It’s Raining Women

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Photographic exhibits by Miss Autopilotpatty Poppy have rapidly become treasured events here in Caledon, after the success of her Exotic Men of Caledon exhibit. Considering the excellent reviews and crowds she received both for that show and a “Greatest Hits” follow up at the Whitehorn Library in Victoria City, I am sure no one will be surprised by the theme of her new exhibit.

The Exotic Women of Caledon exhibit has opened at the Gallery Tamrannoch, promising even more of what pleased the crowd in the earlier show, but now focusing on the fairer flowers of Caledon, our realm’s greatest treasures…however, for all the beauty of the women and the artistry of the photographs, the show was not without frustrations for yours truly.

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First of all, I must state that I was again quite impressed with Miss Poppy’s ability to create pleasing, interesting portraits that seem to sum up quite deftly the personality and attitude of her subjects. Studying the portraits of those of her subjects that I know personally, I spent a good deal of time nodded at the clarity of the images, and how well the models were captured, by and large. However, I felt that at times her mise en scene was a bit more repetitive then it was during the Exotic Men exhibit. For example, each woman had two portraits in the show (though I have heard that some were not aware of this as nowhere is there an instruction to touch a portrait to get the model’s bio, and change to the second portrait). In most cases the two portraits showed totally different aspects of the model but in too many cases the second portrait was much the same as the first, down to the same garb and location, just from a different angle. This however can be understood when you consider the sheer number of subjects she was trying to capture, many of whom must have been unknown to her previously.

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Looking at the individual portraits, one by one, certain trends proved quite interesting to me, lending me to believe that the sheer overwhelming number of subjects lent the show some sort of anthropological significance.

  • The number of women who chose to appear topless or in lingerie was quite surprising and refreshing, showing a growing refusal to bow to propriety or conformity in Caledon. Well done ladies! I hope we will see more of this behavior in the future, both in terms of the non-conformity as well as the toplessness.
  • Many women opted to depict themselves in non-human avatars, or with wings, horns, etc in at least one of the portraits. This speaks highly of Caledon’s ongoing tradition of tolerance and a willingness to embrace any and all types of residents.
  • Several women opted to be portrayed with their partners, or significant men in their lives. At first I was somewhat troubled by this, but to be honest am now not altogether sure what to make of it. Either way, in a show devoted to the women of Caledon, the need of some to drag their men in with them was surprising.

Artistically and academically I can certainly state that the exhibit was another solid success for Miss Poppy if not quite so seamless as her previous exhibit and further solidifies her reputation as one of Caledon’s most accomplished Portraitists.

Logistically, however, I must state that the exhibit was far less of a success in my eyes.

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Above you will see what this exhibit looked like to me for nearly an hour as I waiting for it to rez properly. Now, part of this can be explained by the fact that my system performance is often far less then optimum, however, this went above and beyond, with my fps driven down to .1.

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Simply put, I believe my enjoyment of the exhibit was near hamstrung by the number of sculpties used in the presentation as well as trying to rez over 50 (yes, over 50) scripted portraits, and I cannot feel that I was alone in this.

Beyond the performance hit that I took due to the sheer number of portraits and decorations, I feel that in general the exhibit was much too large. It was far too much to take in with any real discernment. The exhibit seemed less like “The Exotic Women of Caledon” and more like “Any Women in Caledon who Pitched Up”. While I understand that once she opened the modeling to volunteers, Miss Poppy did not wish to hurt anyone’s feelings, I do think she needed to use a certain amount of discretion, both as an artist and a gallery owner. I found it troubling that, as socially aware as I am of the comings and goings in Caledon, I had never even heard of at least a third of the models in the show. Part of the fun of such shows is to go see well done portraits of well known local figures. Clearly, 50+ portraits was above and beyond the limits of this sort of exhibit.

I would suggest to Miss Poppy that in future exhibits of this nature she ask for volunteers and take as many pictures as her heart desires, then ask three eminent citizens to judge these portraits and have them choose the 12 or 15 best portraits, regardless of who they depict. Once the judging is complete, I would hold an event, unveiling the previously secret winning portraits in a tight, concise exhibit, easily viewed and enjoyed by all. Then following the close of that exhibit, hold a second exhibit with ALL the models, so that all can have their moment in the sun as well. This way, I feel that artistic sensibilities, technological limitations and social politics would all be satisfied and a more universally pleasing and interesting exhibit is put before the public.

