Thursday, September 24, 2009

Talented creators of SL (11): Ainee Kohime’s Sagrada Familia Cathedral and ‘The Chocolate Ghost’

By Lord Lisle

You may well ask: '..what has a Spanish cathedral to do with a ghost?''..... Well, read on dear follower of the Metaversal Blog and discover the remarkable talents of Ainee.

Travelling through Barcelona during a business trip several years ago, I was alerted to Gaudi’s amazing Sagrada Familia Cathedral, the vast spires of which dominate the city. Unfortunately I had not the time to have a closer look at the place, and never had the chance to come back.

Whilst taking snapshots of Trasgo Beaumont in his sculpting workshop some time ago (see one of my previous entries in this Blog) I noticed familiar looking buildings in the background. Having a closer look after the snapshot session I discovered to my astonishment an accurate Second Life recreation of the Sagrada Familia Cathedral. (Hermetic Palaces/79/94/42)

Gaudi’s cathedral as seen from a distance with a Casa Gaudi Villa and Gaudi’s Tower of Romance in the foreground. The Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família (official Catalan name: Templo Expiatorio de la Sagrada Familia; "Expiatory Temple of the Holy Family"), often simply called the Sagrada Família, is a massive, privately-funded Roman Catholic church that has been under construction in Barcelona, since 1882 and is not expected to be completed until at least 2026.

It did not took me long to find Ainee Kohime, the owner of the sim and creator of the cathedral. She guided me through the huge place and revealed interesting details such as Gaudi's Tomb in the Crypt, the Library, the Ballroom, the Park Guell dragons, and the seating inside the spires. Apart from this masterpiece, she has created numerous Gaudi inspired buildings, but also amazing thatched cottages and baroque villas, low-prim pavilions and palaces. Her most recent works in SL are a recreation of the Versailles Opera House, and of the Petit Trianon, on display in her island with many other treasures.

The Cathedral as seen from the South-East ((Nativity Façade) entrance

The majestic North (the Passion façade) entrance

The North-West (Glory façade) entrance, showing 8 of the 12 spires

A view from the West at roof level.

Another view from the West, the arrow pointing to the completely dwarfed out Avi of yours truly, having found a splendid position for taking snapshots. This shot indicate the huge size of the Cathedral.

Inside the Cathedral, just look at the amazing details of the columns and vaulting

View of the lower levels of the Cathedral

After exploring Ainee’s replica of the Sagrada Familia in Second Life, I have a slight feeling that when I eventually see the original place in RL I *might* be a bit disappointed: in SL I do not have the endure the constant excessive traffic noise, the building activities, building cranes blocking the view, and the inaccessibility of many of the locations, as I can travel freely around the spires in the balloon provided by Ainee. How amazing this Second Life can be…

Ainee laughs in agreement, and recalls how when she visited this cathedral, a winding trail of tourists wandered through the construction site. She stepped back suddenly to admire the vaulting, and a workman’s helmet fell 300 metres from the spire, smashing onto the exact spot where she had just been standing (fortunately, the workman was not inside it)! She declares that she must have been pushed by an Angel.
“As I was working in SL on the cathedral,” explains Ainee, “for three months I dreamed of it every night. As the drawings and plans were destroyed in the Spanish Civil war, it is very hard to discover what Gaudi’s intentions for the unfinished sections were. One useful drawing was found in his pocket after he was killed by a tram. But in my dreams, Gaudi seemed to show me what his vision of the completed structure would be: I finished one section as I thought he would have done it. To my astonishment, a few days later a new tourist photo of that section, completed that week, appeared on the web – and it was exactly as I had designed it! I felt I was communing with Gaudi’s spirit. Gaudi would have loved the medium of SL, and have spent his time torturing prims and twisting toruses… I especially enjoyed recreating in prims the new sculpture which has recently been added to the porticos, simple and graceful after Gaudi’s sketchy outlines. My favourite section? It must be the Tortoise which supports the door pillar in the Annunciation façade.”
Ainee acknowledges her sources: “Without Ariel Erlanger’s wonderful sculpted vaulting, and the very adaptable ‘Vengeance’ megaprims, this design would have been impossible, so I am a convert to the wonders of the megaprim in SL. The vast fountains by Klyks Klees were just as Gaudi had intended, but I bet there is not enough water in a Barcelona summer to power them in Real Life!”
Ainee adds that she is indebted to her Patron Mintz Tomorrow for his support and encouragement: “He is my dream client: he said I could use 3000 prims and the spire tips had to reach the clouds: other than that, he left me alone to work on the Cathedral! After almost two years of specialising in low-prim Architecture and Antique furnishings, this was a fabulously indulgent treat to make! I shall sadly have to demolish the Cathedral on my island soon, to make room for my next project, but Mintz has vowed to preserve his copy as an SL Masterpiece!”

-Ainee’s island is Hermetic Palaces/118/119/26 and

- Mintz’s Sagrada Familia is Meloloona/321/101/22

The Chocolate Ghost

Ainee is gifted writer in Real Life and writes as 'Julia Hawkes-Moore'; her novel 'Dancing in Circles' (Honno) can be ordered from Amazon. Her story ‘The Chocolate Ghost’ has been published (and translated into Czech) in several RL books and anthologies.

At the time of writing ‘The Chocolate Ghost’ has been transcripted into a SL THiNC Press book. The book can be read (yes, even a complementary copy can be taken if you wish) in the real Chocolate Ghost shop created in Second Life (Hermetic Palaces/21/215/25)

The Second Life Chocolate Ghost shop ….The chocolate girls decided that they should buy a shop. They had very little money, so they had to hunt around the market town of Saffron Walden for a long time before they found somewhere cheap and pretty enough to suit their purpose. In a narrow cobbled street just off the market square they found a tall, narrow house squeezed in between two strict Georgian red-brick ones. It was all tottery with carved oak beams, and glittering diamondy window-panes….

Inside the Second Life Chocolate Ghost shop ….the mysteries of jujubes, lozenges, liquorice laces and aniseed balls were there to be explored. Tigernuts, Spanish tobacco, bulls' eyes and sherbet suckers were bought by the pound, whilst jamboree bags and all their hidden surprises proved so popular….