The secret gallery’s blog

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

No time like the present

with 2 comments

The present is all that exists, the past is gone, the future is not yet found, but within the present we can change the past and the future. I used to think that it was best to follow your natural way; what feels right. Now I think that sometimes to improve on our past we have to do what feels difficult, and uncomfortable and pushes us outside of our comfort zones. Why am I saying all of this, I don’t really know, maybe I am attempting to write like I practice my art! You just start, it feels uncomfortable and often vulnerable; you cant see any outcome but you keep going till one appears. It is an uncomfortable state to continuously put yourself in, why do we still do it ? If you totally understand what you are doing, how can you create something new? But to expose yourself as not knowing what you are doing is a risky business!

To stand completely in the present, is to be the you, who you are now, not then, and not the one you may become. While I am involved in the practice of art, I search out this present state continuously, sometimes these present states seem to almost repeat themselves over and over again to form an image that we perceive ourselves to be; we feel like we have some kind of substance, it is almost like a security blanket! Maybe we sometimes hold onto to this a little too tightly. I feel that much of the art world reaffirms this, by urging artists to stay within the parameters, almost of a ‘catch phrase’ that describes the whole of their art practice. I think that this can be extremely limiting. I am who I am now in this present moment, my art will, I hope reflect this, but who I am tomorrow my be very different. I am a little bit of allot of things, and I am very reluctant to box myself in and overly define myself when expansion calls!     

Written by Marianne Slevin

21 October, 2008 at 6:56 pm

Posted in Thoughts on art

Tagged with ,

2 Responses

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  1. “If you totally understand what you are doing, how can you create something new? But to expose yourself as not knowing what you are doing is a risky business!…

    …It is an uncomfortable state to continuously put yourself in, why do we still do it?”

    Maybe by allowing feeling to take over, we can get past the clutter of life and reflect something true. To realise what we expect from that vague notion, we use our eyes to scan, but do we really see what we are doing at the time? The instinctive decision-making seems to be a blind pursuit.

    To be successful in our creativity is to feed into what we create. Conceiving an idea is to smell the optical illusion, to step into the colour, to hear the thing that is missing, to taste the right shape, or see behind an object in the real world, receding in the distance like a mirror image reflected in another mirror. We look at the things we create with our eyes, but they come into being via all of our senses.

    Working to a formula is a gamble; sometimes you strike it rich. Exerting control over our artistic endeavours has it’s place, but creating becomes an event instead of a journey, each work definable and in it’s place. I think most artists would agree, that the act of making something is more interesting when it is a challenge.

    Like my father used to say, “a man who never made a mistake never made anything”.


    25 October, 2008 at 1:26 pm

  2. Polly, thank you so much for writing such a wonderfully inspiring comment! I love the idea of stepping into, hearing, tasting and using all our senses when we create work, my eyes have been a little blood-shot lately, maybe I was over using them and not using the other senses enough!

    Yes allowing feeling to take over does clear away much head clutter and allow something honest to emerge. I actually did some drawing a few days ago, of how my heart feels, I have been meditating! I am hoping to continue the drawing when I get some more paper. Maybe I will take out that wall paper liner and start again right away, no time like the present!

    Also, thanks for saying that along with creation comes the inevitable mistakes, they don’t feel so bad when you see it like that!

    Marianne Potterton

    26 October, 2008 at 6:02 pm

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