Monday, July 21, 2014

Transcending Borders: Launch of UWA Art & Film Challenges with L$1.03 Mil in Prizes


University of Western Australia (UWA) is happy to announce the launch of MachinimUWA VII  and the 5th UWA Grand Art Challenge, with a starting prize pool of L$505,000 each. The theme is 'TRANSCENDING BORDERS.' Sponsored by Tom Papas & SciFi Film Festival, LaPiscean Liberty & SL Artist, AviewTV, Taralyn Gravois and Arts Castle Gallery, TheDoveRhode and Peace is a Choice and S&S Gallery of Fine SL Art, Jon Stubbs & UWA Student Services, as well as The UWA Virtual Worlds Project. The prize pool sits at L$1,030,000 (approx USD 4,000). We hope you are inspired by this to create many wondrous works of art and film as you have been through the years! (Please note the major rule & special prize guidelines as well as the Audience Participation Prizes for watching the machinima. These will be on the UWA Blog & SL Artist)

WHAT: MachinimUWA VI Film Challenge & 5th UWA Grand Art Challenge. You may enter either the art challenge, the film challenge or both.

WHEN: Entries Close at Midnight SLT 31st October 2014.  Winner will be announced in December 2014

THEME: 
The theme is 'TRANSCENDING BORDERS.' Artists & filmmakers can interpret the theme as they see fit. Whether transcending borders between time and space, past and present, one nation and another, one language and another, a culture or civilisation or any other of the innumerable borders that present themselves as we navigate our lives. You the artist... You the machinimatogrpher...You decide.


WHY THIS THEME?
This theme was selected by Professor Ted Snell, Chairman Director of the Cultural Precinct, UWA and who inspired the very first of the UWA art challenges in 2009. This theme is in honour of the 'Transcending Borders' exhibition at UWA's Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery in 2014. This exhibition gave visual form to the developing cross-cultural relationship between South Korea and Western Australia using The Berndt Museum's collection of historical objects from Korea as a catalyst for cultural exchanges and collaboration.


MAJOR RULES FOR ART:
Artwork entered should be able to be interpreted by the casual viewer as being representative of the theme. Where the link to the theme is difficult to ascertain, this should be referenced in a notecard accompanying the work.


There is a 150
LI (land impact) limit with a limit of 1 entry per artist.
(Note: This is a change from previous competitions. We are now using only Land Impact limits instead of prim limits. Those who are able to work with the SL physics model may be able to significantly increase their prim use without exceeding the land impact calculation. Techniques are best learned by experimentation.)


Copy/Mod/Transfer permissions are not a requirement, however COPY perms are appreciated.

MAJOR RULES FOR MACHINIMA:
There is no limit to the number of entries you may choose to send in.

The theme is 'Transcending Borders' and you may interpret this theme as you see fit, however the average viewer would need to be able to appreciate how you fit this theme (alternatively, please indicate in the notes how it fits in the film notes on the web). 

Your machinima must be made specifically for this challenge, and this should be indicated in the opening credits 'For The University of Western Australia's MachinimUWA VII: Transcending Borders' 

You do not have to film on the UWA sims, however this of course will be appreciated, and there is a Special UWA Prize which will be made available to a film which includes either Winthrop Clock Tower, The Somerville Auditorium or The Sunken Gardens.

4 mins 30 seconds is the strongly recommended maximum length, but this is not a hard rule.
 
PRIZES: 
There is a prize pool of L$1.03 Million, with a L$500,000 each for art and machinima and at least 10 prizes in each. For Machinima, there will be a Special UWA Prize for the best machinima that includes Winthrop Clock Tower, The Sunken Gardens or the Sommerville Theatre in the Machinima. There will also be 2 Curators Prizes, one each for art and film. For the Curators machinima prize, this will go to the best film that features one of the artworks from either the current challenge or one of the winning works from previous UWA art challenges. There are also audience participation awards for just watching the machinimas and submitting a top 10 list.

