Pioneers: A Machinima by Huck Hax

Huckleberry Hax has put together a beautiful machinima about a Mars colonist remembering earth. Part of the footage is from my sim North. Take a look above and read more about it here.

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Berg by Nordan Art Closing

I will close my gallery Berg by Nordan Art December 31. Until then, we will continue operating as usual; CapCat Ragu and Meilo Minotaur have a new exhibit coming up October through December, as does moon Edenbaum. Gallery M, the permanent exhibit space by Mich Michabo, remains open. I hope to be able to extend at least a smaller version of Marina Münter‘s installation Non-Perishable beyond the end of September as well. More about this to come.

Berg by Nordan Art started as Nordan Art. The gallery operated as Nordan Art from 2010 through March of 2012 and then as Berg by Nordan Art from 2015 through 2017. The vision of the gallery has remained consistent; to offer the highest quality virtual art, both when it comes to large immersive installations on the ground as well as to virtual images in the gallery build. Thank you to the outstanding artists who exhibited in the gallery since 2010; they are, in chronological order, nessuno Myoo, Paola Tauber, freebee Withnail, Kicca Igaly, Natsha Lemton, Del May, Bliss Violet, typote Beck, Syn Beresford, Feathers Boa, soror Nishi, Betty Tureaud, Rebeca Bashly, Rose Borchovski, Helene Lytton, Simotron Aquila, Claudia222 Jewell, Shelina Winkler, Theoretical Afterthought, Igor Ballyhoo, Cherry Manga, Anley Piers, lalie Sorbet, Romy Nayar, Trill Zapatero, Artistide Despres, Alizarin Goldflake, Stephen Venkman, Robin Moore, Scottius Polke, Tutsy Navarathna, Piedra Lubitsch, Harbor Galaxy, Giovanna Cerise, Sina Souza, Haveit Neox, Mich Michabo, Imani Nayar, Maloe Vansant, Livio Korobase, Mi, Meilo Minotaur, CapCat Ragu, Huckleberry Hax, daze Landar, Senna Coronet, Marina Münter and moon Edenbaum. Some of these artists exhibited twice and of note, there was a period in the beginning of 2012 where documentation about the gallery is not available. Please let me know if you exhibited then and are not on the list and I will make sure to add you.

Retrospective publications (Nordan Art: A Retrospective 2010 to 2011, Berg by Nordan Art 2015, Berg by Nordan Art 2016), machinima (Rebirth by Iono Allen, Penumbra Machinima by Erythro Asimov, Penumbra Opening at Berg by Nordan Art by Tutsy Navarathna, Berg by Nordan Art by Zarrakan the Cat, Berg by Nordan Art Opening 2016 by Tutsy Navarathna, Fading Mask by Haveit Neox, Berg by Nordan Art Opening October 2015 by Tutsy Navarathna, Harbor Galaxy at Berg by Nordan Art by Tutsy Navarathna), lectures, Nordan Art awards (both at UWA and at Nordan Art), inworld groups (Nordan om Jorden and Berg by Nordan Art), blog posts (The Bergdorf Reports and The Virtual Review) and Flickr groups (Berg by Nordan Art, Nordan Art Issuu Publishing and Non-Perishable) came about as extensions of the gallery. A special thank you to Igor Ballyhoo, Huckleberry Hax and Tutsy Navarathna. You were integral as creative collaborators and contributors.

Moving forward I will focus on my sim North, create my own virtual images and maybe write some art blog posts here and there. We will publish a Berg by Nordan Art 2017 retrospective next year. The Berg by Nordan Art inworld group, as well as the Nordan om Jorden inworld group, will remain open and active. I also anticipate that I will be involved in various art undertakings in the future, which will then all fall under the auspice of Nordan Art/Berg by Nordan Art.

Photograph by Kate Bergdorf

Le serpent qui dance

For the past few weeks I’ve been completely caught up in finishing a collection of photographs for an upcoming exhibit at Itakos. The exhibit, The Dancing Serpent, inspired by the poem with the same name by Charles Baudelaire (Fleurs du Mal, 1857), is curated by Akim Alonzo. The opening is this Sunday, May 14, at 1:30PM SLT.

