Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Soror Nishi: "Your computer screen is stained glass"

Posted by Bettina Tizzy

Every time I teleport to see a new creation by Soror Nishi, I feel the same kind of rush that I used to get when I would open up a fresh and fragrant pack of fruit-flavored Life Savers as a child. In fact, if I could eat prims, I think Soror’s trees would make a righteous summer lunch.

Soror is best known for her electrifying and primordial forests, "ancient trees," and bodacious flowers, but she also makes avatar adornments such as sinewy and curvilinear antlers, and brightly colored jewelry.

All photographs above by Lem Skall

Don't let Soror fool you, and she will, given the chance (she's a kidder, that one). In reality, she's a Brit, but has been known to describe herself as hailing from Harajuku, being the daughter of a flower seller and having a software magnate for a husband. In truth, she is an artist who invades our senses with her bold colors, and paints her textures rather than photograph them.

Soror Nishi

In a notecard that accompanied a recent art show of hers, I read that "Concerned about the diminishing native flora of Second Life®, she set about planting and nurturing the plants that the Lindens had cleared from the land with an over-grazing of goats and the like. Her work in preserving "the Ancient Ones" for future generations is well known, and her recent discoveries of rare orchids have generated much interest." She's like that. It is quite true.

There is nothing more difficult for a truly creative painter than to paint a rose, because before he can do so he has first to forget all the roses that were ever painted. - Henry Matisse

I used to associate Soror's exotic and glowing colors with the Mayan world, where every textile and craft dances in vivid shades, but she enhanced and modernized that view when I spoke with her.

Soror Nishi: I think that light through glass, which is what we are working with… is particularly suited to bright color. If you want earth colors, use oil paint.

Stained glass?

Soror Nishi: Yes. The computer screen is a stained glass. It is like television, which is badly used, really. The screen has amazing possibilities, but is best shown off with colors. The Simpsons for example... Virtual worlds have more in common with stained glass than with photography, and (our) failure to recognize this results in poor copies of boring everyday objects, architecture, flora and fauna. These colors belong in Second Life by virtue of the medium we use. The extensive attempts some make to populate this new world with "realistic" copies of the Old World show a colonial tendency to ignore the native culture and superimpose a pre-formed visual style.

Soror Nishi at Hotel Dare

Hotel Dare, conceived and curated by Gattina Dumpling, is a concept space that goes far beyond the typical gallery setting to feature the location-appropriate works of rotating artists who have been given a hotel "room" to do whatever they wish with it. Dare has relocated to the new Poetik sim and Gattina invited Soror to collaborate with CensoredMy Lunt and become a hotel "guest."

Open the typical hotel door to enter Soror and CensoredMy's "room" and find yourself walking through boldly colored tunnels infused with psychedelic particle effects...

... and strange mushrooms that you wouldn't dream of eating unless... well, I do believe that Les Fauves artists would have thought they'd died and gone to heaven.

Waiting at the end of the room is an explanation of what you have just experienced. I'll let you be surprised. Teleport directly to Poetik from here.

You can purchase Soror's landscape art, jewelry and accoutrements at Nishi Beach (teleport directly from here).