Saturday, December 10, 2011

Bev Hand - Maroochy Botanic Gardens

Last week Treeline artists were invited to take a walk in Maroochy Bushland Botanic Gardens with indigneous leader and very knowledgeable person Beverly Hand. What a treat it was! Beverly is an expert and entertaining story teller with a wealth of interesting knowledge about plants and the culture, customs and folklore of her indigenous background.She also seemed to know more about the history of western civilisation than we did, as well as knowing the Latin names of all the plants and being able to give us useful information that can inform our Treeline projects. I came away wishing and hoping that I could somehow bring Beverly into contact with students from Caloundra City School who will be the focus of my Treeline project in 2012 - if just to enthuse them about the bushland plants we so often overlook, as well as a little understanding of the first inhabitants of this land. I also came away with (even more) images from the gardens that will be put to use making textures for virtual world installations.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Catching Up with Some Old Friends

The Inworldz Dreamz and Visionz festival has been a good place to catch up with some of the artists involved in Treeline's 2010's latest work, as well as seeing some new faces. Soror Nishi, who played such a large part in making Virtual Treeline 2010 a great success, continues to go from strength to strength creating new plant species to inhabit new spaces in the virtual universe. For Dreamz she gave us a new and colourful species of bean. Soror's work has become more and more polished and professional and I'll do a blog soon devoted to her amazing island Inworldz.
Another old Treeline friend, RAG Randt, has moved from an emphasis on 2D into 3D without losing any of his zany sense of humour and ability to make a statement with this work. His build for Dreamz was a giant tree, inhabited, of course, by monkeys doing all manner of crazy stuff in a crazy restuarant with a refridgerator full of bananas (what else?). It's great to see RAG move into full 3D, and I enjoyed a glass of red with his monkeys.
Last, but never least, another 2010 Treeline regular and great supporter, Alizarin Goldflake, has been honing her building skills with her first full sim build in Inworldz. Alizarin goes from strength to strength always amazing me with the attention to detail and beautiful textures in her work. Scripting has also become an integral part of her repertoire.
Alizarin's underwater build for the Dreamz Festival was up to her very high standard, with incredible underwater plants and the most appealing seahorses I have ever encountered.
It's been ggreat to catch up with these old friends at Dreamz.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

InWorldz Dreamz and Visions and Treeline 2012

Treeline will be on again next year, and once again I'll be working on a virtual component of the real world event. I'm told the Treeline website will be updated soon with details. In 2012 Treeline will have an education focus. More about my involvmenet later, but it's now time to ramp up this blog again and start noticing what's been happening with trees, botanicals and organic things in virtual worlds.

The Dreamz and Visions festival in Inworldz (sponsored by Jeri Rajah) seems like the perfect place to start. I've had a quick look and there's plenty there for inspiration. Some of the artists involved in Treeline in 2010 have builds at the festival, so I'll be blogging about their pieces as well as exciting new work.

This morning I got no further than a very interesting build by La Toymaker. The work is a massivley complex installation for a small 30X30 metre plot (which is what each artist gets at the festival) and has intriguing storylines and a fairytale coach floating in the sky pulled by horses you can ride.

What caught my attention were the whimsical wooden figures, as if tree roots and twigs had come to life - the spirits of the trees perhaps. I particularly like the root figures escaping from a painting (below) and the very expressive man (above) who seems to have something to say about what's happening on the keyboard.

Congratulations to La Toymaker for a great piece. I look forward to visiting it again.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Virtual Vegetation

Over at Nordan Art in Second Life Claudia22Jewell continues to make her own brand of vegetation, now becoming as instantly recognizable as other great virtual plant pioneers like Soror Nishi. The annex at Nordan has become a hothouse of fecund plant life both threatening and friendly at the same time. The build works exceptionally well in the confined spaces and many levels and it’s a sensual experience making your way in and up and out again. I’m not a great fan of faces in the plant life, or is it the animal turning vegetable, but it somehow works.

Another new plant build is Soror Nishi’s small installation at the new location for Arte Libera in Second Life. I think it opens tomorrow, but Soror invited me over for a sneak preview and as usual it wasn’t disappointing. I think one of the most startling things upon landing at the installation is the realization that here is an artist who has gone from creating plants to becoming an expert in creating atmosphere. Although the visitor can play around with light settings, they are not necessary to the ‘feeling’ of the installation. I get a little tired of being asked to set my atmosphere to some convulted algorithm so the artist’s work can be viewed. Soror’s installation works on any setting.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

How to Discipline a Tree

Derek Kreckler's exhibition 'How to Discipline a Tree' opens at the Paper Mill on June 28th, and while it's not virtual art it is pretty amazing.
"How to discipline a tree" consists of hundreds of bricks made from compressed newspaper, newspapers brought into an average Sydney household in one month; "Indeed a close inspection will reveal the odd un-pulped word shining out with un-foretold meaning like a Dada poem. These words are the detritus of what is already a byproduct of everyday waste"
And while it may look pretty blocky, the shape he's created is based on the buttress roots of a Moreton Bay Fig.
Cool heh? Click on the title to this post to go to the Paper Mill site.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Trees Take the Cake at UWA

Organics still seem to be the order of the day at UWA with Susan Graves taking out first prize (and some others) with her work 'Chose Your Blossom' (above).
I was not sure whether Claudia222 Jewell's 'Strange Plant....Ugliness and Beauty' was a plucked chicken or a tree, but it managed to carry away a swag of prizes.

Soror Nishi's beautifully crafted Christmas Daisy Tree (below) was also amongst the winners (I've blogged about this one before).

I also took some pics of Silene Christensen's entry (below), which was also at the Art Maze. I don't think it won any prizes, but the list of prizewinners is getting so long I don't have time to read it right through. (Note to UWA: Next time please send out a list just of the prizes and winners - without extraneous text)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Trees at UWA

JayJay Zifanwe from UWA is always quick to let me know when there's a new and interesting tree at the UWA competition site. Thanks JayJay.It's great to see so many trees keep coming in this art competition.
So I popped over today to have a look at what's on offer and found Soror Nishi's Grove of Lantern Fruit Trees (below) to brighten my day.

Zola Zsun's 'Three Poodle Trees'(below) is a fun piece with sparkly diamond-like foliage and brilliant ground cover.

Cherry Manga's 'It's Raining in my Heart Like This'(below) (I think that's the title- my French is not good) is another work with humour and very well executed. I am a great lover of monotone so Cherry's work speaks to me. It rains just like that in my heart too, and sometimes all over Queensland.

There seems to be a lot of foliage around in artworks these days, as if we are all hankering for a bit of greenery. Anley Piers beautiful work 'Travel in the Shadow of Technology' is a nice bit of greenery (or monotonery)for geeks and techo nerds like me. Congratulations Anley.

And while it's not greenery or even vegetable I thought Corcosman Voom's birds deserved to be in here with the rest of the Nature works from UWA. I love almost everything Corco does and these are no exception.

So thanks for the heads-up JayJay. I always get a bit lost at UWA- but I think I found em all.

Soror Nishi New Trees- from strength to strength

Today I was lucky to get a sneak preview of some brand new Soror Nishi trees. What a way to greet the new year!
My favourite virtual tree builder is going from strength to strength consolidating her earlier work with a full mastery of Blender and a foray into particle canopies.
After what seems like an eternity of rain and grey skies, water and doom here in Australia Soror's trees were like a burst of sunshine.
Watch out for these trees when they come on the market- they're great. Shown here not to great advantage in a sandbox somewhere in Second Life- but they still shone.