The secret gallery’s blog

Maybe the first secret gallery in Doolin, Co. Clare, Ireland

Archive for August 2008

Messages in paper boats

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messages in paper boats

messages in paper boats

I have been making paper boats, this started off by writing  little messages then folding them into boats and leaving them in the secret gallery for people to open out like fortune cookies! Not sure if many people did but our children loved them! A friend of mine commissioned me to make some as wedding gifts, so the last couple of days I have been experimenting and turning these flimsy boats into something a little bit more lasting but still delicate so I dipped them in melted bees wax and paraffin wax which gave them a slightly golden glow. (Take care if you are melting wax, as once I was melting wax and it boiled over and caught fire over a gas cooker, I ran out of the house with a child under each arm while James tackled the blaze! Luckily everything was ok!) They are also waterproof and ready to sail! I love the way wax makes paper look; the boats are almost transparent  and now the words are kind of sealed into them, but you can still read them, they emerge over time. I write using a pen and ink for drawing, and like to think of the drips and irregularities as adding freshness to the pieces. I believe that technology is really useful and important for many reasons, though I would never have said this before! But, the hand made and hand crafted, the hand written letters, I hope they will always be written, for they bring something to our lives that technology cannot replace. As well  as the messages, I have been using repeated words over and over, mantras such as: Love Laughter, Truth Trust, and Love Unity and writing them on the boats. I really enjoy the lightness of these little boats; turning something two dimensional into a hand held object. They can be flattened again. I like the idea of posting them to different destinations.

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Written by Marianne Slevin

27 August, 2008 at 10:04 am

The day posting simple 3

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Its early, its quiet. Early is the ONLY time its quiet in this house come gallery/studio, such is life with children. Its raining, its pouring.

Marianne has been commissioned to create these small handcrafted paper boats dipped in wax, they are amazing, but every time my eyes glance upon one scattered around the gallery I wonder if it is an omen, Noah’s ark, not perched on mountain filled two by two, but here on the weather battered Cliffs of Moher, waiting for the floods to come.

Its early, its quiet.

Its raining, its pouring.

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Written by James Slevin

26 August, 2008 at 5:47 am

Miracle Box Continued

A while ago I wrote about `Miracle Box´, project where I was asking people to write their own miracles on paper hearts that will be going into the Miracle Box. I would would also like this to also be an online project here on this blog, so over the next few days we shall be putting together a new page just for this, stay tuned, and in the meantime if you have any miracles yourself you would like to include in the project email them to me at   mariannepotterton at hotmail dot com.

One of our miracles

We love tents and over the years have collected quite a few! So the first miracle story I would like to write is about finding a tent!

One New Years Eve we were joined by some pilgrims who had stayed with us when we were living in a different house on the Camino de Santiago. James had been planning a walk, starting in Merida where we had stopped walking over two years ago. We had been looking for a one man tent but could not find one anywhere. Probably because it was December and there aren’t too many people going camping! Apart from this minor issue James was packed and ready to go! One of the pilgrims said he had been walking the Via de la Plata and he had got fed up carrying his one man tent and left it outside somewhere along the 900km trail! It happened to be not to far from Merida where James was going to walk from! But a long way from where we were spending New Years Eve. The directions included mention of a steep track that would be muddy as it had been raining a lot, this meant that it because it was too muddy for car to drive up there we a high possibility that nobody would have seen the tent and it could still be there!

On New Years Day we started driving towards Merida and wished very hard that the tent would still be there. After a day of driving the sun was starting to set and we drove up the muddy slope in our Lada Niva! James ran up to steps to the roof terrace of the closed Albergue and I could hear a happy sounding `it is still here!´. We looked out at the sun setting over the lake and felt grateful for the mysterious workings of the universe and our friend from the Camino!

Olympics over! now what for Tibet?

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a little place in a big world

a little place in a big world

Its finally over, what happens now for Tibet? Will we see anything in the media now the farce that has been the Olympics closes its doors, lets see.

If you wish to do something you might look to these sites for some direction and maybe even find a little spark of passion, who knows?

FreeTibet.org Good start page

SaveTibet.org Ways you can help

FreeTibetNow.org Take action

Written by James Slevin

25 August, 2008 at 11:03 am

Posted in Tibet

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Free your passion and Tibet!

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Truth be told I have forgotten Tibet. Just but a few months ago there was nothing but Tibet and the freeing of Tibet that I could think of, but, I forgot, no more Tibet, all gone. I am not quite sure how this happens, passion that is, and then the fading of passion. My passion for Tibet started in a town called Chiang Mai, in northern Thailand. It was in the morning, I was having coffee in the open downstairs restaurant of a hostel named the Golden Fern, a lovely place, simple, clean and friendly. The chef stroke philosopher and I where talking of Chinas influence on Thailand, well he was talking, I listening and thinking how great it was to meet someone with such real world experience and wisdom tucked away down a side alley behind a Formica bar painted blue. I must have been thinking more than listening as I don’t really recall what he said, but it was very wise I’m sure. At some point the Landlady placed a copy of the local paper on the bar and on the front page was an article containing the details of how the Olympic torch would be going through Bangkok in two days time on it´s way to China. I read it. At some point between the first word of that story and the last word, that’s where the passion started. I can remember it starting. I went from being happy and content in the direction my mind was in to single mindedly focused on the issue of disgust at Chinas bravado and pomp as regards the Olympics. Within two minutes I had booked a ticket on an overnight train to Bangkok some twelve hours away, I was going to protest!

Passion, its great, but it can get you into all sorts of trouble. Following that simple four or five minutes of time many events unfolded, protests in Bangkok  led to my meeting of ex Tibetan monks in Tibetan bars smoky from Hookah pipe and anguished talk of human rights atrocities in Tibet. T-shirts where made, banners held high, petitions passed along to giddy carefree backpackers who did not know there was even a problem in Tibet. Bangkok led to London where I met with people who cared about Tibet, I joined the “give peace a hand” march where thousands shared a handshake from the Dalai Lama to the Chinese embassy, who by the way did not open there doors to receive this peaceful act. Stones where painted with “Free Tibet” and placed all over as gentle reminders to the Tibetans struggle. I was a one man army, whilst the passion lasted.
I have forgotten Tibet, no more Tibet, all gone.
or is it?

Free Tibet Brighton

rocks on brighton beach

Khao San Road, Bangkok

khao san road, bangkok

united nations, bangkok

No torch in Tibet, united nations, bangkok

give peace a hand

Give peace a hand, London

Written by James Slevin

24 August, 2008 at 1:25 pm