The Reflection Pond Next to Winthrop Clock Tower
http://slurl.com/secondlife/University%20of%20WA/120/231/24

The UWA Sunken Gardens
http://slurl.com/secondlife/University%20of%20WA/36/228/24

The UWA Somerville Auditorium with its Norfolk Bay Pine Trees
http://slurl.com/secondlife/University%20of%20WA/238/180/26

The UWA Centenary 3D Art Challenge Gallery (curated by FreeWee Ling)
http://slurl.com/secondlife/UWA/64/131/249



UWA Gallery of Selected Former 3D Art Winners (curated by FreeWee Ling)
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/UWA%20Winthrop/121/140/24

 *Space constraints don't allow us to display all

 
METHOD OF ENTRY: 
For Machinima

Load the Machinima anywhere, preferably youtube or vimeo, and provide the link  to Jayjay Zifanwe & LaPiscean Liberty or email Jayjay (jayjayaustralia@hotmail.com).

For Art
Place the artwork in the art entry receiver at the UWA Art Challenge platform (no perms required, but copy is appreciated if possible) along with a completed Artist Notecard (which includes your name, city, name of artwork and description of artwork) . If you have problems with the receiver, give artwork to Jayjay Zifanwe or FreeWee Ling. Blank NC templates available by touching the challenge notice at the UWA Art Challenge platform.
 
OTHER MATTERS
*All work must be free of copyright issues. If requested, you must provide detailed information regarding the source, creator and background information of your work. If you utilize any 3rd party materials, such as music, textures, or prefabricated parts, you must have obtained permission from the creator(s).
* Please acknowledge the works you feature, the lands where you film and any music or content that you use.
* If you need to rez (blue screen etc)
at UWA sims, contact Jayjay Zifanwe or FreeWee Ling.
* If you have questions or want to discuss anything, please contact Jayjay Zifanwe
*All entries remain the property of the creator, however once entered, you agree to provide UWA, SL Artist & AviewTV non-exclusive, unrestricted, use in perpetuity in the known universe for educational and promotional purposes. 

JUDGING PANEL
Professor Ted Snell (RL) - Director, Cultural Precinct, The University of Western Australia
Lyn DiCiero -  Editor, WA Artist's Chronicle (ART Only)
Merle Hearns (RL) / Briarmelle Quintessa (SL) - Senior Lecturer, Foundation Studies Department, Manukau Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand

Marylou Goldrosen - Professor, School of Art, Arizona State University
C.Steele (RL) / Rasaec (SL) - Lecturer, York University, Toronto, Canada
Dr. Phylis Johnson (RL) - Media Professor, Southern Illinois University, Author - Machinima: The Art and Practice of Virtual Filmmaking (a.k.a, Sonicity Fitzroy, SL Virtual Journalist)

Dr Helen Farley - Senior Lecturer (Digital Futures), Australian Digital

Futures Institute - University of Southern Queensland
Debora Kaz - Director of Kaz Filmes e Produções / Producer of I Festival Machinima Art Connections Brasil
Lumiere Noir - Creator of the Ivory Tower Library of Primitives
FreeWee Ling (SL) - Curator, UWA 3D Open Art Challenges
Kip Yellowjacket (SL) - Co-creator, Virtlantis 
TheDove Rhode - CEO & OWNER of PEACE IS A CHOICE & S&S GALLERY OF FINE SL ART
LaPiscean Liberty (SL) - CEO AviewTV and UWA Virtual World Technical Media Advisor
Mal Burns (SL), Metaverse News Aggregator and Broadcaster

Victoria Lennoire - Editor of BOSL Magazine
Quan Lavender - Journalist & Blogger
Tom Papas - SciFi Film Festival & Screen My Shorts, Australia

Saffia Widdershins (SL) - Owner and Editor of Prim Perfect Publications (ART Only)
Honour McMillan - Blogger

Kara Trapdoor - Journalist & Blogger
Apmel Goosson - Scandinavian Author/Publisher
Eleanor Medier - Editor of The Sim Street Journal
Ziki Questi - Photographer & Blogger
Thinkerer Melville (SL) / Selby Evans (RL) - Journalist & Blogger
Phaylen Fairchild - Filmmaker and Entertainer
Taralyn Gravois - Owner of Arts Castle Gallery

Bevan Whitfeld - Avatar Designer & Member of the Board of Directors, Rockcliffe University
Dousa Dragonash (SL) - COO Metaverse Television

PatriciaAnne Daviau - 3D Artist
Jay Jay Jegathesan (RL) / Jayjay Zifanwe (SL) - Manager School of Physics/ Lead of UWA Virtual Worlds

PRIZE LIST ART(L$515,000 in total)
1st Prize: L$100,000
2nd Prize: L$70,000
3rd Prize: L$50,000
4th Prize: L$40,000
5th Prize: L$30,000
6th - 10th Prize: @$25,000

