By Dancerina Starlight
Last week several sims, organizations, and churches in Second Life set aside time to acknowledge Holy Week. From Easter egg hunts to classical replications and symbolisms of the significance of the death, burial, and Resurrection of Christ. Most of these events began on Palm Sunday and ended on Easter Sunday. In an effort to grasp the energy and synergy across events, I traveled through Second Life (SL) observing several of these events which caught my attention. However, there was a particular event which personally and professionally sparked an immense interest; Harmony Castle at Blue Lagoon, Gorlen Bay. It was unique, tucked away, and unpretentious. A first glance at the castle reminded me of the famous Burresheim Castle in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany; except, its exterior, worn and pale, was very unassuming.
As I entered the immaculately designed interior, the ambiance of class
and warmth greeted me. The artistic storytelling of Easter story was
very intriguing and provoked my curiosity. As I stood wondering about
the quaint interior, I suddenly heard footsteps, I looked to my left
and realized I had been joined by Mr. Colin Scientist, the brainchild
behind the classical motif of the castle. We made acquaintance, and I
announced the purpose for my visit. A few minutes later, I joined him in
his library for an interview.
Colin Scientist has been in Second Life for
eleven years. He enjoyably spends his time organizing classical music
events and has done so for the the past nine years at different venues and
on his primary sim. He curates art exhibitions in the castle to capture
historical and religious events; such as Christmas and Easter. However,
he particularly marks these two because of his Christianity.
Easter was no different from prior years. Commencing Saturday 27 March
through Easter, the sim streamed programs of Easter Music in Harmony
Castle changing most days. Mr. Colin Scientist coordinated a
well-planned event, capturing the story of Easter replicating real art.
These paintings are on display in the Chapel in Harmony Castle and are
available for purchase as well. The art story begins with the famous
piece by Michelangelo and extends to other known artists who capture
other aspects of the Easter story.
THE TAKING OF CHRIST 1602 by
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio - This painting (oil on canvas) is
on indefinite loan to the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, Ireland
from the Jesuit Community, Leeson St., Dublin. Caravaggio painted this
extraordinary work for the Roman Marquis Ciriaco Mattei in 1602.
Offering a new visual approach to the biblical story, Caravaggio placed
the figures close to the picture plane and used a strong light-and-dark
contrast, giving the scene an extraordinary sense of drama. In this
depiction, Judas has identified Christ with a kiss, as the temple guards
move in to seize Him. The fleeing disciple in disarray on the left is
St John the Evangelist. Only the moon lights the scene.
BETRAYAL OF CHRIST (possibly 1325 -8) by Ugolino di Nerio - Ugolino is
documented in Siena in 1325 and 1327. The style of his work suggests
that he was possibly trained, or at least heavily influenced, by Duccio,
the most important Sienese artist of the 14th century. Ugolino's major
work was the altarpiece for the church of Santa Croce in Florence. This
painting ( Egg tempera on poplar) is a panel from that altarpiece and
is in the National Gallery, London. It shows the moment, described in
the Gospels, when Jesus Christ was arrested by Roman soldiers.
BEFORE ANNAS" circa 1630 - 1635 by Matthias Storm - This painting (oil
on canvas) is in University of Oxford - Campion Hall, Oxford, United
Kingdom. During the early 17th century, a number of Northern European
artists were influenced by the innovative realism of the Italian
proto-Baroque painter Caravaggio. Among these Caravaggesque painters was
the Dutch artist Matthias Storm, who worked briefly in Rome and then in
Naples. This picture shows Christ being questioned by Annas the father
of the High Priest to whom he was taken first after his arrest.
BEFORE CAIAPHAS circa 1630 - 1635 by Matthias Stom - This painting (oil
on canvas) is in the Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA.
The beautifully staged confrontation contrasts the theatrically
gesturing priest with a serene Christ bathed in light and seeming to be
an altogether different order of being from the coarse false witnesses
THE PROCESSION TO CALVARY (probably about 1505) by
Ridolfo Ghirlandaio - This painting (Oil on canvas, transferred from
wood) is in The National Gallery, London. Ridolfo Ghirlandaio (1483 -
1561) was a member of a family of artists, of whom his father,
Domenico, was the most famous. Ridolfo accepted commissions for
decorative work as well as for religious paintings and portraits. It is
thought that this was painted for the church of San Gallo, Florence.
CRUCIFIXION by Pietro Lorenzetti (Italian, Sienese, active 1320–44) -
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. This exquisite picture,
dating from the 1320s and of unusual dramatic intensity and
characterization, belonged to a portable altarpiece of which one other
panel is known: Christ before Pilate (Pinacoteca Vaticana, Vatican
City). Originally there may have been four panels showing the Passion of
APPEARANCE OF JESUS TO MARY MAGDALENE AFTER RESURRECTION
by Alexander Ivanov 1835 - This painting (oil on canvas is in The State
Russian Museum, St Petersburg, Russia. It depicts one of the
Resurrection appearances of Christ in John's Gospel chapter 20: 14-17.
THE INCREDULITY OF SAINT THOMAS c 1601-2 - The Incredulity of Saint
Thomas is a painting (oil on canvas) of the subject of the same name by
the Italian Baroque master Caravaggio, c. 1601–1602. It is housed in the
Sanssouci Picture Gallery, now a museum, in Potsdam, Germany.
Remaining paintings depicted subsequent events of Christ which including
his suffering, death, burial, and resurrection.
expressed that his sim draws people from all walks of life, from around
the world; Britain, where he lives, the continent to include Germany,
France, and Spain to name a few. Other known places are also the United
States, Canada, Brazil Australia, and Poland. He believes Harmony Castle
makes a global impact through the essence of art, music, and
discourse. He mentioned that there is a group of regulars at sim events who independently organizes poetry event elsewhere. Mr. Scientist discussed that while events are held during
the week and throughout the year, he has had many more events during
Holy Week with the exception of Saturday evening, which was a blend of
classical and worship songs.
As the musical events come to a close over
the weekend, the artwork will remain for visitors to walk through and
view. As I viewed the pieces, I imagined they were a re-creation of
real artwork which transcended to Mr. Scientist's interest into SL.
They are vibrant and depict episodes of Jesus' journey to the cross and
beyond. Overall, he believes this is a place where people can feel
welcome and relaxed. Demands for events have heightened due to COVID-19
and members returning to SL, and he continues to respond to that need
through doing what he loves to do - bringing art and music to art and