Nils Urqhart, organizer of the RL Photo Festival, chats with us prior to the opening of its 3rd edition on March 31st about how the festival has expanded through the years; he also reveals the new things it will offer visitors this year.
Another edition of the RL Photo Festival is here! Opening on March 31st, this four-week long annual festival will feature the works of eighteen amazing photographers from all over the world in various genres of photography.
This glamorous display and celebration of RL photography in the virtual space is organized and hosted by none other than Nils Urqhart, curator and owner of Rill’Arts, who is also a very well-known photographer himself.
“I created the RL Photo Festival back in 2019 with the objective of providing free exhibition space to RL photographers each year. Back then, it was of course known as the Annual International RL Photography Festival”, says Nils. “The concept is similar to photography festivals that happen in RL. Here, the photographers will not be isolated in different galleries across the grid but rather share the same exhibition space. It is a great opportunity for photographers to showcase their works to a large number of visitors.”
The Covid-19 pandemic has imposed restrictions on movements and gatherings in a lot of countries around the world. Since RL exhibitions and festivals have become difficult to organize, the virtual or digital space has gained even more importance for photographers to showcase their creativity. RL photography has become a real challenge in the current scenario.
However Nils says this hasn’t affected participation in the RL Photo Festival at all. He remarks, “Fortunately, most RL photographers have a large number of photographs stored in their hard drives already. This has made it possible for them to continue showing more of their work.”
Having exhibited his works extensively in both SL and RL, Nils tells me the satisfaction and the experience one gets as a photographer is very different in both spaces.
“I have my photos displayed on my website as well as at galleries in SL. On the website, I do get a lot of visitors and of course, sales; but there is very little interaction between those visitors and me. In SL, I can often chat with the people who visit my exhibitions and can hear from them first hand how they feel about my photography.”
Since its inception, the RL Photo festival has grown tremendously in terms of participation from photographers. In 2019, during the first edition of festival, there were 12 photographers exhibiting their works. Today there are 18 photographers who are participating in this four-week long event. Some of these photographers have participated in previous editions of the Photo Festival as well.
Melinda Yearsley has designed and built a brand new gallery for the festival this year. The design of the gallery incorporates some elements from Nils’ old gallery while opting for a modular structure which allows extra floors to be added easily. Nils tells me that the exhibition space provided to each photographer is also considerably larger.
“We have increased the size of the gallery to twice that of last year. We had six floors in 2020, while this year we have twelve. This made it possible for us to allocate a larger exhibition area to the photographers. We have authorized 20 prims for each photographer as compared to 15 earlier.”
The layout and design of the gallery is superb. The interiors are sleek and stylish. The display of photographs is extremely professional and makes for a pleasant viewing experience. Walking from floor to floor, enjoying the beauty of the incredible photos showcased here is a fantastic journey.
There are also two areas in the gallery building – the ground level and the roof top – which will be used for parties and events conducted during the course of the festival.
Event Schedule :
Wednesday, March 31st – 1 pm SLT – Grand Opening with music set by Melinda Yearsley
Tuesday, April 6th – 1 pm SLT – Party with DJ Angelina Lerintzo
Friday, April 9th – 1 pm SLT – Party with DJ Venusia
Friday, April 16th – 1 pm SLT – Party with DJ Jill Agresti
Sunday, April 25th – 1 pm SLT – Closing Party with the music set by Melinda Yearsley
Visit the 3rd edition of the RL Photo Festival at the Helvellyn Gallery from March 31st to April 25th and be mesmerized by the impressive display of RL photographs! Click HERE to visit the festival inworld