Category Archives: Art

Le Louvre in Second Life

My mind is really buzzing after an educational and thoroughly enjoyable late night in Second Life discovering the rich experience available at ‘Le Louvre’, Paris 1900, and I feel compelled to share this with you!


As a French teacher in RL, I love any opportunity to develop my own language skills, and there is no better way to do this than to be in the company of native speakers who also love exploring language.  As a ‘newbie’ 8 years ago, I met loads of them in Arcachon, a community of exceptionally friendly French people who offered friendship quickly and accepted you straight away.  Devlink Garside was one of these people, and over the time I have known him, I have really valued the language he has shared with me.  He is a natural teacher: always spotting ways of introducing me to new language by deliberately introducing a colloquial expression he knows I will not know, patiently explaining it, and making reference to it some time later just to check I still know it.  There is no doubt in my mind that language ‘sticks’ better when you have been fully immersed in a situation where you came across it for the first time, whether physically or emotionally.  The situations created by Dev are random, fun and memorable! Enough of the Devlink eulogy ..I will be embarrassing him and will return to him later.  Let’s get on to Le Louvre, a project in which he has played an important role which has great relevance for language learning.

The Paris 1900 team has always impressed me with their love of culture while still having fun. They hold slick, informative and entertaining events on a regular basis, and I cannot recommend them highly enough.  I have enjoyed many tours led by lively, talented members of the group.

Louvre info French
Olympe Rhode is the curator of a new, impressive exhibition of paintings at ‘Le Louvre’.  Let me give you a short walk-through ….

louvre landmark

Here is the slurl (the website address) for the island:

You arrive in Paris 1900, and admire the instantly recognisable landmarks.  While there, why not take a little drive around in a period car?  Just imagine that the sea you see in the distance is La Seine, flowing through the most beautiful city in the world ….


Ready for some culture?  Then get off at Le Louvre and walk through the door under the sign ‘Galerie des artistes’.

galerie des artistes 1_001

As you enter, you will be greeted by a charming, handsome man, who lifts his hat to you.  Ah les beaux jours!

galerie des artistes 1_002

There are three floors, and an attic space.


The ground floor (le rez-de-chaussée) houses works from Antiquity (pre- 5th century)

The first floor displays works from the 16th – 19th century.

premier étage_001
The third floor has art from the Middle Ages.

deuxième étage_001
The attic is called ‘la Petite Galerie’ and has temporary exhibitions and space for social events.  I was very honoured to be invited to the opening of the museum.  A nice excuse to buy a new frock!

The layout of the build is superb, and well-designed for people who may be new to Second Life.  As you walk around, you see the art works clearly without any obstacles and without having to use your mouse controls.  Bravo Netpat Igali!

And now.. the really important bit which brings us back to (Saint) Devlink Garside….!

To get the most out of this art gallery, whether you are interested in art or language or both, you simply MUST take time to use the cleverly designed HUD (Heads-Up Display) into which the team has put hours and hours of work.  This way you can easily access information about every item displayed, in English or French, as a summary in the HUD or as a separate detailed notecard which you can access from the side bar of the HUD.  Here are the steps, deliberately written for those who may be new to Second Life, but also hopefully of interest to others.

Click on any one of the pillars found on either side of the staircase on each floor.


You will receive a message that you have received an object named ‘HUD Le Louvre FR/EN’.  Select the option ‘Keep’.

Open up your inventory.  Go to ‘recent items’ then ‘objects’ to find your HUD


Activate the HUD by clicking on the object in your inventory and clicking ‘wear’ or ‘add to worn’  (the latter makes sure that the HUD does not replace anything you are already wearing in that spot, and can avoid embarrassment …!)

add to worn

The HUD appears at the bottom of your screen.  The default is the French version, with the Tricolore flag at the top left.

hud appears

Click on ‘help’ (the middle right box’ of instruction on how to use the HUD in both English and French.  (These instructions are explained in the following steps)  You will also receive a Landmark which goes into your inventory.  Use this at a later date to find the museum and/or to pass on to friends.

hud instructions

Click on the flag to select your language [Currently available in French = Tricolore OR English = Union Jack)

STEP 8 (and come back to this step for each fresh painting you visit)
Click on the painting for which you would like information

Read the summary in the HUD.

hud in French


If you would like more than the summary information, click on the ‘NOTE’ button in the side bar of the HUD – the top right box of the HUD

You will receive a message that you have received a notecard.  Select the option ‘Keep’.
request notecard in English
Read the notecard!  You can resize this so that you can see both the picture and the notes on your screen.

read notecard in English

For language lovers, take the cards in both French and English by toggling between the French and English versions, and learn the other language through comparing the parallel texts.

