Saturday, 22 September 2012

Cica Ghost's Black & White World

If everything isn’t black and white, I say, ‘Why the hell not?
- John Wayne, 1907 - 1979
For reasons I have never fully understood, the Linden Endowment for the Arts (LEA) seems to come in for a lot of stick from some quarters. Whether it is their endowment decisions, the composition of the panel itself, or in fact just about any other aspect of their work someone or other seems to find cause to criticise.
I have to say however, that in my opinion the LEA makes a very valuable contribution to SL generally. It has also enriched my personal SL by allowing me to see the work of various artists and creators that I would otherwise have been unlikely to get to see.
Indeed, many of the scenes in my own Fwd: Evolution film for MachnimUWA V were filmed on the LEA regions. When at a loose end I’ll often fly around the LEA regions or just visit the LEA sandbox to see what is new. I’ve met and chatted with a lot of creative and inspirational artists this way, and made some good friends along the way.
I am therefore one of those uncool people who have no reason to criticise the LEA as an organisation or individuals on the committee. Sorry about that.
I logged on last Tuesday to a message from Tutsy: “Hey. Come see this sim. I like it! It is very very original.” I wasn’t surprised to see that the teleport request asked me to join him on a LEA region – LEA13, to be precise.
I accepted the tp and as I rezzed noted that it was a whole-region parcel named “*Cica*”, was owned by Cica Ghost and was using only 1200-odd prims of the allocated 15,000.
Cica Ghost
As I greeted Tutsy and thanked him for the teleport, I watched the textures resolve to full clarity and realised that there were a lot of 32bit alpha textures about. I automatically calculated if I needed to adjust my draw distance or bandwidth settings. As it happened, I didn't but it is some kind of instinctive procedure or ritual I go through whenever I land on a new region. 
I waited for the colour to “pop” in…
And waited.
And finally realised I was in a black and white world....
Cica Ghost has created a world of her own. A cute world. A quirky world. A delightful world of love and togetherness.
It may be an oxymoron, but Cica’s black and white world is also a world full of colour.

What is so wonderful about this installation is that Cica’s gray scale sketches manage to endow her world with colour and with life – the colour comes from your own imagination; after a short while you almost become oblivious to the fact that it is simply grayscale. The life comes from the fact that many of the sketches are animated and have movement. Sadly the static photos on this blog-post cannot show the animated nature of the sketches and therefore fail to successfully convey just how moving the installation is, and how well it works as a whole.

Many of the individual pieces depict uncomplicated, simple activities like watering flowers, flying a kite, fishing from a bridge – we see a cat here, swans there, bird fly. Raindrops littered with little hearts create puddles in which stick people play.
It is all very beautiful, very innocent.
And very, very moving.

Other pieces show young lovers holding hands, kissing in the rain, playing catch with a ball…
Again, it is all very innocent and moving.
Cica has managed to communicate emotion in all of the pieces. Each is a small self-contained tale but within a wider narrative when considered as a whole installation.

The LEA has granted the region to Cica for a six month period. It is intended that two months is spent building the installation and for a further four months the installation is open to the public. As such, the installation isn’t yet finished or officially opened. Cica will often be seen there working, chatting and wandering around.
She is very friendly and approachable.

Even though not officially opened, please do not let that deter you from visiting! Already lots of people are visiting and enjoying! Traffic is currently measuring 4000, just by word-of-mouth. This is a real achievement and all credit to Cica as the creator, and to LEA for selecting this installation for an endowment.

To celebrate just how much we have enjoyed Cira’s work, Tutsy & I have been wearing ‘Stick Men’ avatars. They fit perfectly! You can get your own Stick Man avatar from the Marketplace for only 50 Linden Space Bux! They are great fun, especially when embellished with your own personal touches. They draw many comments from other visitors! 
I enjoyed this installation immensely. I am sure most visitors will too. It’s innocence and simplicity are its strengths. Although we all enjoy cerebral, sophisticated, complex and “hyper-real” art often it is refreshing to return to basic black and white ink and paper.
And, as John Wayne would say, "Why the hell not?"
Pixie xx

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