Monday, January 4, 2016

Stranger Things are Happening by Krystali Rabeni at LEA 6

Image Description: The Stranger Things are Happening Landing point in between three chess boards.

Stranger things are happening at LEA6, set upon a layer of sand and a thin skin of flowing water. The centerpoint is three chess sets - each one with a different theme - water, hedges, and bondage. It bears a closer look - the first impression is of blue, green, and black against white, but closer inspection offers up sweet details. The water board is dotted with sandcastles against which waves break. The hedges dark pieces are all of hedge itself, several shades darker than the bright and dark sod tiles. The Kings for the bondage set are half crucified, and there is a third king making her leaden way free - along with a few more pieces making their getaway, and the tilted remains of those who thoroughly escaped. Chess revisits at two of the four corners as well, this time entirely out of proportion with anything!

Image Description: Three female figures chained together and carrying a pawn on their backs.

Elsewhere, other tableaus are placed nicely apart from each other, so we can enjoy them in isolation, and yet layered in against each other so the contrasts can be seen. One of the challenges of any open world display like this is the mixing of mood and style. All too often when photographing a gallery of this sort, set on a reflective surface with nothing dividing each arrangement, I've struggled with the proper angles to show a piece in isolation and capture it's mood without the intrusion of other things. This layout made it easy, with almost all displays backing on water. It's difficult to portray the grandeur of many of them without introducing a human figure, though; I was dwarfed by the chess boards, no larger than those who labor in chains. A single starfish was significantly larger than my whole body. I could walk upon and explore the book world without an issue, being perfectly sized to skip among the letters as a diminutive i myself.

Image Description: A Jam jar floating with a fish inside of it, surrounded by flowers growing out of the water.

What I liked most were the moments of surprises, though. A stand of oddly flowered trees are revealed to grow umbrellas' another grows glowing chandeliers. Turn a corner in a field of flowers and come face to face with a man holding a balloon. Something moving in the distance shows itself ot be a field of flowers growing on an elephant, or a man reading on his butterfly powered chair. The sense of whimsy is sweetly surreal with the odd flash of darkness here and there, in the hang of a chain or the packing cases balanced on an elephant. I especially appreciate the layering of the water over sand as a backdrop; under the default windlight it often has a golden glimmer which sets off and frames the art beautifully. Colors tend to be slightly muted and frame with white and cream, which smooths the transitions from one scene to the next, and the playful touches bring an enjoyable lightness while one circles the chessboard center, enjoying the many views. This is the kind of display which rewards taking your time and wandering around - don't be in a rush, just let stranger things unfold around you.

Image Description: A paper crane hanging from a bunch of trees, all of them made out of the pages of books.

( More pictures here. )


Location: Stranger Things are Happening
Windlight Settings: Sim Default
Water Settings: Sim Default

Photographed by Deoridhe Quandry
Post processing: Cropping

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