I congratulate Miss Poppy not only for her photographic abilities but also her desire to serve and promote the greater glory of Caledon with exhibits such as these. While I may have some suggestions and criticism (constructive I trust) concerning The Exotic Women of Caledon, I fervently hope that Miss Poppy goes from strength to strength, and I am looking forward to her next showing.

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5 Comments

  1. I’m afraid I have to disagree with some of the assessment. I haven’t seen the exhibit yet, as my computer’s been highly… tempermental, shall we say? But onto my points:

    As to the “dragging of men” into the portraits, I see nothing wrong with that. For many women the men they care about are important in their lives and have quite a big impact on who they are and what they do. How many times have you heard a Caledonian women talking about the people they’ve danced with, or walked with, or hung out with? Socializing is a huge part of Caledon, and for those with special someones, it makes sense that they would want to display that aspect of their lives.

    Also, you applaud the choices to go topless and or in lingerie, and commend them for refusing to bow to propriety or conformity in Caledon. While I have nothing against toplessness or lingerie, and happen to enjoy indulging in eith at times, it strikes me that part of the charm of Caledon IS the propriety. Yes, we don’t expect everyone to be carbon copies, but there tend to be the standards that everyone is used to. If there wasn’t that propriety, and a certain bit of conformity, Caledon might well be the Mainland, with less strippers.

    with loving disagreement-
    Kirawill :)

  2. well… part of why so many were topless/in lingerie likely had to do with the naming of the exhibit, and the normal tendency to make the assumption exotic=erotic. (which is not necessarily so, however)

    Agh, sculptie abuse! It’s important not to build with too many sculpts in a general build, and in the case of something with a lot of textures, to take advantage of occlusion culling, so that you are not stuck downloading the whole thing at once… and take care that sizes of textures are as small as possible. The trouble with building with sculpties is triangle count and textures. (each sculptie packs the punch of a torus in triangle count – they are not lightweight)

    One wants to optimise as much as possible so they download quickly. I guess I need to write about how to optimise sculpts textures so you don’t keel your sim and visitors alike :)

  3. The fact that my partner was in my photo was actually an accident. It was simply because I wished to both spend time with JJ and participate in the exhibit that he was caught in the photo, and I didn’t feel the need to do a re shoot.

    As for the toplessness. I was talking to a friend earlier today and he commented that he liked to see that the ladies of Caledon are starting to pull the stick out of their arses and loosen up abit. I personally don’t think it will take a couple of shirts coming off to reverse the general air of snobbery that is so prevalent in Caledon. And don’t get me wrong, it’s the men too. Any one can take off a shirt, how many people go out of their way to make someone new feel at home or put their own social standing on the line to stand up for someone who is most obviously being wronged?

    bah, really has nothing to do with an art exhibit… I guess I am in a mood today.

    :D

  4. I must say that I am humbled at Lord Bardhaven’s positive review of my photography. I appreciate that he has taken the time to offer suggestions and has critiqued the show. The comments are definitely things that I will look for when I do the next exhibit that will be coming most likely in May of this year.

    This project has given me the opportunity to meet so many women both new and established residents of Caledon, many with whom I hope to become better acquainted. As with the men, some will become close friends.

    Thank you to everyone who has helped make this exhibit possible.

    Regards,
    Miss Poppy

  5. Well, I will say, this review was in mind when Baron Wulfenbach and other members of the Wulfenbach Consulate decided to begin a (slow) tour of various galleries; and I will say, I agree with most of your points.

    I am still much more highly impressed by the Sea Song/Trillium Frame Gallery–it’s such an inventive idea for gallery space, and I ardently hope Miss Poppy keeps it! But the actual Exotic Women exhibit captured me as well, if for nothing else than the attempt to represent all facets of Caledon at once. There’s that tendency towards saturation, overkill; selectivity can be a good thing. And between that and 90% of everything being sculpted, I think it did generate less of artistic appreciation and more of ‘oh look. There are more…’

    That having been said, I did think the quartered-square grouping was inspired, for such a show. And I adore your idea–select a group of judges to work with the artist, to present the very best of her work; present that; then have a separate showing (with less elaborate presentation) of the work in total. One could even host such a focused show, then offer show catalogs that feature every work, including ones not shown publically, in a collectors’ edition.


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