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News from the University of Western Australia:

Transcending Borders Poster UWA 2014 3D Art

Transcending Borders Poster UWA 2014 3D Art

The University of Western Australia (UWA) is happy to announce the launch of MachinimUWA VII and the 5th UWA Grand Art Challenge, with a starting prize pool of L$505,000 each. The theme is ‘TRANSCENDING BORDERS.’ Sponsored by Tom Papas & SciFi Film Festival, LaPiscean Liberty & SL Artist, AviewTV, Taralyn Gravois and Arts Castle Gallery, TheDoveRhode and Peace is a Choice and S&S Gallery of Fine SL Art, Jon Stubbs & UWA Student Services, as well as The UWA Virtual Worlds Project. The prize pool sits at L$1,030,000 (approx USD 4,000). We hope you are inspired by this to create many wondrous works of art and film as you have been through the years! (Please note the major rule & special prize guidelines as well as the Audience Participation Prizes for watching the machinima.)

WHAT:
MachinimUWA VI Film Challenge & 5th UWA Grand Art Challenge. You may enter either the art challenge, the film challenge or both.

WHEN:
Entries Close at Midnight SLT 31st October 2014.  Winner will be announced in December 2014

THEME:
The theme is ‘TRANSCENDING BORDERS.’ Artists & filmmakers can interpret the theme as they see fit. Whether transcending borders between time and space, past and present, one nation and another, one language and another, a culture or civilisation or any other of the innumerable borders that present themselves as we navigate our lives. You the artist… You the machinimatogrpher…You decide.

WHY THIS THEME?
This theme was selected by Professor Ted Snell, Chairman Director of the Cultural Precinct, UWA and who inspired the very first of the UWA art challenges in 2009. This theme is in honour of the ‘Transcending Borders’ exhibition at UWA’s Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery in 2014. This exhibition gave visual form to the developing cross-cultural relationship between South Korea and Western Australia using The Berndt Museum‘s collection of historical objects from Korea as a catalyst for cultural exchanges and collaboration.

MAJOR RULES FOR ART:
Artwork entered should be able to be interpreted by the casual viewer as being representative of the theme. Where the link to the theme is difficult to ascertain, this should be referenced in a notecard accompanying the work.

There is a 150 LI (land impact) limit with a limit of 1 entry per artist.

Copy/Mod/Transfer permissions are not a requirement, however COPY perms are appreciated.

MAJOR RULES FOR MACHINIMA:
There is no limit to the number of entries you may choose to send in.

The theme is ‘Transcending Borders’ and you may interpret this theme as you see fit, however the average viewer would need to be able to appreciate how you fit this theme (alternatively, please indicate in the notes how it fits in the film notes on the web).

Your machinima must be made specifically for this challenge, and this should be indicated in the opening credits ‘For The University of Western Australia’s MachinimUWA VII: Transcending Borders’

You do not have to film on the UWA sims, however this of course will be appreciated, and there is a Special UWA Prize which will be made available to a film which includes either Winthrop Clock Tower, The Somerville Auditorium or The Sunken Gardens.

4 mins 30 seconds is the strongly recommended maximum length, but this is not a hard rule.

PRIZES:
There is a prize pool of L$1.03 Million, with a L$500,000 each for art and machinima and at least 10 prizes in each. For Machinima, there will be a Special UWA Prize for the best machinima that includes Winthrop Clock Tower, The Sunken Gardens or the Sommerville Theatre in the Machinima. There will also be 2 Curators Prizes, one each for art and film. For the Curators machinima prize, this will go to the best film that features one of the artworks from either the current challenge or one of the winning works from previous UWA art challenges.

There are also audience participation awards for just watching the machinimas and submitting a top 10 list.

See full details here.

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Fanci’s Deep and the Safe Waters Foundation, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Fanci’s Deep and the Safe Waters Foundation, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Join us today, Monday 16th June at 2pm SLT at the Designing Worlds studio in Garden of Dreams for a viewing party of our latest episode as we visit the waters of Fanci’s Deep – above … but mostly below the waterline.

And for one of our audience, there’s a chance to win a fantastic prize!

