Into the Dark: Black Raven Art Gallery

Into the Dark: Black Raven Art Gallery by Netera Landar

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Vampires have come into the spotlight in recent popular media. The Sookie Stackhouse series, created by Charlaine Harris, rekindled the fascination. Her books led to the American television series “True Blood.” Then add to the challis of eternal life with “Twilight Saga” penned by Stephanie Meyers and recreated on the big screen by Summit Entertainment. Both series are guaranteed to give you a double boost in the paranormal!

Second Life® reflects this popularity with vampire clans and families that are passionate about role playing, or simply enjoy each other’s company. They love the art and music of the culture. On the sim Bushside, towering under the veil of night, find BlackRaven Art Gallery, hosted by the sire of a prominent clan, Blackbelt Clawtooth, and his gracious queen, Loxxy Darkmatter. The three-level gallery features their collaboration of haunting and moody works.

Bold images confront upon entering the ebony casted walls. Images reflect key elements of the culture; eternal life and beauty, devotion to a clan, thirst for love, control and power. Each picture tells a story of vampire lives or shapeshifters—of life and the struggle to survive, or the lonely eternal voyage when without a lover.

Sitting on clan grounds at their campfire, the sire and his queen spoke shared thoughts of art, development, and existence. BlackRaven Art Gallery was created four years ago as a showcase of their collaboration. By collecting free stock photos, they compose new images through layering in Gimp. Through a very thoughtful process, they transform the components into an almost magical expression of an emotional journey. The images become more than a vampire dreading the loneliness of night. Dressed in an ancient gown and headdress, Loxxy describes their art as ‘dark.’

Photo manipulation is a process where two or more images are cut, colored, cropped, blended, pasted or stamped into one frame to create a new original composition. We take different free images from various sources and create our own pictures. There might be a woman taken from one picture, a background from another, and a waterfall from yet another picture. Sometimes we even add things like fangs and blood to create a totally unique form. Some of our pieces can have as many as nine layers.”—Loxxy.

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These two collaborators are very critical of each other’s work. If something is not quite right with a picture, each will tell the other. It often takes many tries to reach a satisfying combination.

Each image that Blackbelt and Loxxy create tells a story. Having first seen their work at the Rose Theater Galleries(please see Unforgettable #1), I was visually enthralled with “Kiss in the Moonlight” I had to ask Blackbelt what went into its creation. He described:

I had a stormy background to work with. Because of the way the man holds the woman, he looks as if he’s going to bite her neck. I added smoke and transformed what

might just look like a romantic moment into a dramatic vampire scene. I am quite pleased with the results.”

Blackbelt’s “Lost” is what might be witnessed if you were a sensitive mortal. The center feminine figure represents a lonely soul gazing at the town church. Perhaps, to her, it may symbolize what she has lost in her previous existence. She seems to desperately seek direction back to faith or family—to desire what she may have missed. She may also be waiting for another spirit to join her, perhaps someone she loved on the other side of life.

“Image of the Wolf,” by Blackbelt, is another bold example of how well blue and black can create a mystical illusion. The feminine figure behind the wolf clearly shows a powerful bond.

Loxxy’s “Angelic Love” is a tender portrait of love between an angel and the horse she adores. This image seems tosay that death cannot sever a bond.

“Angelic Goth” by Loxxy draws you in. Clearly it is the young child garbed in tattered clothes, her delicate skin dusted with dirt. The red eyes and skull figure are a warning contrast? Beside her with ivory wings, porcelain skin, and sheer white gown, is a scarlet haired angel. The long red gloves could symbolize a form of protection. The child might be her ward.

“Sad Angel’s” features a young ghostly figure shrouded in a blue mist which Blackbelt applies so well. The female leads one to believe that she is innocent, but her dark wings might symbolize more. Perhaps she was lured to darkness by a promise of love, yet she finds only a strange companionship in an endless night.

Gothic symbolizes that of a mystical nature, whether drafted in the framework of legend or popular contemporary] genre. It] either captures our interest or we steer clear away out of fear. It navigates toward eternal life hunger, devotion, and loss of innocence. It is worth exploring.

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For more information, please contact Netera Landar, Editor-in-Chief, neteralandar.gmail.com.

See the issue as it first ran in the virtual world release of Unforgettable #3 (download PDF) with more graphics and photographs. See Issue #One and Issue #Two for more features and profiles.

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