I never before saw Isla Paradiso by Ronda Saunders, but, apparently, this place has been around for a few years. One teleports into the end of a hanging bridge, which provides access to several floating islands, all part of the installation Eyelands. On some of the larger islands are large mushrooms and large moving eye-balls surrounded by fog. Cascades of mist are released from the lower parts. The islands are surrounded by a slowly moving dark-sky background, which I also think adds to the feeling of this being a magical place.
As I was moving around, I found that there is also a separate gallery showing Ronda Sander’s work, the Gallery Paradiso. The gallery itself is beautiful, surrounding a spiral staircase, enveloped in darkness and light beams. There are still images as well as moving images to be seen here. I liked the images a lot, most of them dark with a mysterious undertone. In a notecard at the gallery landing Ronda notes about her photographs that [m]y RL alter ego has no training in any of the visual arts, does not possess a camera and rarely takes photographs RL. My love for SL art and photography in particular developed, as I did, solely here in SL. As a SL “photographer” my personal style has always been to create in front of the camera at my atelier, not in Photoshop. Any post shoot working of the image I do in Photoshop is done to enhance the overall mood or feeling of the original photograph by the addition of texture, but I rarely layer actual images. I found an interview with Ronda Saunders by Cat Boccaccio in the blog the Slum Magazine (November 2013). Head over and take a look at this captivating place if you haven’t already.
Photographs by Kate Bergdorf