Fanci’s Deep and the Safe Waters Foundation, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Fanci’s Deep and the Safe Waters Foundation, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Fanci’s Deep is an incredible region of pirates and mermaids – and this time we are exploring the underwater regions of the mer. We’ll be meeting Grace Wrigglesworth of the Safe Waters Foundation, an organisation dedicated to supporting mermaids and mermen in Second Life – and introducing newcomers to their amazing underwater world. Saffia explores an underwater tour of mainland seas and finds some fascinating evidence of a lost civilisation, while Elrik discovers the joys of underwater chariot racing!

We also talk to Nber Medici and MarkTwain White about the background to Fanci’s Deep, and how the underwater world was created in memory of the late Fanci Beebe, formerly owner of the Sailors’ Cove estate, who loved mers so well.

Fanci’s Memorial, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Fanci’s Memorial, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

And Nber and Mark are offering a fantastic prize - a month’s FREE rent to a mer parcel in Fanci’s Deep – for you to experience this wonderful environment for yourself!

It won’t cost you anything to furnish it either – many of the designs in Fanci’s Deep are the work of the wonderful Aley who has a range of mer homes and furniture available at AleyMart on the marketplace.

Join us at 2pm for a prizewinnng, fun and spectacular show – make sure that you don’t miss it!

Fanci’s Deep and the Safe Waters Foundation, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Fanci’s Deep and the Safe Waters Foundation, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Or – if you can’t attend in person – tune in to the web at 2pm SLT on Monday for a showing on Aview TV, on SLartist or on Treet – or catch it later in the week on our shows page on the Treet.tv web site at http://treet.tv/shows/designingworlds, on the Aview TV Designing Worlds channel – or on the Designing Worlds blog.

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You can now see the First of our two shows about Fantasy Faire on the web.

In this special show we look at some of the events that will be taking place over the course of the Faire.

We talk to Elizabeth Tinsley, the Faire organiser, about plans for the event (which opened on May 1st and is now in full progress), and to David Abbot about Fantasy Faire radio, and the fabulous Hunt. We also hear from Amethyst Dovgal about the ballet, and from Samantha Ohrberg about the exciting photo contest – where the winning pictures will be included in a real life calendar that will let people really take the Faire home!

Hopes Horizon

Hopes Horizon

Finally we talk to some of the groups of roleplayers who have added a wealth of interactive stories to this year’s Faire! We’ll be meeting the Pirates of Blackwater Glen, the Rickety Weasels of Wigginstead Mooring and the NeoVictorians of Asperatus.

The Faire is coming to an end, but there is still time to visit today, another whole week to complete the amazing Hunt – and also time to enter the special photo contest and the short story/poetry competition.

Wiggenstead Mooring. photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Wiggenstead Mooring. photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

And there will be another show about Fantasy Faire, looking at the fabulous builds, in next week’s episode of Designing Worlds.

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At last year’s Fantasy Faire, the organisers joined with Prim Perfect to ask visitors to write a short story, inspired by one of the regions at Fantasy Faire. This story was unanimously declared the winner by the judges.

(Details of how to enter YOUR short story or poem this year appear at the end of the story).

Red Sail at Sunset

by Deoridhe Grimsdottir

Magnificat 2013, photograph by Wildstar Beaumont

Magnificat 2013, photograph by Wildstar Beaumont

Nicoletta stood at the edge of the canal, watching for the red sail.

The stone of the lion was icy against her gloved palm despite the languid summer day which had passed, and the breeze from the ocean also brought the scent of hay from the other side of the canal, where the final few figures in sackcloth and straw hats bound together long stalks in tight bundles. Through the narrow eyes of her mask, she could see the first figures in worked silk and velvet spilling out from spindly buildings into the streets, careening drunkenly around children on narrow ladders touching lamplights with a flame and sending a warm pink glow across the mosaic paths.

She shrank back against the lion, the pale gray and silver of her own gown and cloak blending in against the stone, slight enough against the massive guardian of the western canal entrance to pass unnoticed even when a crowd of revelers passed barely an arm’s length from her, chattering like magpies.

“Can you believe, exiled from Florence by the Medici…”

“…imprisoned for months, even tortured…”

“…think he’ll come here? Like even they did when exiled?”

“I heard he went to France. Twice.”

“…comes to Venice and he can never return…”

The crackling of paper started Nicoletta out of her eavesdropping, and she glanced down quickly, sealing wax already crumbling off of the worn surface of her letter and staining her fingers crimson. A few of the written words caught the fading light.

