The Meta Biennale, a world premiere

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A historic event for art

Thursday 18th November 2021: a historic date for art, Virtual Reality and for bipeds! We were delighted to attend the inauguration of the first Virtual Reality biennial organised by Art Gate VR.

Artists, gallery owners, environmental experts, volunteers and the entire Art Gate VR team were mobilised for this international art event which took place from 18th November to 19th December.

The lepidopterist, who is well-versed in art history, remembered the Venice Biennale, inaugurated in 1895, the oldest biennal in the world! It welcomed nearly 220,000 visitors who came to admire the Italian artistic abundance of the time. This first biennale took place in a palace and in the adjoining gardens. The biennial in which we took part is of a completely new kind! Our guide in the virtual universe, Tiger Butterfly, led us to the virtual entrance hall of Art Gate VR.

Video excerpt from the inaugural speech of the Meta Biennale.

© Art Gate VR

All equipped with our Virtual Reality headsets, we were treated to a brilliant speech by Brendon McNaughton, the co-founder of Art Gate VR about the Meta Biennale. The Greek-speaking butterfly pointed out to me as he raised his trunk that the prefix Meta in this context refers to a new way of attending an art biennial through Virtual Reality.

Video excerpt from the inaugural speech of the Meta Biennale.

© Art Gate VR

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The Tiger and the Butterfly loved the virtual opening of the Meta Biennale with the Oculus Quest 2!

Art, Virtual Reality & environmental challenges

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We attended the conference from the comfort of our sofa in the jungle!

We attended some fascinating conferences during the Metabiennale! The one on Virtual Reality as a green alternative to attend art events particularly touched us. Indeed, we care about our jungle, which has been put to the test by the human race!

We were delighted to return to the Baron Grafton Arthouse to attend this conference. Maite Baron stroked my fur as the butterfly landed on Keith Grafton‘s hand.

Tiger Butterfly, asked Environmental Art Producer JW Muller for his opinion on the ecological impact of plastic in the production of Virtual Reality headsets. JW and Maite Baron, who are very sensitive to plastic pollution in the oceans, reassured her. When you buy a Virtual Reality headset, you want to have a lot of great experiences with it!

Technology & ecology

It’s not an object that you use once and then throw away! On the other hand, it avoids using transport to go to an art gallery or an international art fair: this is very beneficial for our planet!

It is likely that in the future, Virtual Reality headsets will be similar to eyeglasses. Less plastic will be produced and they will also be lighter to wear. This technology has already come so far since its inception. Now it is available to the general public!

During the conference, we were honoured to meet Dr John Dahlsen. This Australian environmental artist creates artworks from recycled objects and driftwood. Nature is omnipresent in his work. His paintings can also be admired in Virtual Reality at JW’s Gallery thanks to the Art Gate VR application.

The Butterfly during a virtual tour of an environmental artwork by Dr John Dahlsen. © Dr John Dahlsen, Ocean & Earth, Found plastic objects behind 45mm of Perspex.

Here is a video excerpt from the conference. Enjoy your visit to the Baron Grafton Arthouse!

Video excerpt of the opening of the conference during the Metabiennale
© Baron Grafton Arthouse, subtitling The Tiger

A01's giant sculptures

During the Art Gate Métabiennale, we visited A01’s impressive exhibition: BIG IS BEAUTIFUL: DIGITAL +& ANALOG at #Hashtag Gallery.

Andrew Owen, aka, A01, is a multidisciplinary artist.The Butterfly quoted me his various artworks: IMPRESSIONS (brush-less floral landscape paintings); SOLARGRAPHS (large-format camera-less photographs) EXCAVATIONS (excavated poster hoardings) UNITED DIVERSITY (hybrid identities); DEPTH OF FIELD: MASTERS IN THE ROUND (photo-portrait-sculptures); FAUXTOGRAPHIE (meta-photography); URBAN ART INTERVENTIONS (street art)  and more… nothing resists his creative spirit! GRRR!

The first artist to exhibit digital sculptures in Virtual Reality at #Hashtag Gallery.The first artist to decorate the streets of Toronto and Tokyo with graffiti art in the 80s, his aerosol painting continues as gorgeous brush-less floral landscape paintings on canvas.

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It all started with a blue chip sculpture at Art Gate VR! This is the first ever Virtual Reality artwork exhibited in the app © Brendon McNaughton, Blue Chip
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The tiger, inspired by such highness obviously wanted to measure himself against the sculptures of A01 with his companion the butterfly!
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Tiger Butterfly joined the exhibition with a nice colourful avatar.

A01: BIG IS BEAUTIFUL: DIGITAL +& ANALOG © Andrew Owen A01 @#Hashtag Gallery

A new approach to photography

Andrew Owen is a pioneer!

The Butterfly, happy to have seen A01 again, took the opportunity to tease him by pulling from time to time on the end of his moustache:)                

His photo-sculpture-portaits are from the series – DEPTH OF FIELD: MASTERS IN THE ROUND. They question our perception of photography. Indeed, scales are deceptive! When we look at bipeds on a mobile phone, they look tiny and can only be represented in 2D. With these digital sculptures in Virtual Reality, A01 takes photography into a new dimension.

He celebrates 14 senior master artists of Canadian art in 3D and 360º and life-size, 1:1-scale thanks to the almost totemic columns of Suzy Lake, Michael Snow, Molly Johnson, Rae Johnson and Alan Belcher and others.


Where is Andrew ?

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A01: BIG IS BEAUTIFUL: DIGITAL +& ANALOG © Andrew Owen A01 @#Hashtag Gallery
Augmented by The Tiger

It’s hard to imagine the height of these sculptures without a Virtual Reality headset! To give you an idea, it’s as if we were facing sculptures 2 meters high and about 1 meter in diameter! The artist has represented himself on one of his works…look hard and you’ll find him! The lepidopteran also get caught up in the game of camouflage in one of A01’s sculptures!

The power of art on the mind

Tiger Butterfly is delighted to have met Jai Mitchell, a painter with an atypical artistic background, during the Meta Biennale! He talks about the works he exhibits at Ali Jay Fine Art Gallery and his life-changing art therapy experience in this exclusive VR interview!

It will be soon possible to butterfly on our website in English to follow our new adventures in virtual or augmented reality!
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