Art in Second Life 2022 (10) Harriet Tubman – Hero by London Junkers

I got an invitation from London Junkers to see his latest installation “Harriet Tubman – Hero” at The Eye Arts.
The Eyes Art is another place for the art, unknown to me until now: “an open, free and shared space where the diversities disappear. The opportunity to look at Art with multiple eyes and infinite visions in the real, dreamlike and virtual world. You are welcome to be part of it.

London adviced me turn Advanced Lighting Model on (I have that turned on always anyway) and to set my environment to sunset. But the most important hint he gave me was to read the poem at the fireplace first.
London Junker’s installions are visualisations of poems. I saw his installations “Thunderous Train Of Air” (read here) and “Marking the Twain” (read here) in 2021.

The landmark brought me directly in front of the above mentioned fireplace. It’s not just a fireplace, it looks like the center of a living room in an old luxury manor. At the right sight you find a stand with an open book – the poem.
The poem is a dedicated to the life and the work of Harriet Tubman. Those who are familiar with American history might have heard of her – I haven’t heard about her so far and looked her up on wikipedia. The entry is quite long and a lesson in history. But for the understanding of the poem and the istallation is is important to know about it.

London Junkers poem about Harriet Tubman – Hero

Harriet Tubman (1822 – 1913) was an American abolitionist and political activist. Born into slavery, Tubman escaped and subsequently rescued approximately 70 enslaved people, including family and friends. During the American Civil War, she served as an armed scout and spy for the Union Army. In her later years, Tubman was an activist in the movement for women’s suffrage.

Born enslaved in Dorchester County, Maryland, Tubman was beaten and whipped by her various masters as a child. Early in life, she suffered a traumatic head wound when an irate overseer threw a heavy metal weight at her head. The injury caused dizziness, pain, and spells of hypersomnia, which occurred throughout her life. After her injury, Tubman began experiencing strange visions and vivid dreams, which she ascribed to premonitions from God. These experiences, combined with her Methodist upbringing, led her to become devoutly religious.

In 1849, Tubman escaped to Philadelphia, only to return to Maryland to rescue her family soon after. Slowly, one group at a time, she brought relatives with her out of the state, and eventually guided dozens of other enslaved people to freedom. Traveling by night and in extreme secrecy, Tubman (or “Moses”, as she was called) “never lost a passenger”. After the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was passed, she helped guide fugitives farther north into British North America (Canada). Tubman met John Brown in 1858, and helped him plan and recruit supporters for his 1859 raid on Harpers Ferry.

pictures taken from wikipedia

In the American Civil War she was the first woman to lead an armed expedition in the war, she guided the raid at Combahee Ferry, which liberated more than 700 enslaved people. After the war, she retired to the family home on property she had purchased in 1859 in Auburn, New York, where she cared for her aging parents. She was active in the women’s suffrage movement until illness overtook her, and she had to be admitted to a home for elderly African Americans that she had helped to establish years earlier. She became an icon of courage and freedom.
(excerpt from wikipedia entry about Harriet Tubman)

With this background and the poem London Junkers’ installation can develop it’s fascination. With just a few scenes brought together into one installation, London visualized Harriet’s life and the poem, that he wrote about her.

Impressions of “Harriet Tubman – Hero” by London Junkers at The Eyes Art (1)

There is the luxury living room with the entrances to mines on it’s left and right side, that might symbolize the contrast between the lifes of the black slaves and their owners on one side of the installation. It is seperated with a huge wall from the outside. On the other side you see Harriet Tubman as a larger-than-life angelic figure with a pregant woman and two children at her feet. One child is still carrying broken chains. From the left and the right side wolfs are attacking and bullets fly through the air, symbolizing Harriet’s work rescuing other slaves and bringing them into security during the Civil war.

Impressions of “Harriet Tubman – Hero” by London Junkers at The Eyes Art (2)

London Junkers’ installation “Harriet Tubman – Hero” stands against slavery, against opression and is a tribute to a real brave woman. Thank you London for this installation, for the poem and for remembering us, that nothing is a given and that everyone can make a real difference. And thank you all at “The Eye Arts” who were involved in enabling this installation. I enjoyed my visit and writing about it.

During my little research I also came across another blog entry about “Harriet Tubman – Hero” by London Junkers in the artcorner blog.

Landmark to “Harriet Tubman – Hero” by London Junkers at The Eye Arts
Wikipedia entry about Harriet Tubman
Artkorner blog entry about “Harriet Tubman – Hero” by London Junkers

Art in Second Life 2021 (98) Thunderous Train Of Air by London Junkers

London Junkers invited me to experience his newest installation named “Thunderous Train of Air“. The installation is set up at Kuidvis Art Space, a project that unites art in rl and sl and that offers the artists a chance to show their creativity. Kuidvis Art Space is founded and curated by lylaya.