“…well but barred from our beloved home, from our Florence. I hope to find someplace quiet to recover… return to favor… Machiavelli.”

Nicoletta stood at the edge of the canal, hoping and fearing for the red sail to bring her Niccolò to her.

Short story in Prim Perfect Summer 2013

Short story in Prim Perfect Summer 2013

How to enter this year:
We are holding a short story and poetry contest for the best stories and poems written about the Fairelands of 2014. The top entries will be published in the summer issue of Prim Perfect magazine, coming out in September 2014.

You story can focus on one region – Sanctum, or Hopes Horizon or Heavenslough, for example – and ignore all the others. Or you might use the juxtaposition of two regions, or even draw on more of the Fairelands, as a whole vast realm, perhaps surrounding an inland sea. It’s up to you.

And your story or poem can be sad or happy, wise or witty. It can make us laugh, cry, gasp, nod with agreement … or do all of these things by turns.

While we don’t need long passages of description, the setting of the story should be clear. If it makes us ask, “Now – is this Medhir Woods or Asperatus?” it won’t be working for us.

Your story should be between five hundred and three thousand words in total, and your poem should be between ten and fifty lines. While we love the idea of longer works (wouldn’t it be amazing to read a fantasy novel set in the Fairelands?), for this competition we want something that stands alone and that can be read as a complete piece.

We also want something that is completely your own work and written for this competition. You will retain the copyright, but in submitting the story you give us permission to publish the story in electronic format in Prim Perfect and on websites and social media sites belonging to Prim Perfect and Fantasy Faire.

The deadline for submission is May 31.

Send your story in plain text or in .RTF or Word doc format to: fantasyfaireshortstory@gmail.com

We will acknowledge receipt (although it may take a little time).

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In the Atelier

In the Atelier

As readers of this blog will know, I don’t usually write about new releases from designers.

But occasionally, something much-longed for comes from a designer, and one definitely wants to shout about it.

Kayle Matzerath’s Dream Scenes – those wonderful interchangeable skyboxes – are always stunning in creation and detail, but sio much work goes into each and every one that new releases are few and far between. I was extremely lucky to win a full set a couple of years back in a raffle to celebrate the Garden of Dreams birthday. Since then, I have added the Library – a really sumptuous place. I use various of the Scenes for different purposes – the Piano Bar has been an actors’ hang-out, we have Golden Prim meetings in the Library – and the Library has also figured in The Blackened Mirror. I have entertained clients in the Village Cafe and the Field and the Roman Baths are my ultimate private chill-out spots.

In the Atelier

In the Atelier

Now Kayle has released a new Dream Scene – The Atelier – and as soon as I saw it, I was humming Puccini. Because this really is that Paris garret where Marcello, Rudolo, Colline and Schaunard live and work. You can see Narcello’s easel and a work in progress, as well as the (sadly) unsold canvases piled against the wall. And there are books a-plenty for Rudolfo and Colline – dramas and philosophical works piled on almost every shelf and table. There’s no sign of Schaunard’s fiddle – he must have taken it with him – but surely the wind-up gramophone belongs to him.

In the Atelier

In the Atelier

But there are other forces at work here too. In a couple of places you’ll find pressure boilers – and there’s a very workman-like work bench. Could it be that our artistshave a practical bent? And a taste for steampunk? Certainly that artist’s lay model looks a little … rusty. And there’s a telescope too – is that used for spying on the cigarette girls leaving the factory (yes, I am mixing my operas) or is it used for stargazing? And … is that an airship to be glimpsed through the upper window?

I have a suspicion that it’s New Babbage out there …

If you’d like to see more than my pictures can show, there’s a video which I’m embedding here.

Many of the elements of the Dream Scene are also on sale individually, so you can add them to your existing home.  The Atelier uses the Advanced Lighting Model with normal and specular maps so to get the full effect you need the latest Second Life or Firestorm viewer.