Baudelaire’s poem Le serpent qui dance is playful, filled with erotic symbolism and metaphor; it is an ode to desire and longing, no doubt, sexual and otherwise. It consist of nine parts. As the themes for my ten photographs I picked one sentence from each part, as well as the name of the poem itself. There are at least twenty translations of Le serpent qui dance; I ended up choosing the version by William Aggeler, translated in 1954.

Putting together this exhibit led me down a path of self-examination. I came up against content issues where I questioned my use of the female subject as a nude. I realized finally that adding a male subject in some of the images would add a much-needed tension. Also, during the weeks that I worked on this virtual world project I simultaneously had several deadlines in real life that needed to be met. I had to seriously consider the importance of time and how it was spent. I reached the conclusion that the process of creativity, regardless if in real life or virtual life, could only aid me in the sense that it provided a welcomed escape from too much thinking. Lastly, I questioned the meaning of the virtual world Flickr photography itself.

About virtual world Flickr photography then. I showed my ten completed photographs to several friends, all of whom I respect in part because they are talented virtual world photographers who I know will not hesitate to offer constructive criticism. I was pleased with their feedback and, yes, relieved, because like so many others, I never really know if my work is any good. I then showed the images to a friend who is a real life photographer, but does not himself have a Second Life Flickr account. He simply refused to comment. Once I got over his frustrating lack of response, I started pondering what some of his reasons for not commenting may have been. He did not want to offend me with negative feedback, could it be that simple? His only observation, which was something like “everybody on Flickr will love it,” referred to the fact that nude virtual world images receive a disproportionate amount of attention on Flickr? Or could it be that he had actually failed to comprehend that a photograph is a photograph, regardless if taken in real or virtual life? I don’t think I will ever know, but I believe this perhaps nicely illustrates a common reluctance of “real life” photographers to embrace and accept the newness and, yes, modernity, of virtual world Flickr photography. If I sound defensive, it is because I am. But it is not about my work, it is about feeling protective of virtual world Flickr itself. Because rarely in my life have I seen as much creative talent in one place as I have seen there.

This post ended up being much longer than I thought, lots of rambling here. Thank for reading all the way through if you did. Also, and finally, thanks to Akim, an excellent curator, for asking me to show at your beautiful gallery. Thank you also very much to Tutsy Navarathna and Huck Hax for posing; I honestly can’t think of two more patient posers. Thanks to pose makers Del May (Del May Poses) and Olivia LaLonde (Le Poppycock) for your incredible poses, without them, these images could never have been produced.

Poster created by Akim Alonzo

Hot off the press: Berg by Nordan Art 2016

I am pleased to report here that we finally finished the new Berg by Nordan Art gallery retrospective book, Berg by Nordan Art 2016. This work would not have been possible without invaluable help by the ever so patient Huck Hax. It is always great when done with a big project like this and then spend time looking though what one has accomplished. Reflecting on the past year, I am so proud of what we have achieved with the gallery. The outstanding artistic contributions by Igor Ballyhoo, Livio Korobase, ◦⊱ Mi ⊰◦, Imani Nayar, Haveit Neox, Mich Michabo, and Maloe Vansant speak for themselves. Thank you also to some of the many photographers who visited the gallery and took pictures of the art and let us use them for the book; Bay Addens, Midwinter’s Art, NawtyBiker, ◦⊱ Mi ⊰◦, Miles Cantalou, and neko Makamori. A special thank you to Tutsy Navarathna who also contributed the beautiful cover photos. We hope you will enjoy the new publication Berg by Nordan Art 2016 as much as we have. You can read it by clicking the link above or visit Berg by Nordan Art in-world where you will find it on the table on the gallery ground floor together with our two previous retrospective publications from 2010-2011 and 2015.

Book cover photograph by Tutsy Navarathna; cover design by Huckleberry Hax

Coming Up at Berg by Nordan Art

Time flies, it seems. We have already come to an end of the first exhibit period for photography shows in the gallery. Many thanks to Huck Hax for the exhibit lacrimioare; I have received feedback from so many visitors who adored the show. The gallery will now be closed for a week as we are setting up a new exhibit by daze LandarMYdigliani, which will be on display for the next three months. The opening is on Sunday, April 9, 2017 at 10AM SLT and as usual our Nordan Art DJ Eif will provide tunes. The time has also come to bid farewell to the old gallery building, a build I put together myself a few years ago. The Berg by Nordan Art gallery will now instead be housed in space by Abiss that I think is incredibly well suited.

