Autumn has rolled around again for the northern hemisphere, bringing thoughts of Thanksgiving and Halloween, falling leaves and falling temperatures. When Nouvae of Dimension Gallery announced her Autumn Harvest giveaway, I wanted to build something for that. A quintessential Northern autumn was the inspiration, with themes of death and dying, the celebration of Halloween and Thanksgiving, all leading to my new dimension, Series 600: Autumn.
The idea of the house came to me first, memories of old haunted houses perched on hills, the moon shining behind them. For those who were wondering, the house on the hill is not a dimension item. So many people asked me where they could get the house and were surprised when I said I built it. The house took around 120 items of my 600 item budget and was the first thing I built in the dimension. There’s no backside to the building, it is just a facade. As an unexpected bonus, the rays of light cast by the harvest moon (Autumn Harvest Sky Projector) continued through the house, distorting the windows and giving the house an otherworldly quality.
Since the house had a cartoonish quality, I decided to carry that look across to the graveyard and came up with spooky eyes in the mausoleum. That led to the graveyard with plenty of mist and spider webs. The spooky eyes and house along with the black cat, Corpus Kitty, speak to Halloween, a custom celebrated in the northern hemisphere.
Subtle hints of death is a acknowledge autumn as a time of decay, as plants and animals prepare for winter. It’s also a time of harvesting, gathering the last of vegetables and grains before winter cold destroys them. These themes are reflected in the two fields, if you look under the plants, you’ll see just how these veggies were fertilised.
The last theme is the gathering of friends and family through food, the tradition of Thanksgiving. A feast, along with a pumpkin cake, represents the traditions of the northern hemisphere of one last hurrah before winter comes, a chance to treasure loved ones, lest they not survive the winter.
I say northern hemisphere because a lot of these traditions have no meaning in Australia. The whole turning of the leaves only happens to imported trees and only in the southern states where it’s cold enough to make them colour properly. Australia doesn’t do native deciduous trees. While winter is cold, only the southern states (Victoria and Tasmania) or higher altitudes on the east coast are likely to experience temperatures low enough to freeze water, and only mountains are likely to harbour snow for longer than an hour.
Winters aren’t the dangerous beasties they can be in the northern hemisphere, so autumn is not a time of gathering together before the cold and, since food grows all year around, feasting for autumn is not a thing. Halloween is an idea imported via TV shows from the U.S.A. It’s a great excuse for a costume party and the last decade or so, a few families have tried to introduce trick or treating, without much success. It amuses me that I’ve built a dimension on second hand concepts without much personal meaning (though I did get to experience an Halloween in Cincinnati and, my, oh my, do they go full out with the decorations).
Wondering about the Series 600? Big dimension are like movies. They tell a larger story and take a fair investment of time to see. I want to make a series of small dimensions for ideas I have that aren’t worthy of an extensive build. Like a skit, these dimensions will be short, sharp and (hopefully) snappy. The challenge is to express the idea in 600 items.
I was surprised at how much I could put into this dimension. It has 3 ‘Oh look!’ scenes (house, crypt, Halloween cake) and several nice scene setting views. I have lots of ideas for small dimension builds and I’m hoping the idea will catch on and we’ll see other dimensioners taking on the challenge of making small, succinct dimensions. If this challenge appeals to you, start your title off with ‘Series 600’ to help us find it; I have no desire to keep this neat idea to myself. If you do decide to join me in this endevour, drop me a note here or The Stylish Radish on Rift and let me know.