To best view this installation set your viewer to Shared Environment and turn advance lighting model on. To understand the piece it is (more than) highly recommended the click the book right at where you land or at the center of the round floor to receive a poem, which inspired this installation. To read it, just add the object you will receive.

The poem is written by London Junkers, as far as I understood it. And he wrote it for Ruth Stone, an American poet, author, and teacher (1915-2011).

In the wikipedia entry for Ruth Stone the American journalist and author Elizabeth Gilbert tells a story about Stone’s writing style and inspiration, which she had shared with Gilbert:

As [Stone] was growing up in rural Virginia, she would be out, working in the fields and she would feel and hear a poem coming at her from over the landscape. It was like a thunderous train of air and it would come barrelling down at her over the landscape. And when she felt it coming . . . ’cause it would shake the earth under her feet, she knew she had only one thing to do at that point. That was to, in her words, “run like hell” to the house as she would be chased by this poem.
The whole deal was that she had to get to a piece of paper fast enough so that when it thundered through her, she could collect it and grab it on the page. Other times she wouldn’t be fast enough, so she would be running and running, and she wouldn’t get to the house, and the poem would barrel through her and she would miss it, and it would “continue on across the landscape looking for another poet.”
And then there were these times, there were moments where she would almost miss it. She is running to the house and is looking for the paper and the poem passes through her. She grabs a pencil just as it’s going through her and she would reach out with her other hand and she would catch it. She would catch the poem by its tail and she would pull it backwards into her body as she was transcribing on the page. In those instances, the poem would come up on the page perfect and intact, but backwards, from the last word to the first.

Impressions of “Thunderous Train of Air” by London Junkers (1)

London Junkers took this story and made a poem of it, a poem for Ruth Stone. And he not only wrote the poem, he also visualized it in Second Life. His installation has all elements mentioned in the story and the poem: The running girl, the thunderstorm, the whirlwind, the sun, the winged stars, the fields of wheat, the paper and the pen to write down the poem, the sun and light that breaks through the clouds, the dark air. And yes your can almost feel the “Thunderous Train of Air“.

Impressions of “Thunderous Train of Air” by London Junkers (2)

London Junkers is in Second Life for more than 13 years. He runs a store for Gothic clothes “Lnlsquare” in Second Life and, he writes and he visualizes (his) short stories and poems in 3D.

Landmark to “Thunderous Train Of Air” by London Junkers at Kuidvis art space
Kuidvis art space flickr
Gothic clothes “Lnlsquare”

Art in Second Life 2021 (83) “Marking the Twain” by London Junkers

After my visit to the exhibition “Sinners and Saints” (read here) I had contact to London Junkers, one of the artists who contributed to “Sinners and Saints”.

London invited me to see his latest exhibtion at United Artists of SL (UASL). The exhibition is called “Marking the Twain“. At the entrance you get an important hint “Welcome to London Junker’s Marking the Twain, to enjoy this installation better please use midnight setting or use Shared environment, then read the story in the poster on the entrance billboard. Thank you. enjoy.”

I won’t publish the whole story here, as it would spoil your experience, just a few words to understand what you can see and experience when visiting:
Standing atop that old steamer boat with clouds touching us while we flew across the skies; his face was familiar, rigid and wise, and he looked majestic against the thin line on the horizon, where the gray light exploded in a boom of colour with his presence.
He was the captain of that ship. THe captain of that creature I was riding on my way South. And I guess I was a cadet under his command…..
His name was Samuel, oh yeah, I remember that name, and boy if I loved the man who owned itm and all those Summer days and starry nights, when we went on all our adventures, together, marking the twain.
(London Junkers)

Impressions of “Marking the Twain” by London Junkers (1)

The installation has just a few elements. There’s the big old steamer boat that flies over the water and touches the cloulds. It is a big boat and on the upper deck you can recognize Samuel, standing there tall and confident having full control. On your way to the steamer boat you may notice a fisher on the shore. But he’s not fishing fish. Intead you see letters floating on the water.

Some ink drops into the water from a big fountain pen .. forming the letters.. that will once become a story. You must just fish the right letters and put them together in the right way. One who was alble to do that was Mark Twain. The steamer boat with all it’s details stands for his most renowned story about Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. I admit I only read this one book of Mark Twain,

You can find some details on the steamer boat, like the golden bell in front of it. Or like benches with books from mark twain laying on them.

Impressions of “Marking the Twain” by London Junkers (2)

The installation along with the beautiful written story is one piece of art, they belong together.

I’ve never been to United Artists of SL (UASL) before: “UASL is a relaxed group of artists in SL that share and communicate regarding various art events and opportunities open to the artist community. We encourage people to use their imagination and to continue to learn different methods of creating art. We fully support other artist groups. As well, we manage and host our own events. This is for art related events, not club or DJ events.
UASL offers several different areas for artist to experiment or to exhibit. UASL has a management team consisting of Riannah Avora, CheloBaron and RainCat Furstinna of North (vihmakass).
For more information either visit their website or read the notecard that you will get when you visit “Marking the Twain” by London Junkers.