The installation Penumbra, by Meilo Minotaur and CapCat Ragu, will be up for another month or so and then replaced by a new installation by CapCat and Meilo. The Amona Savira Memorial, put together by Senna Coronet, and part of Penumbra, will be taken down in May as well. The same is true for Mich Michabo’s The Other , which is on display in Gallery M; a new show by Mich is in the works and will also open some time in May. The gallery retrospective book Berg by Nordan Art 2016 is close to going to press and we hope to publish within the next few weeks.

We have seen blog posts, Flickr photos, and several machinima about the gallery, as well as received much positive feedback from gallery visitors themselves. Thank you. Thank you also for rating and commenting on the gallery using the Second Life Art kiosk located at the entrance; its rewarding to read the comments you write! As a reminder to new visitors, all parts of the gallery can be accessed from the main gallery in the sky and the teleports are located at the door. Please join our group Berg by Nordan Art inworld for updates and announcements about the gallery. Please post your photos taken at the gallery in the Berg by Nordan Art Flickr group

Photographs by Kate Bergdorf

art in february

the-haul

In addition to the two shows currently at Berg by Nordan Art, Penumbra, by Meilo Minotaur and CapCat Ragu, and lacrimioare by Huck Hax, there is some incredible art to be seen in Second Life right now. First, we have to most recent installation, The Haul, by Haveit Neox, curated by Ux Hax and Romy Nayar, at MetaLES. We visited The Haul without any prior knowledge or information about it. And rather than attempting to interpret it here, I will share with you part of our conversation from when we visited the installation earlier today.

the-haul

[05:41] tutsy Navarathna: for me haveit is always in same time messy and poetic
[05:41] k a t e (KateBergdorf Resident): yeah, well put
[05:41] tutsy Navarathna: i like what he does
[05:41] k a t e (KateBergdorf Resident): a poetic mess
[05:41] k a t e (KateBergdorf Resident): me too
[05:42] k a t e (KateBergdorf Resident): he has his style, we know it is by him
[05:42] tutsy Navarathna: i don’t mind not to understand something
[05:42] k a t e (KateBergdorf Resident): i agree, its just a feeling
[05:42] tutsy Navarathna: we can let our imagination going on
[05:43] k a t e (KateBergdorf Resident): aww look at those figures above us
[05:43] k a t e (KateBergdorf Resident): soo beautiful
[05:43] k a t e (KateBergdorf Resident): i want to take a pic, just a sec
[05:43] k a t e (KateBergdorf Resident): the colors, the gentleness
[05:43] tutsy Navarathna: yes all details are very well done just as by a painter
[05:43] k a t e (KateBergdorf Resident): yeah does feel like a painting
[05:44] tutsy Navarathna: organic, vegetal
[05:44] tutsy Navarathna: mythologic
[05:44] k a t e (KateBergdorf Resident): he puts his soul into this
[05:45] k a t e (KateBergdorf Resident): this is really tremendously beautiful
[05:46] k a t e (KateBergdorf Resident): the longer i look at it, the more i see
[05:46] k a t e (KateBergdorf Resident): the figures that are part of this emerge
[05:46] tutsy Navarathna: yes need time to see all details and personnages

Head over and take a look at this latest work by Haveit and make sure to check out the installation Illogism by ChimKami Resident as well. Thank you Ux and Romy for all the incredible works you show at MetaLES!

