I don’t think it’s overstating to say that Bryn Oh is my favourite SL artist. I’m fascinated by the way in which her offline art becomes digital creations and how she uses those same SL builds to create Machinima which she then presents back to the real world.
I’ve been working on tackling my SL bucket list so this weekend I stopped in to see her creation entitled Virginia Alone.
This might be one of the most successful blurring and bridging of real world and second life art that I’ve experienced. Like most of Bryn’s work, it’s not something you just see, it’s something you experience.
Virginia Alone is based on the true story of an 80 year old blind woman living alone in a farm house that has been taken over by her hoarding and feral cats. She spent years making hundreds of tape recordings that you can listen to by clicking on the cassette tapes when you visit the build. I admit, I couldn’t listen to them all, it’s quite difficult.
I can’t imagine what it must have been like for Bryn to meet Virginia, explore this house, and listen to the countless hours of tapes before creating all this.
Often it felt like I was unraveling a mystery. On one tape I heard talk about her feral cats killing and eating another cat outside her door. On one of my visits I discovered the remains of this cat which was almost like reading a history book which didn’t become real until I actually saw the evidence that it really did occur. There were some incredulous looks when I made it known that the bones would be coming home with me that day, but for me it was essential. The bones represented the harsh realities that existed in her environment, there were no dogs wearing jackets and boots nor kittens being carried around in purses like I get in the city. It was a forgotten pocket with few civilities where the inside of her house was overgrown to match the outside. ~ Bryn Oh
You can read more about this moving story and see some of the video and recordings on Bryn Oh’s Blog.
I can’t take any credit for the photographs I took. This is how it looks in Second Life. This is how it feels to stand in this digital house and listen to Virginia’s real voice. The pictures really just took themselves.
It’s a strange experience to be in awe of a beautiful creation, to admire the quality of work, while at the same time disturbed by its content and saddened by the story.
To shake off the lingering feeling I had after this photo shoot I went to see what Luna Jubilee had as a color challenge this week. It’s a peachy pink color called Bittersweet. As has happened countless times with the color challenges, it’s the name of the color, the word itself, that inspires me as much as the shade or hue.
This challenge felt easy, natural, right. All I did was change my shirt and walk upstairs to Virginia’s bedroom to bring you Bittersweet.
Skin: *League* Isla Medium Peach
Lashes: Al Vulo! Mesh Lashes
Eyes: [LeLutka] Ellis Lavender
Hair: >Truth< Evelyn w/Roost Oasis
Jeans: Mon Tissue Lou Lou used
Shoes: ::Duh!:: Slip on White Canvas
Shirt (sweater and blouse combo): coldLogic cook pink
Pose: Adorkable Floored 3
Location: Bryn Oh’s Virginia Alone