Pulsating lovers, space fairies, and psychedelic fever dreams

Updated: Jan 25

Come feast on the fruits of October’s contest



Nothing spurs creativity like a little competition. To see the truth in that, all you need to do is stroll around the seven winning entries from October’s gallery contest. Every victor was rewarded with seven upload codes, but the rest of us get to enjoy something even better: the fruits of their labour.


I hope you like your fruit spicy. Every gallery here is an ode to an individual artist, from the kaleidoscopic medley of Larskristo to the restrained deities of Mohrbacher. These are, genuinely, some of the best virtual spaces I’ve been treated to - so I’m extra glad I got to chat with their designers about how they came to be.


LinkCube


LinkCube exudes elegance. By honing in on the work of Rodrigo Aguilar (or Zapatoverde, as he’s known online)

Linkmyboy has shown what’s possible when you mould a space to suit a particular aesthetic - as long as you have a few tricks up your sleeve.

Cute meets macabre in Aguilar’s monochrome etchings, which surround a chamber lit largely from above. Perfectly placed windows cut the room with shadows, merging each piece with its surroundings while never overwhelming them. It’s all topped off with a short bio and quote from Zapatoverde, cleverly snuck beneath your feet and behind a pane of glass. Not an inch of space feels wasted.


Linkmyboy told me it was all possible thanks to the Gray and Red Sky skybox, which came out at the start of the competition and “really caused the spark of inspiration” that lead to the gallery’s construction. Aspiring shadow artists: take notes.


R'lyeh


Nothing screams ‘fever dream’ like the work of Larskristo - or at least, nothing did until Artisan built a temple to him. His gallery provides a psychedelic descent into a crustacean-adorned ocean, with all sorts of demonic creatures to meet along the way. Each lives in a biome of its own: ladybirds and flying eyeballs glide across a multicoloured meadow, Cthulhu strides out from a tentacle-rich sea, and death himself floats aside neon pentagrams. There’s even a semi-secret passage to a hidden woodland deer god.

“I love how each artwork tells a story, and I tried to follow these stories with my gallery”, says Artisan.

Even more impressively, for me, is how the gallery itself tells a sort of story. The chaos becomes more orderly as you descend until you emerge into that ocean and find it complemented by the calm orange glow of ambiguously satanic beasts.


Look into that ocean, though, and you’ll see a trilobite resting in an ocean of its own that spirals out into space, with bubbles blending into planets. Reaching the bottom brings you back to the heavens. Neat.


Jgs3


Do you ever look up at the sky and think, ‘what are all those rotating disks, and why does that one keep flipping back and forth?’ You would if you spent time in Jgs3, where the backdrop frames