The secret gallery’s blog

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

Laying a line of Mother of pearl along the garden path

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Today, I suddenly started to tidy up the garden, it had got pretty neglected looking. A month or so ago, I had put a kind of trail/ladder of mother of pearl shells and driftwood down the garden path. Gradually it had turned from a line to a tide line to a messy bird picked, children kicked, moss covered and even seaweed-like, green balls of slime infested path, with some random shells and driftwood on it!

I cleared (I am trying not to use weed killer, my hands have aged about 50 years in a single day!) and edged the path and washed the shells and relayed the trail, starting this time with oyster shells, then driftwood going up as far as the little tree, and up to a branch! Then I lay the Mother of Pearl shells, it was such a meditative experience; gathering the shells then washing them and laying them out carefully. It felt like a lovely ritual, I would like to do it once a month or so.

Even after the big tidy up, the path was still a little messy and mossy, and wet and ended in a Turlough, complete with strange green slime balls!(Does anyone know what these rootless, spreading, weird things are?) Placing these perfect, beautiful little shells on top of natures contributes of it’s persistence and constant reclaiming and growing back over the man made path, both gestured at poetry and absurdity! This felt like a meditative ritual, creating a space to be very quiet and work in a gentle way with nature. When doing my interventions I like to introduce unexpected objects to a place, they tend to be playful and often quirky: changing the way we see things by putting them in a different context.   

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Written by Marianne Slevin

7 October, 2008 at 10:26 pm

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