The team at Garden of Dreams, to celebrate this new release, have also announced a competition with a really exciting prize:

They say:

We’ve never had a Dream Scene that was so detailed and while building it we had our own story in mind that might fit to the person who lives ..lived? there and what his life must have looked like. But instead of telling you our story, we want you to tell us yours. Who ever tells us the most funny or heartbreaking or whatever story of that atelier or its inhabitants is going to WIN a complete set of all 35 Dream Scenes available worth more than 60.000 L$. If the winner wants to, we will even publish it in our next notice.
You don’t even need to buy the scene, you can just use one of the Bubbles in the Garden of Dreams.
Don’t be afraid. Not a lot of people read that far into the notice and we might get only one story. Why shouldn’t it be yours? You got time until the 14th of February! Good Luck!

In the Atelier

In the Atelier

The whole scene is designed to Kayle’s usual high standards, but what makes this really exciting to me is that Kayle’s skill with mesh means that the whole Atelier has a land impact/prim count of just 156 – including all the furniture and furnishings – which come complete with a huge variety of animations; the bed alone has 113 (and no, I haven’t checked to see if dying piteously of consumption is one of those). If you want it as a single, standalone skybox, its footage is a modest 26 x 19, and it will cost you $2000, which is very cheap for worksmanship of this detail and quality.

So why not pop over to Garden of Dreams and take a look for yourselves? And definitely enter that competition!

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Prim Perfect is sponsoring three talks today at the Auditorium at the SL10B Community Celebrations.

Nicky Ree

Firstly, at 1pm, Saffia will be talking to the well known fashion designer Nicky Ree about her work and her experiences within Second Life.

Ekphrasis Talks at SL10B Community Celebration

Ekphrasis Talks at SL10B Community Celebration

Then, at 3pm, in the next in our series of Ekphrasis talks, Rowan Derryth will be talking to Bryn Oh, the well-known (and very popular) Second Life artist. You can see more details of that talk here.

Dr Who in Second Life

And finally at 4pm, Saffia will be talking to fans and followers of Dr Who in Second Life.

Do come and join us!

And don’t forget the special Prim Perfect contest at the Celebrations. Name the places In Our Second Lives, and you could win L$5000!

Can you name the places?

Can you name the places?

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Prim Perfect is sponsoring two talks today at the Auditorium at the SL10B Community Celebrations.

Ekphrasis Talks at SL10B Community Celebration

Ekphrasis Talks at SL10B Community Celebration

At 3pm, in the next in our series of Ekphrasis talks, Rowan Derryth will be talking to Ian Upton, who recently broke the virtual wall with his exhibition EXTRACT/INSERT which was shown at both the LEA and in ‘real life’ at the Herbert Art Gallery in Coventry.. You can see more details of that talk here.

Meet the Tinies!

Meet the Tinies!

Then at 4pm SLT, Saffia Widdershins will be talking to members of fantastica;;u creative Tiny Community about their role in Second Life.

Do come and join us!

And don’t forget the special Prim Perfect contest at the Celebrations. Name the places In Our Second Lives, and you could win L$5000!

Can you name the places?

Can you name the places?

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Prim Perfect is sponsoring three talks today at the Auditorium at the SL10B Community Celebrations.

What lies ahead for the heroes of The Blackened Mirror?

What lies ahead for the heroes of The Blackened Mirror?

First of all, at 1pm, Elrik Merlin will be talking to Zander Greene and Aisling Sinclair, two of the cast of the popular Treet TV drama series The Blackened Mirror. Zander (in real life actor Scott Simpson) plays Harland Quinn, the private investigator in a big dieselpunk city who is hired by the mysterious Alais Allen (played by Aisling).  They will be talking about the show and the upcoming series but … no spoilers! The show, by the way, is written by author David Abboy, who is also travelling The Long Walk at this year’s Community Celebration.

Ekphrasis Talks at SL10B Community Celebration

Ekphrasis Talks at SL10B Community Celebration

Then, at 3pm, in the next in our series of Ekphrasis talks, Rowan Derryth will be talking to the very talented film-maker Draxtor Despres , who has been drawing plaudits for his new media series, the Drax Files. You can see more details of that talk here.

Non Profit Commons at the Auditorium

Non Profit Commons at the Auditorium

And last for today, at 4pm SLT, Saffia Widdershins will be talking to several members of Nonprofit Commons about their work and about the role of nonprofits in Second Life.

Do come and join us!

And don’t forget the special Prim Perfect contest at the Celebrations.  Name the places In Our Second Lives, and you could win L$5000!

Can you name the places?

