The secret gallery’s blog

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

Personal Statement

with 5 comments

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.)

Written by Marianne Slevin

27 November, 2008 at 11:15 pm

5 Responses

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  1. “I often use everyday materials that are already in my life but somehow call me to create something with them…”

    Oh, I get this too. I get a little ‘back of the head’ tingle when something is calling to me. Sometimes I find things in charity shops that speak to me like that and I have to buy them and bring them home. Or I’ll see something lying in the street and feel compelled to pick it up. Often I don’t directly make art with these finds but they do inspire me.

    Kirsty Hall

    28 November, 2008 at 4:16 pm

  2. Hi Kirsty,

    Thank you for your comment. I know sometimes I get a feeling that art needs to be made out of something it kind of shines or keeps catching my eye, or I just cant bare to through it out! Yes I only wish there were more charity shops near here! When I lived in Barcelona, once a week people would leave there unwanted furniture and belongings beside or in particular skips in the Barrio Gotico and we artists would wait like vultures to grab the gems they would leave there, everything from antique bank statements to old doors! We furnished our flat and got many materials to work with. I did a whole series of drawings and painting on the old bank statements, maybe I will eventually get around to doing something with them one day!

    Best wishes,

    Marianne Potterton

    28 November, 2008 at 10:32 pm

  3. Hello Marianne,
    Discovered Secret Gallery by chance whilst searching for pigments in Barcelona (no luck).
    Love your work and the site, especially the indigo/words/sheets/blowing in the wind…….

    Patricia K. Kelly

    20 December, 2008 at 1:57 am

  4. Hi Patricia,

    Glad you like the site and the indigo/words/sheets in the wind. I bought some pigment in Barcelona but I am sorry I Cant remember where, it was 8 years ago!

    Best wishes,


    Marianne Potterton

    20 December, 2008 at 11:11 pm

  5. I have a painting that I bought over 40 years ago by j slevin it’s a man in black swimming trunks on a sandy beach with belongings around him boots etc
    Any information ? I am sorry I don’t know who that J Slevin could be. Good luck with finding the artist.
    Best wishes Marianne

    Dermot Herbert

    2 July, 2020 at 12:11 pm

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