Additional L$105,000 for audience participation and other prizes

(prizes given to audience members whose top 10 lists most closely align to the final juried top 10)
 

PRIZE LIST MACHINIMA (L$515,000 in total)
1st Prize: L$100,000
2nd Prize: L$70,000
3rd Prize: L$50,000
4th Prize: L$40,000
5th Prize: L$30,000
6th - 10th Prize: :@$25,000
UWA Prize: L$15,000 (awarded by UWA members of the committee)
Curators Art of the Artists Prize: L$15,000

Additional L$75,000 for audience participation and other prizes
(prizes given to audience members whose top 10 lists most closely align to the final juried top 10)

* Special thanks to Eliza Wierwight the event poster design and for all her support 
* Special thanks also to the creator of some of the spaces at UWA. These include FreeWee Ling, Chuckmatrix Clip, quadrapop Lane, Nyx Breen, Bradley Dorchester (Bradley Curnow, RL). Dragonmage Bogan (Dr Chris Thorne, RL), Sharni Azalee & Minny Werefox (Minh Tran, RL).

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Rysan Breaks Through for Machinima, Tutsy & Vilvi Bring it HOME



On a remarkable and historic night in the presence of a 250 strong crowd at the Riverside Theatres in Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia on the 11th of July 2014, Machinima came of age, stamping its mark and taking one of the major prizes for 'Project Homeless 2014'. Rysan Fall's 'The Invisible City' was adjudged 2nd Runners-Up Overall (AUD 500, approx L$112,000), as well as Best Machinima Film (AUD 300, approx L$67,000). A whisker away from both these prizes, ultimately taking out 2nd (AUD 250) in the Machinima category was Tutsy Navarathna's 'Homeless', a sublime combination of second life and real life elements set in India. The 'Flyin Finn', Vilvi Rae who in 2013 had prevented Tutsy from becoming the quadruple champion of the UWA challenges won 3rd (AUD 150), with Sun Dog, which looks at homelessness from an LGBT perspective.

"I can't express how overjoyed I am at how well this film was received. This is such a serious subject and I wanted to be respectful in the way I presented the message. The message I was trying to convey was that it can happen to anyone. Even through no fault of their own. I was extremely excited to hear that "Invisible City " came in first in the machinima competition. But I was even more excited to hear that it placed 3rd in the mainstream film competition. It was great to see a machinima film judged alongside real life films. I am honored to be part of such a worthwhile and important film contest." said Rysan





Tutsy's 'Homeless' was another feather in the cap of this much storied champion, and he shared that, "Project Homeless is a topic both interesting  and difficult to treat. I am very  proud to have win this 1st Runner Up in this machinima competition with my film  and congratulate all those who participated in this project and particularly Rysan Fall."




Vilvi was equally pleased, "I would like to express my gratitude to the organizers and to everyone involved in the project. It was a challenging and very important subject, but eye-opening to work on."

Project Homeless 2014 is a Challenge run by Screen My Shorts Inc & UWA in partnership with and sponsored by the Parramatta City Council. Here entrants of all ages, cultures and ability were invited to submit original creative digital content (conventional film and/or machinima) and win a share of the AUD 10,000 (L$2.28 Million) and have their works exposed on the international stage. 

Watch out also as in the next 2 weeks, MachinimUWA VII: Transcending Borders will officially launch with a prize pool of at least L$500,000.

The full awards list can be found HERE. The overall winner was 'Peacekeeper' by Joshua Hoareau, also winning  the North Bondi RSL Prize for best film on Returning Veterans.


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

M. Butterfly - The Tim Maley: FreeWee Ling Trans-Pacific Collaboration

Artist Tim Maley connects with 3D Artist/Curator FreeWee Ling through her avatar in Second Life
A remarkable Trans-Pacific art collaboration came full circle on Tuesday the 8th of July with the launch of the 'Tim Maley Butterfly Garden' on UWA's artspace in the virtual world of Second Life.

Tim is a studio artist for the Disability in the Arts, Disadvantage in the Arts WA (DADAA)
stARTSPEAK Project, and this collaboration was one of the results of the vision of Professor Ted Snell in bringing together Simone Flavelle of DADAA and Jay Jay Jegathesan of UWA. They worked together to bring about The Freedom Project which called for artists and filmmakers from around the globe who self identified as having a disability or chronic illness, to create an artwork or a film or in fact a personal story on the theme of ‘Freedom’, showing how virtual worlds have in some way helped them or those around them.From that successful partnership, this new one took shape.