Can you name the places?

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There are exciting things going on at the Second Life Community Celebrations!

Linden Gift Vendor

Linden Gift Vendor

Firstly, in special Linden vendors set up around the sims, you’ll find exclusive limited Linden gifts (some are also available on the Marketplace), but each is only available for a limited time. We can’t tell you when an item will be ready for grabbing or even what might be offered at any given time. You’ll find one vendor near the Welcome Area on SL10B Beguile – or have fin hunting down the others – and see some very cool exhibits on the way!

Photo Contest Voting Board

Photo Contest Voting Board

Secondly, we need you to vote in our Photo Contest! You might remember that we asked you to take photographs that matched the theme: “Looking Forward, Looking Back”. We have selected the best of these and have placed them out for you to vote on. Which do YOU like best? Come and register your choice!

The Board is located near the Welcome Area in Beguile – and maybe you can pick up a free gift from the Linden vendor at the same time!

Pssst … we’ll have news of another great Photo Contest soon … so keep reading the blog!

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Magnificat By Alia Baroque Photo By Beq Janus

Magnificat By Alia Baroque
Photo By Beq Janus

This year Fantasy Faire was not only a beautiful place to visit, but also a hugely evocative one, stirring the imagination and leading many of us to reflect on what stories could be told about these lovely and mysterious lands.

Once the stores were packed away and the crowds departed … what beings yook possession of the glass lantern city high in the mountains that shines in Titan’s Hollow? What languid aristocrats returned to their faded palaces along the canal of Magnificat to watch the little boats sail out eternally toward the sunset? What troglodytes or dwarves emerged, grumbling, from the lower depths of The DragonSpire to reclaim their caves? What heroes pushed their way through the blood-red roses of Crimson Fields, their eyes fixed on the looming Dark Tower ahead? And so for all the regions, each with their special tales to tell.

The Lanterns of Titans' Hollow

The Lanterns of Titans’ Hollow

We are sure that, as you visited the Faire, some of those questions occurred to you. These may be stories connected with the mythos of the Faire that the organisers suggested – but it may be that a region captured your imagination and you found yourself envisaging a very different tale. And we are sure that, like so many of us, you just wished these amazing locations could be on the grid forever so that you could have your own little piece of the Fairelands.

Lotus Valley Dream

Lotus Valley Dream

Today is the last day to enter the short story contest for the best stories written about the Fairelands of 2013. The top entries will be published in the summer issue of Prim Perfect magazine, coming out in early August 2013.

You story can focus on one region – Evensong Woods, or Lotus Valley Dream, for example – and ignore all the others. Or you might use the juxtaposition of two regions, or even draw on more of the Fairelands, as a whole vast realm, perhaps surrounding an inland sea. It’s up to you.

And your story can be sad or happy, wise or witty. It can make us laugh, cry, gasp, nod with agreement … or do all of these things by turns.

Dragon over Lumenaria

Dragon over Lumenaria

While we don’t need long passages of description, the setting of the story should be clear. If it makes us ask, “Now – is this Ravenshard or Lumenaria?” it won’t be working for us.

Your story should be between one and three thousand words in total. While we love the idea of longer works (wouldn’t it be amazing to read a fantasy novel set in the Fairelands?), for this competition we want something that stands alone and that can be read as a complete piece.

We also want something that is completely your own work and written for this competition. You will retain the copyright, but in submitting the story you give us permission to publish the story in electronic format in Prim Perfect and on websites and social media sites belonging to Prim Perfect and Fantasy Faire.

Ravenshard

Ravenshard

The deadline for submission is May 31.

Send your story in plain text or in .RTF or Word doc format to: fantasyfaireshortstory@gmail.com

We will acknowledge receipt (although it may take a little time).

Results (and winning entries) will appear in the August issue of Prim Perfect magazine.

The Valley of Ish’Nar

The Valley of Ish’Nar

JUDGES:
The judging panel will consist of:
Zander Greene and Elizabeth Tinsley from the Fantasy Faire
Saffia Widdershins, Honour Macmillan and Aisling Sinclair from Prim Perfect
Ceejay Writer, Editor in Chief at Penny Gaff Publications

Judi Newall, Librarian

If you want inspiration for your story once the regions have closed, we suggest you refresh your memory at the Flickr stream.

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