Irishman brings art gallery to Second Life

31 Jan 2008

An innovative virtual art gallery with an Irish flavour is being launched in Second Life, the 3D online virtual world, tomorrow.

Ten Cubed is the brainchild of art critic and real-life gallery owner Haydn Shaughnessy. It will exhibit a range of artists who utilise technology in their work or are inspired by technology, such as Chris Ashley, Scott Kildall and Nathaniel Stern.

The Second Life gallery was designed by New York architect Benn Dunkley and has received praise for its high design values.

“One of our goals is to demonstrate the value of a well-designed Second Life space for business – for construction and interior design for example or for hosting meetings and giving presentations,” said Shaughnessy.

Shaughnessy set up the Gallery for Innovative Contemporary Artists in Kinsale last year to showcase artists he felt were not getting the attention they deserved. His experience running the gallery taught him the audience for this art is global rather than local and prompted him to look into setting up a unique internet presence, one that seeks to retain the character of a real-life gallery.

“Media art is beginning to find an audience in Ireland but its real audience is ‘urban anywhere’,” said Shaughnessy. “I can connect to some of that audience through a website but what I can’t do through a website is join people in appreciating the art, not when they could be anywhere from New York to Naples. Nor could many of the audience really appreciate the artwork: they’d simply be viewing a 2D image.

“With Ten Cubed I can do these things. I can stand with [other viewers] and admire the work and together we can analyse and criticise.”

Ten Cubed also allows Shaughnessy showcase art he could not physically exhibit in his Kinsale gallery due to space restrictions.

“What Ten Cubed is giving me is a way to work like a large global gallery exhibiting great work at whatever scale I choose.”

By Niall Byrne