Tim's beautiful drawings lent themselves especially well for 'reimagining' in the virtual world. Kentucky based UWA Curator of Virtual Arts FreeWee Ling used Tim's drawings as templates, bringing hundreds of them to life on a floating garden in Second Life. As she explained, "I was asked to create a butterfly garden using some crayon drawings Tim made. The drawings seem childlike at first glance, but I grew to appreciate Tim's sense of color and design. Each drawing is unique and interesting in its own way. As I invariably discover when I have time to really look at art and to live with it for while, my appreciation for its subtleties deepens. This certainly happened with Tim's pictures."

Anyone in the world can now visit the Tim Maley Butterfly Garden in Second life, by clicking THIS LINK. The link provided is a direct teleport link to the location of the garden, and anyone who already has a Second Life account will be able to teleport there direct. Anyone who does not yet have an account will be directed toward the account creation pages for Second Life, where in a  few simple steps, one can obtain an 'avatar' and log in.


Tim's artwork was used as the template for the creation of hundreds of butterflies flying around in virtual space
Special guests at the launch included Tim's family and Kate Campbell-Pope, Tim's stARTSPEAK art studio mentor.


Jay Jay explained, "What has been the most remarkable thing as far as art in the virtual world goes, is the ability of this medium to bring the artwork of an artist in some far flung corner of this earth to a global audience. I have been lucky to be able to interact and work with artists from all over the world including the Balears Islands in Spain, Martinique in the French Carribean, Serbia, the mountains of wales, and many more. I have leanrt from them that their art which once had an audience of the total number of people in their villages or towns has now grown to one which spans the earth."
.
(L-R) Simone Flavelle, Robert, Dale & Tim Maley with Kate Campbell-Pope

Images of the garden and the process of creation can be seen on FreeWee's Picasa Web Album.



Eliminating a headache faced by all SL virtual educators!

I just want to teach!

One of the most common issues raised by virtual teachers in Second Life (SL) is how to get new students up to speed with the fundamentals. You know - walk, talk, navigate – that stuff. For those with little or no experience in 3D environments it’s not easy to pick up SL’s basics, however these are the skills that underpin everything we do in world. Needless to say a solid set of foundation competencies is vital to the success of any learning endeavour. The problem is that eradicating SL newbie-ness takes time - many would argue lots of time.



But they’ve been to Learning Island and they’ll pick up the rest…

Poor Mervin! He decided to enhance his students’ learning with some virtual classes. He worked hard creating the lessons and setting everything up in Second Life but there was limited time left in the semester. Mervin asked his students to complete SL’s Learning Island training so that he could forego the basics and get down to real teaching right off the bat. Mervin’s first lesson, so carefully planned and well thought out, quickly slid into mayhem. His students’ chat text reeked of desperation, “What’s this…?”, “I’m lost…”, “I can’t work this out.”, “How do I …?”, “OMG these menus…!”, “HELP!”.

Mervin’s result was far from the positive introduction to virtual learning that he’d hoped his students would experience. The first destination for all new SL residents is Learning Island. It’s there that they pick up some introductory skills, but this approach has its limitations. Unless educators offer students additional guidance they tend to blunder around confused and frustrated. 

The golden rule: better prepared students means less virtual drama!

So what’s the solution?

Module Map
Many virtual educators in SL create their own introductory sessions and learning resources which is great. But for those who have nothing in place yet or are looking for a flexible alternative, then the Second Life basics series may be just what’s needed. It’s new, it’s different, it’s flexible and all the work has been done for you!

Hosted by us, the University of Western Australia (UWA in SL), the series contains 5 modules, founded on a blended learning model - eLearning and virtual learning. 

A two tier approach

The SL basics series imparts key newbie skills using a two tier approach:

       1.      Knowledge
The core learning concepts are covered in interactive, online modules that are accessed on our Moodle MOOC site, SLeducate.info. The modules contain explanations, demos and tips on a wide range of fundamental SL skills. Each main module is supplemented with a matching Cheat Sheet and other helpful info that can be downloaded. 

       2.     Practice and mastery
But it’s not all theory! The main modules incorporate in world Practice Activities, giving the learners the opportunity to apply and master their new skills as they progress. To assist the learners there’s an Activity Station in world that aligns with the modules. When clicked, it gives people module information, URL links that open the online materials inside SL and lots of other helpful resources. 