Before leaving the museum, don’t forget to tip the gallery, remembering how much it costs the Paris 1900 to maintain the SIM (a full region costs $1000 and costs 295$ a month to maintain.. so nearly $5,000 a year, or £3,500), and how little Lindens are worth  (10$ / £7.00 = 2,500 Linden dollars, so 1$/70p = 250 Lindens).   You will all have your own approach, but mine is to think that each visit to a venue is worth at least the cost of a big chocolate bar.  So 250 Lindens seems a very small price to pay for each visit, and if you can afford more, that’s even better!  (I can say this because I am a visitor!  I often find that SIM owners are embarrassed to ask for money .. but they are providing the means of our entertainment!))

tip jar

There is also a Guest book where you can leave your comments.  When I looked there were 8 comments.  I will return now and leave a comment and a link to this blogpost.

guest book musée du louvre

And finally.. to return to my idol, Devlink!  (Are you still reading this Dev, or have you run away in embarrassment?)  Dev has invested hours in research and helping to translate the notecards which give information about the works of art.  That’s where I came in, albeit briefly, and where I rediscovered the power of what I believe is known as ‘tandem learning’ (two equals helping each other with learning each other’s language) and immersion.

louvre translations_001

Dev and I spent at least 90 minutes looking at the notecard for one painting, debating the correct translations from French into English.  Staring at words for a long time, poring over their meaning is not only a satisfying activity per se, but it also ensures that words ‘stick’ in your mind!  The delightful ‘extra’ in this activity is that you are also learning a great deal about art and, in the case of ‘The Lictors’, about history.  Of-course I had heard of Brutus before.  I have also seen David’s painting hanging in the real life Louvre.  But to be absolutely honest, I had never really bothered to find out more.

Thank you Paris 1900 for providing this beautiful experience.  Merci Devlink pour le cours de français! Continue reading


Playground of Love

Playground of Love – Prajna Seetan & Robin Moore (Opened 3/3/11)

 I was so pleased to meet Robin Moore in the imaginative setting of Naxoos’ Seraphin Island featuring luminous gravestones, velvety blue landscapes and assorted  wild animals. 


He later took me to the build he was creating with his partner Prajna Seetan entitled ‘The Playgorund of Love’, and yesterday he gave me an individual tour of the art and clever animations within a build where you can track the all-too-common story of love … the romantic beginnings (proposals and exchange of rings),


 the arguments about money,

Financial conflict

the storming off, the burden and fragility of love,

The weight yet fragility of lovethe universal quest for love!  (Does that sound arty enough?! .. see below for the artist’s words, which are much better!). 

Whether you are interested in original art created by Prajna, the lifelike animations created by Robin, or the idea of acting out a story with the help of the freebie gifts along the way, this place is definitely a place to visit .. preferably with friends!  Enter the door which says ‘no entry’ .. climb up the stairs .. click on the key at the top .. and see what happens! 

Thank you Robin for the tour, and I really hope that lots of people will visit and enjoy!  I have posted some photos I took on Flickr (not very arty .. one day I may try to compose the pictures in the way that my good friend Devlink has patiently explained!) .. if you like surprises, perhaps it is best not to look at them yet …

 Here is the notecard you receive on entry …

 First of all, thank you for coming to see what we call:


 This work is inspired by Prajna Seetan´s pictures.

And then how I put it into context, using metaphors, and humour.

There are many hidden Poses, and things to think about.

 The key words:

  •  Poetic.
  • A world of paradox.
  • Love in many facets, and with many faces.
  • Projecting love to the playground.
  • Merry-go-round.
  • Caged in stuff, cooped up stuff.
  • Atmospheres that are a little retro, and a bit playful.
  • Our need to look out, and see the world.
  • Reversed melody umbrella.
  • Singing with your own beak.
  • Key to open the metal heart.
  • Lighten the heart.
  • The heart that weighs tons loving.
  • Love is fragile.
  • Everybody just want to be loved.

 We suggest that you when you get inside, take a seat in the chair,

Sit on the chair - images float past

 and cam in and let the images pass slowly while you are sitting, and many nice views will float over your screen.

Of-course you can take pictures, if you like.

Please explore the exhibit with an open mind.

 Kind regards

 Prajna Seetan & Robin Moore

 A link to Prajna Seetan’s photostream   

PopArtDisplay with Andy Warhol!

