The secret gallery’s blog

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

Archive for November 27th, 2008

Personal Statement

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My art practice and everyday life can blur into one another so much that it is impossible to separate them. I  often use everyday materials that are already in my life but somehow call me to create something with them, such as brown paper bags turned into poppy seed heads, a broken umbrella, the biker leathers James gave me for my 34th birthday. One day I put on these leathers and my back went for no apparent reason, we both thought that I needed to make some art with these leathers, some healing needed to be done, my back recovered!

My own art journey travels to the invisible and tries to make it visible and overlooked reconsidered and repositioned. I like to combine things which are rarely seen together; relocating them, such as painted words on clothes, both clothes for humans and in the past horses. I often use text in my art practice and see words as having a lot of power, like prayer flags.

However I do not limit myself to making or recreating objects solely, I move freely from the flatter lands of painting and drawing, printing, collage and photography and into the rolling hills of solid object land, I also enter the disappearing and reappearing land of video from time to time. As well as the land, sea and sky itself with environmental and time-based works. Sometimes these all overlap.

James Slevin is both my partner in life and my muse. In the past it was usual for male artists to have a female muses. We work together, I make, but he somehow sees from a distance with more clarity where the piece is going and guides it  in a very gentle and perceptive manner, not changing its destiny but helping it to fully reach it.  

(This statement is to go with my resent work, which is hand made objects and instillation art, though it is connected to my painting I have a separate statement for my painting written by  a great friend and art writer.)

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Written by Marianne Slevin

27 November, 2008 at 11:15 pm

Modern Mary gets some finishing touches!

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A while ago I wrote about the piece I was making which was mused by James called ‘Modern Mary’. The piece started off as biker leathers with words painted on them, such as brave woman, strong woman, romantic woman, and a list of words that are associated with women. Today, after a conversation about the piece with James, I was encouraged if not sent off to finish the piece as an instillation piece and not just funky looking biker leathers! and to be on time for an open submission exhibition this Friday! So off I went to Ennistymon in search of old fashioned wallpaper, fabric, a very large shoe box or boot box and materials to make a good looking box!

I always find it difficult to finish my work so it becomes something concluded and salable, and does not disappear after a heavy shower! James is far better at this then I am. So he suggested that the box be part of the piece and displayed underneath it with the lid off and resting on the side of the box, the box needed to be lined with old fashioned paper like they would have been, he was thinking of around the 1920s or 1930s as the leathers are old and that is from about when things started to change the most for Women. I really like James’ idea of having the box that the piece is transported in being part of the work and just as much attention and love given to it. We discussed putting it in a glass case or even resin but I preferred the simplicity and lightness of the box. I love art that can be taken with you and is not too cumbersome. This folds up so neatly  into the boot box there is not an inch of waste!

It was fun going around the shops in Ennistymon and asking for the materials, and explaining what I needed them for, it is all part of the art making process. I also enjoyed sitting by the fire and meditatively wrapping wool around the wooden coat hanger listening to the wind. It was almost like knitting by the fire, something many women would have spent many wintry nights doing.

I liked James’ idea of the box looking like it had been stored since the 1920s and now the leathers are taken out and aired reveal ‘Modern Mary’.

Written by Marianne Slevin

27 November, 2008 at 12:52 am