Some of the key features of the SL basics series

·         Centralised and accessible
The site stores a wide range of SL beginner information at a single web destination. Yep, no more jumping all over the web hunting things down! This is accessible by anyone, anywhere and at any time – virtual teachers, students and those who are simply curious about exploring virtual life.
·         Engaging
The SL basics series is fun, interactive and encourages learning via experimentation and play.
·        Thorough and sequenced
The series imparts a comprehensive set of fundamental Second Life skills in a logical, sequential order. There are 5 modules that contain further bite-sized elements called main modules. The series does not pay lip service to SL’s basic skills; it treats them as vital prerequisites but it’s also… 
·        Flexible
Flexibility underpins every aspect of the SL basics series. It’s almost made of rubber! The modules can be introduced and undertaken different ways to cater for a variety of learning needs and preferences, for example: complete everything in the series or do a selection of the modules; complete an entire module or only the parts that you need; learn solo or as a group; self-directed learning or entire/partial teacher led instruction; explore the additional optional resources or skip these.
·         Ease of navigation
The overall series and each main module has a summary so end users can see what skills are covered where. Once a main module is accessed, a table of contents and other built in navigation tools enable users to view a topic list and skip from screen to screen with ease. 
SLeducate's Activity Station in SL
·         Resources
The website contains helpful, optional materials that can be viewed online, downloaded by users or used as teaching aids, e.g. Cheat Sheets and shortcut key lists. And the Activity Station in SL offers even more helpful info and resources. 
·         Practical and effective
The series integrates fun, SL Activities that allow learners to practice and master the skills. The skills covered in the modules are generic but, to ensure the Activities really hit the mark, teachers are able tailor them any way they like. They can simply provide students with customised or alternative module Activities outlining what, how and where.
·         Pulling it all together
Each module covers a discreet set of skills. The final Activity is a Finders Keepers Hunt that ties everything together by drawing on all the skills covered throughout the series. Using clues, the learners find items hidden in various SL locations. Of course there are rewards - each item gives gifts!
·         Timing
The maximum duration of any main module in the series is 15 minutes and the majority are less, excluding the time to complete the Activities. As a rough rule of thumb we recommend allowing a minimum of 2.5 to 3 hours to complete the series. Some will find they require more or less time than this.  Timing varies between individuals and on the basis of the delivery approach.
·        Community, support and help
Learners don’t feel isolated, even if studying is asynchronously. There’s a supportive SLeducate group they can join in world. As a member of the community they are able to approach the group for help and advice whenever needed. Teachers and anyone else
(maybe you?) can join this group too or, if preferred, students can join a group their teacher establishes and seek assistance that way.
·        SL glossaries
SL is full of odd terms and phrases. To help with this the site has comprehensive, searchable SL glossaries, known as SLictionaries, which cover a wide range of SL terms and text chat abbreviations.
·         Educators’ resources
The SLeducate website contains Virtual Educator resources that offer SL teachers and corporate trainers helpful info, ideas and tips in .pdf and video formats.
·         Techy stuff
A viewer is the software users install on their computer to drive SL. The module demonstrations are based on the Firestorm viewer. The SL basics series can be viewed on any flash enabled device. 

Delivery options
One of the big advantages for virtual educators is that the SL basics series can be successfully implemented without taking up a lot of precious teaching time. However, if a hands-on role is preferred, that’s also easy to achieve. Some of the delivery alternatives are listed below. There are pros and cons to each option so teachers need to decide which is best for them, their learning strategy and their students.
  • Set the entire series or a selection (modules and activities) as prerequisite learning for     students to complete before in-world classes commence.
  • Run the entire series or a selection (modules and activities) in a classroom setting, with students learning at their own pace or with a display on a central screen. If using this method, you’d need to allow individuals to complete the practice activities in Second Life. With access to a computer lab, this could be done with all at the same SL location and at the same time or in the learner’s own time.
  • Ask the students complete one or several modules themselves by a set date and then complete the associated SL practice activities in a classroom environment.
  • Complete one or several modules in the classroom and ask the students to complete the associated SL practice activities themselves by a set date.

Get involved!

If anyone would like to join the SLeducate Group, there's a group joiner at the Activity Station in SL. It's a worthy undertaking. The main role of experienced members is to form part of the community that offers chat support to the newbies who are completing the SL basics series.

