The secret gallery’s blog

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

Archive for November 2009

The studio Battle round one (again)!

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The prep talk in Artist’s studio at The Secret Gallery



View of art work in progress drying on floor of studio mixed media on canvas by Marianne Slevin 2009



Detail of the Mixed Media on Canvas  above



Detail 2 of the Mixed Media on Canvas above



Detail 3 of the painting above



Detail 4 of the drawing above



Detail 5 of the Artwork above

Today, I decided to get back into making some realer art, by “realer” I mean physical, messy art! Getting your hands dirty! This art piece is half way between a painting and a drawing. It turned out to be at least partly to do with the yearly salmon run: where they go back to the same place they were born, to lay their eggs. I think it is amazing! Apparently they can recognise even a couple of drops of water in gallons and gallons of other water, from their home place and they follow that stream all the way back.

Written by Marianne Slevin

28 November, 2009 at 8:01 pm

Wind records

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I made these, well I did not strictly make these, as the wind determined where the drips would land on the cotton. I orchestrated it in a way, by placing sheets of cotton, one at a time under a clothes line while the little hand folded, stitched and painted funnels slowly dripped indigo pigment that was mixed with oil.

So tonight I sewed ten sheets of wind records together to form a kind of book. I love the layers of cotton, it makes me want to climb into the book and go to sleep! Many people fall asleep with a book but how many people fall asleep in a book!

Currently I am trying to make some decisions about how to present and finish this work. Should it be displayed on the floor like an open book, hung from the wall or ceiling or to use the central spine as a large tent pole and open it 360 degrees with lines that you would use for a tent? Sometimes it is hard to make a decision!

This art work was made in 2000 in Doolin where we have returned to live many years later, I feel it is still relevant today, maybe even more so as our climate changes, as I write this there is a gale blowing outside, the “Gallery Closed” sign on the door goes bang bang bang!

Written by Marianne Slevin

22 November, 2009 at 11:27 pm

The Frugal Kitchen

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The sight of a fridge that has little else but ends and rinds and vegetable on their last legs (well almost!) strangely, satisfies me greatly, when it comes to making something to  eat. I am much bolder and more inventive when I have to search through the remnants of the last weeks or fortnights shop. I end up by cooking something that I have never cooked before, this often means eating dispirit combinations of fodder but it is a little more interesting then having the same old reliable small selection again and again! Luckily I had some shallots hanging in the kitchen since I pulled them from the garden in the summer and some garlic that was starting to grow from cloves that I put into ground hoping they would grow into big bulbs of garlic. If only I could remember what I cooked!

On a memorable note, but not a gastronomic one! One day, while my Husband and I were walking  the Camino de Santiago, it was February so many of the villages were closed down; that is to say that to a passing hungry walker there was NADA! We were so hungry for a couple of days that when we arrived at yet another shut down village we walked around the village searching for anything we could eat. February is a bad time for this! When we walked in the Summer we found lots of fruit and nuts. My eyes were out on sticks, to my delight I found a couple of onions someone had thrown into a ditch! Outer skins removed they were the main ingredient of our soup for dinner! We were staying in a little Refugio or hostel where some previous pilgrims had left about 10 straws of dried spaghetti and one or two other tiny morsels of food, these with the onion and some rosemary we found, I made an edible but quite disgusting watery soup! I did taste very strongly of rosemary and was very watery but it was hot and got us through the night. I remember we even decorated that Albergue with some art, I wonder is it still there!


James walking the Camino de Santiago, somewhere in Rioja, in February 2005

Written by Marianne Slevin

7 November, 2009 at 5:36 pm

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The Camino Years

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Mixed Media on wall paper scrolls, Marianne Potterton 2006


Mixed Media Scrolls on walls paper, Marianne Potterton 2006



“Stars Swimming Dancing” Mixed Media on wall paper, Marianne Potterton 2006


DSC04140“Transparent Woman”  Indigo pigment and graphite on wall paper Marianne Potterton 2006



“Love Unity” pigment and black corn dye on wall paper Marianne Potterton 2005

We had a few interesting years living on the Camino de Santiago. We were looking after pilgrims who were walking and cycling or occasionally riding a horse. This is where I started to make scrolls using wall paper.  We were renovating an old Adobe “mud” house, while creating temporary camping Albergues and herb gardens and some time based art pieces along the way. More to come soon!

Written by Marianne Slevin

2 November, 2009 at 6:59 pm

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