PopArtDisplay Tour Jan 2011

Last night I enjoyed a third guided tour of the wonderful PopArtDisplay – this time concentrating on the work of Andy Warhol on floors 7-10. After a sociable ‘gathering’ accompanied by impromptu guitar playing from Claudio, we set off for the ninth floor, led by the beautifully-spoken Matteus.  The organisers cleverly kept Italian and English speakers informed by using the audio channel for the simultaneous English translation of Matteus’ comprehensive commentary.  (Well done Zorro for your English, your patience and your lovely sense of hunour!).  If you have not visited this place, YOU MUST!  My photos on Flickr do not do justice to the whole, truly ‘immersive’ experience.  Future tours take place on Mondays.  Arrivederci!

Soup cans as icons


I am really looking forward to tonight for  a third guided tour [details at the bottom of this post] of a new art space I have encountered recently.  These are my impressions from several visits, and I have added my very amateur photos to Helen’s Flickr stream.

 I continue to be impressed by the talent and imagination of artists in Second Life and enthused by the experience of being surrounded and immersed in art.  I had already experienced the quality of the work of eros Boa and Matteus Taurog in an  Immersiva Tour, so I knew that I would not be disappointed by the ‘PopArtDisplay’ project in which they are involved. 

Matteus guides us

 The gallery is on 10 levels.  The landing point is at the top (level 1), and you gradually work your way down the floors.  Helen say she sometimes gets overwhelmed by size, and worries that she might ‘miss’ some important works.  But somehow, these designers have come up with a layout which is very clear .. you just instinctively know how to walk through and experience everything.  And I really felt the same sense of ‘size’ which Helen described when she visited MOMA (Museum of Modern Art) in New York a couple of years ago.  Incredible.

Large scale exhibit

Karelia immerses in poster

When I visited on my own, I spent a long time just looking at the pictures, and enjoyed the fun bit of getting into the pictures, becoming the main protagonist.  I could either do this as myself, or I could click on a box and ‘wear’ the clothes or shape of someone else.  At Helen’s school, the art teachers sometimes get he pupils to ‘act’ out cameos featured in paintings they study, and somehow this really brings things ‘to life’.  Helen would not have dared to have done this at the MOMA!

Karelia meets Warhol

 I have already attended two superb guided visits, enhanced by enjoying the quality and tone of Matteus’ lovely Italian voice and his precise content  (OK, I don’t understand every word, but I get the ‘gist’, I just love the language, and, as observed by Gwen, there does not seem to be a wasted word)  and the company of friends whom I ‘TP-ed’!  I hope that tonght someone else gets asked to make a comment at the end of the tour .. I was a bit embarrassed at my feeble attempt to contribute something when asked to by Matteus!  But I wasn’t made to feel stupid, which is good!

Immersed in the moon

Marilyn dances


The evening finished with a dance in PopArt surroundings.  I copied Gwen, put on my Marilyn Monroe outfit and danced in a globe.  (Not the most flattering profile!).

Marilyn seated


To find out more, go to the dedicated website, join the group and come along to the guided visits.  It can affect your life….  I could not resist buying a box of PopArt tissues in the supermarket yesterday

PopArt Kleenex female

PopArt Kleenex!


and on seeing this exhibit at the end of the tour, Helen was compelled to eat sweets …

Sweets for Karelia

‘Mission statement’ from the PopArtDisplay group (Founder Eros Boa):

What we wanted to create is not simply a showcase for POP  Art works, but rather a scene where they can be staged: a perception of art that is deep, involving and entertaining as we are confident this is the best way to appreciate art in SL. Many works are reproduced in3D; they appear as cinematic settings recreated in every single detail and allow the avatar to enter the work and, as an actor in it, to achieve a completely new view of the work itself.


Terza visita guidata al Pad -Third guided tour of the Pad
Tuesday,21 Dec 2010 10:17:42 GMT

Terza visita guidata al PAD. Il Museo della POP ART tutto italiano. Matteus Taurog continuerà a condurci nella storia del più innovativo movimento artistico del ‘900 Martedì 21 dicembre alle 22:15 ora italiana.
Third guided tour of PAD. The Museum of Pop Art. Matteus Taurog will start to to lead us in the history of the most innovative artistic movement of the last century Tuesday, December 21 at 22:00 Italian time. 04:15pm EST . The English translation will be given simultaneously

And if anyone has go this far … any tips on positioning images in a wordpress post?!  Thanks!

Happy 3rd Rezzday to us!

MORE PICTURES ON FLICKR! See Carol’s stream and  Helen’s stream.