Want to check it out?


http://SLeducate.info













The website and all its resources are available to help anyone, anywhere and at any time. There’s lots to take in, so here are a few links to get you started.


We hope this is a helpful tool for virtual teachers, students and others. All the best!

Jay Jay Jegathesan (Jay Jay Zifanwe: SL)
Coordinator, UWA in SL
Manager, School of Physics, University of Western Australia

** Editors Note
This incredible series was put together by Carmsie Melodie whose energy and drive saw all of this come together into a finished product that should be of great value to all educators and students who use Second Life. Thank you Carmsie.


LEA FULL SIM ART SERIES (July 2014): Miso Susanowa's 'State of Mind II'


Among the pioneering champions of art in Second Life, Miso Susanowa takes the lead for the July round of the 4th cycle of the LEA Full SIM Art series at LEA 6. A full list of the LEA Full SIM offering since inception in 2011 can be found HERE.  Anyone interested in applying for any month between Oct 2014 and Jan 2015, please contact Jayjay Zifanwe with your interest and preferred month.
 
A STATE OF MIND II: 

LAUNCH: All Day 12th July 2014
LOCATION: HERE AT LEA 6
SPECIAL EVENT WITH DJ: 19th JULY (Time TBA)

In Miso's words:


"Four years ago, in April 2010 "State of Mind" made its first appearance... pre-Chelsea Manning, pre-Thomas Drake, pre-Edward Snowden, pre-Julian Assange... what looked like overblown paranoia and cynicism then has only confirmed our deepest fears about the shadow world and its effect on our lives. This is the struggle of our time; come and experience the installation; read the new material about tools and techniques to take back your internet."

.
 

.
 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Alfonso Garavito Olivar, Secret Rage, Vilvi Rae, Tutsy Navarathna & Rysan Fall among Project Homeless Film Finalists


In a coup for Machinima, films by Alfonso Garavito Olivar, Secret Rage, Tutsy Navarathna, Rysan Fall and Vilvi Rae have been selected as finalists along with 17 other conventional film for 'Project Homeless 2014'. All these films will be screened at the award ceremony on Friday the 11th of July at the Riverside Theatres, in Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia.


Project Homeless 2014 is a Challenge run by Screen My Shorts Inc & UWA in partnership with and sponsored by the Parramatta City Council. Here entrants of all ages, cultures and ability were invited to submit original creative digital content (conventional film and/or machinima) and win a share of the AUD 10,000 (L$2.28 Million) cash and prizes (with at least AUD 700  reserved for Machinima), and have their works exposed on the international stage. 

The full selection of finalists can be found HERE. Links to the conventional film that have been selected as finalists will be made available following the award ceremony


 
RYSAN FALL's 'The Invisible City' 
Conversations with the homeless.

 
SECRET RAGE's 'How Did I Get Here' 
The connection between addiction and homelessness and just how precarious our lives really are.

 
TUTSY NAVARATHNA's 'Homeless' 
Working for the few.


Sun dog from Vilvi on Vimeo.

VILVI RAE's 'Sun Dog' 
Conflict at home is the main reason for leaving





ALFONSO GARAVITO OLIVAR's 'Lost in War' 
Returning Veterans

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Victoria Lenoirre's Review of LEA6 A Maze In Grace, Krystali Rabeni

Greetings everyone,

 Krystali Rabeni's latest work, A Maze In Grace,  in SL opened on June 6th.

I landed at her FAYWND TERRACE, the landing point, which she created under her LOVE brand. It is a lovely build you can rezz and position with the help of a rez faux. It is lovely and elegant with its arches and steps. She has so many wonderful naturistic builds for LOVE. If you weren't sure of them after viewing them on Marketplace, you will be if you teleport down to LEA6 this month.

The landing area is in the middle of her installation. It separates the 2 halves of the maze. The entire sim, except for the landing point is the maze.

Landing area and surrounding maze @ A Maze In Grace, LEA6


You should see a sign which you can click to learn about the maze. It says,



A MAZE IN GRACE.


Labyrinths are arguably mankind’s first creation borne purely of human imagination. Today, labyrinths and mazes cradle millennia of legend and folklore in their twisted articulations. 

Labyrinth and maze imagery has at different periods of time in various parts of the world been associated with all aspects of human life. It has been used as a symbol of fertility and birth, as well as one of purgatory and death. It has religious and meditative importance in Hindu, Christian, Islamic, Buddhist and Shamanic rituals. 