Thank you London for your installation. I enjoyed my visit!
Thank you UASL for enabling this installation.

Landmatk to “Marking the Twain” by London Junkers @ UASL
United Artists of SL (UASL) website

Art in Second Life 2021 (75) Sinners and Saints

Following Inara Pey’s blog I came across the exhibtion “Sinners and Saints” (read her article here). Thank you Inara for blogging about it

Sinners and Saints” extends over the two sims “Sinful Retreat” and “Angels Rest Arts Collective”. The provided landmark leads you into the center, right close to the sim border, that is indicated on the floor.
And just like the exhibition extends almost seamlessly over the two sims, the landmark descriptions of the two sims fit together:

Sinful Retreat is a land where worlds and times collide. A virtual playground where artists are welcomed with open arms to show their works. Home of the Janus Galleries and Janus Java.
Where art and music collide in an immersive environment for the senses. Curated by Chuck Clip, Angels Rest is the sister sim and mirror to Sinful Retreat with a focus on the performing arts and large 3D art installations.

Chuck Clip is a graphic designer, prim sculptor, co-owner of Sinful Retreat & Angels Rest, and co-curator of the Janus Galleries. He and his RL wife and SL partner, Jewell, seek to help breathe new life into the SL art community.

Sinners and Saints – an overview. The sim boarder is in the center. Angels Rest to the left, Sinful Retreat to the right. In the center is the event area.

Inara Pey wrote about the background of the exhibtion “Sinners and Saints“:
First announced in February 2021 (see Inara Pey’s blog: Sinners and saints, a new arts challenge in Second Life), the exhibition is in many respects the spiritual offspring of the great Art Challenges sponsored and hosted by the University of Western Australia and their partners (both in-world and out-world), and organised by FreeWee Ling and Jayjay Zifanwe on behalf of UWA.

Sinners and Saints: Merranda Ginssberg “Imprisoned” and “Divine Intervention”

And furtheron Inara quoted the Sinful Retreat team in her blog:
In the wake of the UWA gratitude art show back in November which Chuck Clip curated alongside Maripose Upshaw, we here at Sinful Retreat and Angels Rest decided to carry UWA’s torch onward into the future in the form of occasional themed art shows. Sinenrs and Saints art show is our first show which serves the dual purpose of carrying the aforementioned torch and celebrating the culmination of our first year in Second Life.
Sinful Retreat and Angels Rest are mirrors for each other, highlighting the dichotomy of light and dark in the art and humanity as a whole. We thought it appropriate that our first show should reflect that … with submissions form 50 artists and poets from across the grid, and over 20 hours of performances by musicians and DJ’s, plus poetry and Science Fiction readings, this show is sure to encapsulate all of us and serve to start some interesting conversations.
(Sinful Retreat team)

Sinners and Saints: Exhibit 2021 by Dusty Canning

You can find the program of events on the Sinful Retreat website. On the website is also the list of participants.

There’s really a lot of art to see and enjoy, to immerse into and to experience how and with which stylistic means the artists expressed the contrast between Sinners and Saints, Light and Dark, Good and Evil.
The dark part is at Sinful Retreat, the light part at Angels Rest.

The 3D objects are in the center of the exhibition and the pictures are showcased at the walls. Most artists have 2 exhibtis, one on the Sinner side and one on the Angels side. Also many of the 3D art objects are created twice and contrasting.

Sinners and Saints: London Junkers “Diva” and “Muse”

As mentioned before the list of artists is long and compromises a lot of artists that I covered already in this blog as well as some of who I have never heard of before. Morlita Quan’s picture couple is exactly on the sim boarder hence it is easy to see the contrast. Other artists contrasting pictures are farer away but you can recognize each artists signature and the exhibits are also marked.

Sinners and Saints: Morlita Quan “Lights and Shadows” (upper left), ArtemisGreece “Dancing with the devil” (lower left), Hermes Kondor “Blue Memories” and “The Dark Side” (center), Meilo Minotaur “Metamorphosis Part 3” (right)

The exhibtion “Sinners and Saints” opened July 10th and will be open until September. You can get the current program of events on the Sinful Retreat Website. There you can also find a video clip (14 minutes) of the opening event.
To get notified of upcoing events and exhibition you can join the remote subscription in the center of the exhibition.

Thank you Chuck Clip for curating and organizing this great exhibtion. I spent one hour there and must return as I haven’t seen all yet. A big thank you also to all the participating artists who took the challenge.

Landmark to “Sinners and Saints” at Sinful Retreat & Janus Galleries
Sinful Retreat Website
List of participanting artists
Video of the opening event
Inara Pey’s blogpost “Sinners and Saints in Second Life”