Reception at Learn4Life

Meditation at Aeonia

Gizmo Latte and I would like to say THANK YOU / GRAZIE / MERCI / VIELEN DANK to friends who joined us on our ‘Island Crawl’ to celebrate our 3rd ‘Rezzday’ on Friday October 29th 2010, whether as fellow travellers, or tolerant hosts!  We passed out a notecard with times and landmarks and we had GREAT company all the way.

Playing at Arcachon

Royally waving at Crossworlds

We were really privileged to be able to showcase Solkide Auer’s wonderful 3D art work which he allowed us to place at the starting point of Learn4Life.  Thanks also to Wlodek, Flopsy and Graham who entertained us with rocket launchers, atom globes, dancing frogs and stilts.  (And thanks especially to Wlodek for the lovely chocolates!)

Bantering at The Crow Bar

We then lost ourselves literally in more of Solkide’s work displayed at Aeonia Arts before moving on to Arcachon, where we climbed the dune and did some paragliding.  I also learnt how to greet people

Chilling at Lunamaruna

in the authentic French way using the object which CathyChou Boa generously gave me for my birthday!  The next stop was Crossworld’s Gallery, lovingly curated by Fabilène Cortes.  We especially enjoyed taking photos

Floating in Costa Rica

Falling in love

of ourselves on the insect exhibits at Lollito’s Parade.  Time for a quick dance and exchange of playful (?) insults  at The Crow Bar (I love the music there, and Lyndy and Clive are great regular hosts!) … then we made for Lunamaruna– (click on the lunamodule) – a magical pink world of giant fish, crooked dwellings and trampolines devised by Scottius Polke.  We skilfully (!) made our way down the river in Costa Rica with two

boats and a paddle before witnessing the touching bonding between Claudio and Dev as they transformed their avatars and embraced!  There were audible gasps of delight at the beauty of the Tree of Trees installation

Breathtaking Tree of Trees

where we just enjoyed ‘chilling’ before we enjoyed Barisone’s welcome and  some more loud music in the warm company of our great friends in Sardinia.  We ended the evening back home in Edunation where we

Dancing in Sardinia

admired again Mary Roussel’s lovely disco build. 

Again .. THANK YOU to all who joined us!  To be honest, it was hardly an ‘Island Crawl’ .. more an ‘Island Race’!  We look

Reflecting on a happy 3 years!

forward to another year of friends and fun at a more moderate pace!

Spring Resolution

Karelia with Lunamaruna Tshirt

OK. So I did not keep my previous resolution to keep this up to date. But while Helen has been travelling around the country recently (Liverpool – York – Aberdeen – Bournemouth) she has been helping me to categorise my experiences, and soon you will have a deluge of enthusiasm to cope with.

It will start tomorrow, but as a ‘teaser’, here’s a picture from my latest obsession: Scottius Polke’s ‘Lunamaruna’ .. absolutely magical! I’ve been five times now, and I keep discovering new things! You have not heard the last of this adventure!

Immersiva 2Life – a fascinating tour

After a lovely start to yesterday evening in my favourite bar with someone who has now become my favourite DJ (he picks on me, and to be fair, my naivety, slow-wittedness and puritanical appearance invite bullying… but a small tip seemed to placate him.. at least for one night …) .. and despite several computer crashes which I fear make me appear terribly ill mannered Italian friends whisked me to a late-night multimedia highlight of the year! Guided by the beautifully spoken (and well-dressed) Matteus, we were led along an attractive pathway to see some fascinating representations of well known works of art. At each waystage, Matteus gave a clear explanation of the work before inviting someone to take part in its ‘interactive’ version. A real bonus for me was the ‘notecard’ which accompanied each exhibit and Claudio’s patient translation into French of key words which I did not understand. The next morning I visited alone (with distant personal coaching and moral (?) support from a helfpul self-confessed ‘drifter’, and occasionally joined by Claudio when he was not looking after his dog or his next holiday!), and I took many photos and followed the various YouTube links which provided further background to the works. You can imagine how excited I was when I met Matteus himself later in the evening; he came to inspect Claudio’s clever reproduction of St Peter’s Dome. I have uploaded some photos on my newly-created Flickr photostream…. I had to reduce the size, so I am not sure whether they are any good .. I would welcome advice on this! (And also advice on why the photos are sequence in reverse chronological order …)  Here’s the link to the stream: and if anyone wants higher quality images, let me know.  And yes, it is this late.  Helen’s on holiday, so no-one is allowed to nag her if she chooses to spend time with me …