognisable object.

Treeline Artist - Araminta Kroitschov

Araminta Kroitschov is a photographer with a difference. She takes her 2D photographic images off the wall and uses the tools Second Life has to offer to make compelling and visually beautiful installation pieces. She enjoys experimenting with a way of creating work that is easier to manipulate than work that is bound by the physics of the real world. She says it is exciting to realize an artistic vision when it doesn't conform to the realities of gravity, mass, finances, and space.

Araminta's work also reflects her deep commitment to the natural environment and conservation values. The Forest installation in this exhibition uses images gathered in Kentucky at Wolf Pen Branch Mill Farm (part of the River Fields conservation easement) and a Bernheim
and reflects Araminta's long term secret desire to become lost in the deep woods at night.

Araminta says about her work:
The ways we have distanced ourselves from nature is truly heartbreaking. We all now live in our shoebox cages and most of us visit nature only when we need “sport” or “recreation”. As urban sprawl encroaches on more and more wild lands these magical spaces are disappearing at an alarming rate. We are so fearful of the woods and the wild beasts that roam that we have insulated ourselves in subdivisions and strip malls..... I believe that this disconnection to our wild lands is one of the most devastating signs of how unhealthy our planet has become.Through this work, I hope that people will realize that the woods are a treasure, a place of magic and beauty, and essential to our success as a species.

In real life Araminta is artist Mary Yates. Her project Vivid Black can be found

Treeline Artist- Em Larsson

Em Larsson has been capturing the pictures she sees in the world around her for years, but it wasn't until she discovered Second Life that she began to share them. Em loves to photograph everyday things and shed new light on them, creating objects of beauty. She loves trees, chosing to live surrounded by them in an old pine forest in the middle of Nowhere in Eastern Ontario.

Her photographs in this exhibition, from the tiny green tree in the sky gallery, to the gigantic winter forest at ground level, display a level of skill and commitment to her photography that take us somewhere into the true nature of things. Em's images are simply beautiful.

She shows her work in many locations in Second Life. Please see her profile pics for the locations of her current shows.
Thanks for being part of Treeline Em, and for sharing part of your world with us.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Virtual Treeline2 - Artist Jadyn Firehawk

Jadyn Firehawk is a professional geographer and an amateur photographer. Studying geography (in particular, doing field studies) has helped me learn to see with a "geographer's eye." Born in the Philippines and raised in the United States, she has lived many places in her life and is currently the environmental education coordinator for a statewide water quality program in Texas. With a photographer's eye for composition and colour Jadyn's work in this exhibition speaks to us of the dignity of trees and the beautiful colours of the changing seasons.

Jadyn says:
Most people see things in pictures; I see pictures in things. I especially like to photograph things that I see in daily life "as is," things that simply catch my eye, without any staging. I have jokingly told people that if I ever publish a book of my photos, it will be called "Pictures of Nothing." I am amazed that once I start looking for interesting pictures, the world around me gets more interesting. The more I take pictures, the more beauty I see in the world.

In Second Life Jadyn's main gallery is located at:

Virtual Treeline2 - Artist Lynda Robinson

Lynda Robinson's pastels take us to the heart of the Australian bush and the eucalyptus tree, ubiquitous in many parts of the world, but native to Australia. In this exhibition her paintings are in stark contrast to the photographic works of Em Larsson and Jadyn Firehawk whose works focus on the seasonal changes in the northern hemisphere. Lynda's paintings capture the vibrant and unique colours, textures and light of the Australian environment. Her works reflect her love of the Australian bushland and the trees that inhabit this dry, harsh and sometimes hostile continent.

Lynda Robinson is a real life Australian artist who lives on 40 acres in the bush in the state of Victoria. Her son, avatar Rooperto Robbiani, exhibits and sells her work in Second Life. Her website can be found at

Soror Nishi's bonsai trees at the Virtual Treeline Sky Gallery are the perfect accompaniment to Lynda Robinson's pastel painting.