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We have a Pink Floyd themed event at Orange Blue that opened this past weekend and will unfortunately close later today already. Curated by Ini Inaka, we find here sculptures by Igor Ballyhoo, animated textures by Willem Koba and walls by Ini Inaka and LeeAllison. I was lucky to bump into Ini as I was standing around putting together this post and she gave me some hints on how to experience this work; use Advanced Lighting and Midnight WL and wear the Record Thrower object provided and use mouse-look to crash walls. Following these instructions is indeed vital for an optimal experience; suddenly light is moving and flickering and walls come crashing down! Noteworthy here are of course also the older works by Igor Ballyhoo, My Lovely Wife, From Green Into Red and Red Into Green and Frozen Brain, amongst others. These sculptures so clearly have stood the test of time; I have said it before, and I will say it again, Igor’s works are Second Life classics. When I asked Ini to tell me a bit about this Pink Floyd themed event, she responded that the idea here was to let people destroy walls. And she noted, “Pink Floyd said it all:” Another Brick in the Wall. Thanks for showing me all this Ini and thanks also for refreshing my rusty mouse-look skills!

naninona

Another remarkable show currently on display is NaniNona, by Romy Nayar. I haven’t seen work by Romy in a while and was pleasantly surprised to see this little exquisite installation. About her work, Romy states in her note card, Nani nona na ni no na nani nona na ni nona naninona na ni nona na ninona na nino na na nino. Na ni nona naninona, na ni no naninona, na, ni nona ( nanino na nani no) na ninon a, which made me smile for the entire period that I wandered throughout this enchanting show. The exhibit consists of several rooms connected by doors. In each room, there is a display of a simple scene, all scenes seem to me to be little whimsical parts of stories, all remarkable in their own way and how they are displayed. All comes together here, Romy’s colors and her genial use of magical little figures and objects. Bravo, bravo, bravo Romy!

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Finally, we have another installation, Frogs, by Cica Ghost, that opened a few days ago. I am happy to see that Cica is back on a roll again and showing installations on a more frequent basis. Frogs consists of a hilly landscape, a few trees and the ruin of what once must have been a house. Situated on the ruin, there is a girl who is drawing on a wall; the drawing is of a girl dreaming of prince. On the other side of the wall there is another girl at a table watching TV and eating a lollipop. The TV is broken and the scene depicted inside it is very similar to the one in which the girl at the table finds herself outside of it. These two girls, with their dreams and fears, are at the center of the installation. Surrounding them, are a number of large frogs, moving gently in place. This installation feels a bit more hopeful than Cica’s last one somehow, more playful. And I always love seeing her  little figures, dressed like dolls, in knitted sweaters and socks. Great detail here, head over and take a look. There is a free frog avatar available at the landing point, make sure to click the sign.

Top photograph by Tutsy Navarathna and all others by Kate Bergdorf

Meilo Minotaur, CapCat Ragu and Huckleberry Hax at Berg by Nordan Art

penumbrapostersl

We have two new exiting exhibits coming up at Berg by Nordan Art; one, the installation Penumbra, by Meilo Minotaur and CapCat Ragu, and the other, a collection of photographs, lacrimioare, by Huckleberry Hax. The opening for both is on Sunday, January 8, at 9 AM SLT and the exhibits will on display until the end of March 2017.

The collaborating artists Meilo Minotaour and CapCat Ragu are familiar to most in Second Life. The two built the sim Delicatessen, that held projects like de Maria, de Mariana, de Madalena, Petrified and Meta_Body. Both have since 2008 devoted their artistic activities to the Metaverse, working individually and collaboratively in the Second Life virtual environment where they held several solo exhibitions and collaborated with artists from different fields and nationalities. Meilo Minotaur is an artist with a background in sculpture. She was as a member of the handicrafts group Gárgula, having participated in several international exhibitions and won various prizes. CapCat Ragu is an artist with a background in painting and art studies. She was a member of the artistic association Caldeira 213 and the artistic collective ZOiNA, having participated in the creation and organization of several artistic activities since. She is an assistant professor at Escola Superior de Educação do Instituto Politécnico de Viseu since 2007.

