by Anita Kimono
One unique and memorable day, I happened to find myself at Viridian Gallery on Antara, where I was greeted by a huge life-like crab that looked like it was ready to snatch me in its claws. But instead, it greeted me with a bounce, and even a slight smile, as it steadily gazed into my eyes to welcome me.
Viridian Gallery is located on Antara, at Antara (228/7/25). The gallery showcases photos captured by Eyeclectic. Each photo has a story of his own experience and interaction with nature. I was fascinated by the enlarged photos situated throughout the island, merging into the ocean waves. Photos of dandelions, and of sunflowers, and of insects, as ant perched on the tip of his finger. Real photos used to create an immersive 3D environment that visitors can interact with.
Surrounding the photos are fields of wildflowers with dragonflies and butterflies flying freely through the air. There is even one dragonfly that followed me everywhere. It is drawn to me.
There is also a dandelion that you can touch to rez a seed and 'go with the wind' to fly with it through the island. I felt like Mary Poppins. Eyeclectic likes to call it, “Eyemagination Therapy.” Don't forget to make a wish ~
The creator of Viridian Gallery is Jules McWinnie aka Julian Crooks, a program director of design at Harcum College, outside Philadelphia. She is working to bring virtual reality into the design education. Eyeclectic is Ohio-based photographer, John Stone.
His exhibit in Second Life is called, “The Butterfly Eyeffect: Touch of Light at the Edge of the World.” In first life, Eyeclectic has exhibited in major cities.
His "Empathy from the Empire" exhibit was displayed for visitors in the main lobby of the Empire State Building in NYC. He presented Eyeclectic Photography as Therapy concepts to an international audience of occupational therapist and magicians in Las Vegas at David Copperfield's 25th Anniversary Project Magic Conference. In Chicago, his photos were exhibited at the Omidyar Network Members Conference.
As Jules McWinnie has been quoted, "The focus of the Viridian gallery art space has been to provide a venue for art that focuses on green issues and themes. This show, the Butterfly Eyeffect, has evolved from an exhibit of photographs to something far larger. Fueled by Eye's boundless creativity he has brought a truly beautiful, immersive and spiritual experience to the gallery site - an experience that reflects his deep inner connection to the natural world. It really is astonishing what he's done with the space. I can take no credit. I just gave him free rein and the most remarkable things started to happen."
In another statement from Eyeclectic, “ ‘As everything is connected in the Timeless Science of our
relationship with Nature, what will the world will bee like when we see everything through eyes of
LOVE? More than just photos of insects, "The Butterfly Eyeffect" is a message of Human Evolution,
creating waves around the world, as "Imaginal Cells" cause a Caterpillar to become a Butterfly.’ “
Eyeclectic happily offers personal tours to groups and individuals. As he talked about how the photos came about, there is always the underlying theme of respect of nature that allows for inter-species communication. He tells of how often grasshoppers would land on his hand, or even his face. Or a tiny little ant would crawl up to his little finger. Maybe they sense his respect and feel no harm from this human. I find myself during the day watching where I walk so that I would not step on any insects. I became more aware of the birds, insects, any living being, and how they are more than we think...they can sense what kind of people we are. This exhibit had changed my view of how I approached nature.
Serendipity is another word that comes to my mind when I view the exhibit. Photos of a young woman with butterfly wings; a shadow of a hand outstretched over a pond full of plants; a leaf “head”; the sun “crowning” a sunflower; the encounter with the man on the beach; or a sunflower in front of a roller coaster. All these photos are taken at the right moment. The moment is right if you are aware of it.
Eyeclectic plans to expand over the whole Antara region, and hopefully be sustainable for all to come and visit and have their visions of nature forever changed. If you have environmentally conscious art and/or ideas to help make Antara an educational entertaining experience, please let Eyeclectic know.
So come and explore this beautiful exhibit. Meditate on the messages of each picture, while learning about phenology (cycles in nature), and symbiosis (interaction between different lifeforms). Ride an owl, be carried away by a dandelion seed, or sit on the fastest slugs you've ever seen and race your friends to find the treasure chest offering gifts from the Infinite Peace Garden to share with the world.
As María Concepción Pomar Rosselló, a university professor in Spain says, “I'm going to do my best to share it with my students. I'm sure they will all be extremely interested in the philosophy and message of this work, to love all kinds of things, to trust the universe, life, God, and living in peace.”
For private tours, or if interested in any of the photos for personal or educational use, please contact Eyeclectic at Eyeclectic@aol.com. Visit Eyeclectic.net and follow @InfinitePeaceGarden on Instagram.
Editor's Note: This is the last article of Anita Kimono/Kayly Iali, whose work with Second Life art has led to her getting a real-life job involving the arts. We at the Newser wish her the best of luck.