The maze you see has no map, just as life has no map. It is not perfect, just as life is not perfect. Take your time as you wander along the watery path through the twists and turns until you reach the center where you will find a celestial labyrinth. Some will take the long path, some will take the short path through the maze but there is no rush, no race, no time, just you and your thoughts.

Keep a watchful eye along your way for 'A maze in Grace' and a solitary koi carp. You may see them, you may not. It all depends on what you want to see.

Koi Symbolism

Many of the attributes of the koi symbolize several lessons and even trials individuals often encounter in life. The koi fish has a powerful and energetic life force, demonstrated by its ability to swim against currents and even travel upstream. Some of the characteristics associated with the koi include:

Good fortune
Success
Prosperity
Longevity
Courage
Ambition
Perseverance

I wish the above to each and every one of you.

Please enjoy

Krystali Rabeni.




The maze is made up of grass and water. The paths are of water. Before you step into the maze you see a sign that says, "KEEP OFF THE GRASS".

Were you able to find the koi? I have not found it yet. Keep looking and perhaps you will find it.

Krystali's work is a gentle masterpiece. I took the time to ask her some questions.

Besides grace, what do swans symbolize? How many swans are there?

* Symbolism of the swan is closely tied with symbolism of water based on the swan's environment. When observing swans, one finds that they closely connect with water and also nest near the water. Common symbolism of water includes fluidity, intuition, dreaming, emotions and creativity. Therefore, the swan may symbolize a person's dreamier depths, feelings and emotions. For me Second Life is also symbol of this  Along side of this idea, observe a swan and you will see that it gracefully glide through the water leaving hardly a ripple behind. Their natural, effortless beauty reminds us to move gently through the currents of life and not fight against them.

There are 220 swans. This occurred by accident which I later found out has a deep and spiritual meaning:  The number 220 is a blend of the attributes and vibrations of the numbers 2, 22 and 0. Number 2 resonates with duality and polarity, service to others, faith and trust and intuition, insight, encouragement and your life purpose. The number 2 appears twice, relating it to the Master Number 22  -  the number of philanthropy and service to humanity.  Number 22 is the number of Archangel Raphael and resonates with vision, practicality and common sense.  Number 0 vibrates with the ‘God force’ and Universal Energies and amplifies and magnifies the attributes of the numbers it appears with.  Number 0 a message to do with developing one’s spiritual aspects and is considered to represent the beginning of a spiritual journey and highlights the uncertainties that may entail.  This number and symbolism walks hand in hand with the meaning of mazes/labyrinths throughout history.

Did you create all the pieces in the maze?

*Yes

Nice play on the words amazing grace. Were you or are you a religious or spiritual person?

*I'm more spiritual than religious.

Why did you choose the name?

*Grace doesn’t mean only the ability to live a balanced life, it is also being able to be at home in many planes of reality, to see that we are more than we appear to be - we are both physical and spiritual beings. We are souls having a human experience.

What or where did you get the inspiration to build a maze in the water? I think it's an original idea.

* I like to create pieces that cause people to look at things in a different light or from an unusual angle to show that rules can be broken and don't always have to have an adverse affect. Many people avoid water i.e rain and puddles. I'd like to think anyone walking through the water in the maze progresses from being unsure to a gentle calmness to an inner peace.

You are the creator of the LOVE brand, when was it founded? Is LOVE an acronym?

*The LOVE brand was created in August of 2008 and is something I have enjoyed building and it is actually an acronym.
               L = Life's
               O = Only
               V = Valuable
               E = Emotion

Will a version of your maze be available to the public under your brand name?

* Yes I think a garden size version and possibly a quarter sim size also.

Maya Angelou passed away very recently, if you had to deliver a eulogy for her what would you say? To so many she symbolized strength, persistence, and passion in life. She will be deeply missed.

* I think all I could say for Maya Angelou would simply be' Thank You'.

Do you have any other art installations in SL or any future ones planned?

* Yes I have an installation called 'Time For Freedom' at the SL11B..Second Life Birthday celebrations and also an installation called 'We Will Still Need Water' at Burn2 Conception.

Krystali  is such a talented lady. She owns a store in SL called LOVE Skins & Shapes. You can find her builds and more  at marketplace.

Please come and wade through this watery maze and feel the grace all around you. It is now at LEA6 all of this month!

Have fun and enjoy the art!

- Victoria Lenoirre