I am incredibly excited to show the very magical and awe-inspiring installation Penumbra by these two talented artists. Sound is an integral part of the installation so please make sure you have it on; voices are by Rita Eustáquio, Luís Eustáquio and Catarina Carneiro de Sousa. Sound capture and editing is by Takio Ra. We also highly recommend using the region windlight London 2026. There are several free avatars available and you can get them by touching the cocoon, or  sitting and clicking on the first tree and the caterpillars. Please read and respect the license of the avatars you are given. About their installation Penumbra then, the Meilo and CatCat note that [t]he old world is dying, and the new world struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters.” This is, usually, the quote we most see attributed to Antonio Gramsci, the Italian theorist, politician, and freedom fighter. However, this is not the true quote. In Italian, what Gramsci wrote in Quaderni del carcere (Prison Notebooks) was: “La crisi consiste appunto nel fatto che il vecchio muore e il nuovo non può nascere: in questo interregno si verificano i fenomeni morbosi piú svariati.”. This would more accurately translate to: “Crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born, in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.” But Prison Notebooks suffered several translation mutations, such as: “Le vieux monde se meurt, le nouveau monde tarde à apparaître et dans ce clair-obscur surgissent les monstres.” This mutation was carried over to portuguese translation: “O velho mundo agoniza; o novo mundo tarda a nascer, e, nesse claro-escuro, irrompem os monstros”. Back to English, this would translate to “The old world is dying, the new world is slow to appear and in this chiaroscuro the monsters arise.” The word “penumbra” exists both in English and Portuguese. It means partial illumination, a chiaroscuro, the dusk. Going back to the original quote, this penumbra, this forest, is the interregno, mutated by the flux of words in translation, adding poetic resonance to Gramsci’s pragmatism. Beware of the “morbid symptoms” you might embody!

huck-hax-poster

Huckleberry Hax’s fine photography exhibit lacrimioare (which means “Lily” in Roman), is his first. It is such an honor for me to show the work of this mulit-talented artist and close friend. Most of you may know Huck as a writer and publisher of numerous virtual world inspired works and, more recently, also a machinima-maker and builder. Over the past year or so we have also seen an increased activity by Huck on Flickr and his beautiful photographs have quickly become popular. About his exhibit lacrimioare, Huck provides a poem and notes that it is about [t]he new absence of someone loved.

For Lily.

she wobbles at the edge of the drop
crouched, reaching
she takes a fistful of dirt from the box
kisses her soiled fingers
and sobs
and throws it down
savagely
upon polished wood and white petals

Both exhibits will be open until the end of March 2017, at which time we are planning some changes for the gallery. But more about this to come at a later time. For now, hope to see you all on Sunday, at which time sim will again open its doors to the public.

merry christmas 2016

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I am sitting here at my desk in front of the laptop with a very sleepy dog on the carpet next to me. It is snowing outside my window. It is the first heavy snowfall this winter and I can’t help but feel like a kid; there is this pull to run outside and play in the snow. But I’ll save that for later and focus on this post… As the year comes to an end it is time to reflect on time past and what lays ahead. Much happened at Berg by Nordan Art in 2016; we had remarkable exhibits and installations, exciting openings with music by DJ Eif (aka d-oo-b), machinima made by Tutsy Navarathna, and the Gallery M showing Mich Michabo‘s art was added as an integral part of the gallery. We held the monthly Paper Crown Passing Ceremonies, which were so whimsical and fun. Still to come this year, as usual a collaboration with my friend Huck Hax, the gallery retrospective publication, Berg by Nordan Art 2016. The gallery will continue to evolve in 2017 and there are several important changes planned, the most significant being a change from single to joint leadership when it comes to administration and curating. The gallery will also reduce in size; we will no longer be showing installations on the ground, a new gallery build will instead be situated on the ground and we will show photography only. What will remain the same, however, is our continued commitment to only showing the highest quality SL art. But more about this to come in the next several months. 2016 also brought other exciting things for me; an increased focus on Flickr photography, I joined the junk. and Clef de Pleau blogger teams, and worked together with Mich Michabo on the lovely Paper Crown events. I will be happy to continue devoting my time to all of this in 2017. Finally, on a more personal note, I made many meaningful connections with people in our virtual world this year, something I know will also continue happening in 2017. Because as we all know, even though we are all busy and sometimes don’t find time, it is ultimately the connections with others that make our individual SL experiences priceless. So Happy Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa everyone and I hope 2017 will be just as great as 2016!

Photograph by Kate Bergdorf

Song of Childhood

Untitled

I have an opening, Song of Childhood: A Collection of Photographs by Kate Bergdorf, at Lollygagger coming up on Sunday, August 21, 2016 from 2 to 4PM SLT. This exhibit is close to my heart for several reasons. First, it is such an honor so show at Lollygagger, one of the oldest existing Second Life galleries that has previously hosted artists like Kake Broek, Piedra Lubitsch, Ziki Questi and others. Many thanks to Chrissssy, the gallery curator, for making this happen. Second, I had such a fantastic time putting together the photographs for this exhibit. It is inspired by the poem Song of Childhood, by the Austrian novelist, playwright and political activist Peter Handke. Handke wrote much of the dialogue, including the poem Song of Childhood, for Wim Wender’s Der Himmel über Berlin (Wings of Desire). Each of the eleven passages in the poem corresponds to one of my photographs in this exhibit.

poster

Song of Childhood – Peter Handke

When the child was a child
It walked with its arms swinging,
wanted the brook to be a river,
the river to be a torrent,
and this puddle to be the sea.

When the child was a child,
it didn’t know that it was a child,
everything was soulful,
and all souls were one.

When the child was a child,
it had no opinion about anything,
had no habits,
it often sat cross-legged,
took off running,
had a cowlick in its hair,
and made no faces when photographed.

When the child was a child,
It was the time for these questions:
Why am I me, and why not you?
Why am I here, and why not there?
When did time begin, and where does space end?
Is life under the sun not just a dream?
Is what I see and hear and smell
not just an illusion of a world before the world?
Given the facts of evil and people.
does evil really exist?
How can it be that I, who I am,
didn’t exist before I came to be,
and that, someday, I, who I am,
will no longer be who I am?

When the child was a child,
It choked on spinach, on peas, on rice pudding,
and on steamed cauliflower,
and eats all of those now, and not just because it has to.

When the child was a child,
it awoke once in a strange bed,
and now does so again and again.
Many people, then, seemed beautiful,
and now only a few do, by sheer luck.

It had visualized a clear image of Paradise,
and now can at most guess,
could not conceive of nothingness,
and shudders today at the thought.

When the child was a child,
It played with enthusiasm,
and, now, has just as much excitement as then,
but only when it concerns its work.

When the child was a child,
It was enough for it to eat an apple, … bread,
And so it is even now.

When the child was a child,
Berries filled its hand as only berries do,
and do even now,
Fresh walnuts made its tongue raw,
and do even now,
it had, on every mountaintop,
the longing for a higher mountain yet,
and in every city,
the longing for an even greater city,
and that is still so,
It reached for cherries in topmost branches of trees
with an elation it still has today,
has a shyness in front of strangers,
and has that even now.
It awaited the first snow,
And waits that way even now.

When the child was a child,
It threw a stick like a lance against a tree,
And it quivers there still today.

Last by not least, this poem takes me back in Second Life time. I was introduced to it many years ago by one of my first friends in Second Life, someone who understood the meaning of the poem perfectly and was inspired by it himself and then in turn inspired me. A few years later, Huckleberry Hax did me the honor of reciting the poem and then recorded it on YouTube. It was a beautiful interpretation and I am still moved when playing it today.

I hope you can make it to the opening on Sunday, we would love to see you! I will provide  announcement inworld and on Flickr as we get closer to the date.

Photograph by Kate Bergdorf

Things About the Gallery

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As the year is soonish coming to an end I thought this might be a good time to reflect on  things pertaining to my gallery Berg by Nordan Art. Right now we are showing in the small gallery the exhibit Passively, by Sina Souza, and on the full-sim ground space the installation Memories, by Giovanna Cerise. These two exhibits will be up until the end of the year. Planned so far for the first half of 2016 are, in chronological order, exhibits by Mich Michabo, Haveit Neox, Imani Nayar, Igor Ballyhoo and Cica Ghost. Looking back, it was an active year; incredible exhibits by Tutsy Navarathna, Piedra Lubitsch, and Harbor Galaxy; publication of Berg by Nordan Art 2015, co-edited by Huckleberry Hax and myself and published by Nordan Art Issuu Publishing; release of Harbor Galaxy at Berg by Nordan Art and Berg by Nordan Art Opening October 2015, two excellent machinima, by Tutsy Navarathna, covering the two past exhibit openings; and the addition of an informal gallery space L’annexe showing some of my photographs. I am excited about another year of outstanding art at Berg by Nordan Art. I hope you will join us both at openings and come to visit the gallery throughout the year.

Photograph by Kate Bergdorf