The secret gallery’s blog

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

Archive for the ‘I would say…’ Category

Frames and Shiny Things

leave a comment »

Why should a frame make a piece of art worth much more than the additional cost of the frame? I can understand it can add a certain amount more than what it cost to frame, but it seems to be disproportionate. It is a lot to do with perception, I suppose. Yes, I would like to frame my drawings and paintings in beautifully made frames, the really expensive ones! Real wood, no wood grain effect chipboard that seems to be all you can get in any reasonably priced framers.

This fascination with “finished product” outweighing what is underneath the surface sweeps across many areas of life in the West. There is superficial idea of what beauty is, from our food chain to how we judge art and even people. This tendency to judge things by their outward appearances alone  has tricked us, our “beautiful” shiny objects are breaking down, they are designed to, so we are caught in the cycle of buying the newer version. When we turn to use the old way it is no longer available to us because everyone is caught up in the cycle and the old way of doing things is obsolete.

Marketing is even taking over the way people talk about how to be an artist, how to sell yourself. I am concerned that if you are not already established as an artist, who are free to be eccentric, that artists by the hoops that they have to jump through to get any type of funding or exposure have to, by nature be a certain way inclined. I cant help but be reminded of those pieces of fruit or vegetables that are not the right uniform shape to get to the packaging stage of the production line being cast aside, and their irregular kind dying out.

I always made it through the system as one of those irregular pieces of fruit! I was lucky because I went to interviews with human beings and it wasn’t just about filling in allocated spaces in forms. People are all more than their C. V. more than the forms they fill in more then their 6 jpeg images. We have strange selection processes, I think we need to rethink the way we choose things and deciding what things are worth, not to do things the easiest way, because we all know what we loose when we just go for the easy option, we loose our integrity.

View from "Vulnerable" at The Secret Gallery. Central image "Barbie World"

View from “Vulnerable” at The Secret Gallery. Central image “Barbie World”

Advertisements

Written by Marianne Slevin

10 February, 2013 at 1:01 pm

In Hindsight in Foresight

with one comment

Untitled-15

The Mycelium and Earth Regeneration Project, ink and pigment on paper map, 2011 Marianne Slevin

If someone was ever to ask me, “what Art College I should apply to? or where should I live if I want to give my art career a really good chance?” I would say go to where there is a vibrant art scene, great galleries and museums and a lot of artists. That is if you care about being successful as a recognized artist. For a wonderful Christmas present James my husband gave me two mammoth books, Vitamin P2 and Vitamin D by Phaidon, new perspectives in Painting and Drawing. I was not entirely surprised to see where the Artists lived, nearly all of them live in major cities particularly New York and other American cities, even if they were born somewhere else. Another example of this is the artist Katie Holten, who is one of my favorite contemporary artists. She grew up in rural Ireland and now has a very successful art career in New York.

What are we to do about this? We cant all up sticks and leave to go to a metropolises seeking fame and fortune! One thing we can do is to create our own mini vibrant art scene around us, by joining others for reinforcement. Bringing our creative skills outside our practice as well, inventing new ways of working within a rural community. I have just joined the Artist’s group called Ground Up Artists Collective. These are a group of around 20 Artists who have their own practices but come together as a collective for art projects within the rural community as well is galleries. I am really looking forward to taking part in some new diverse works. The Altruism Movement T.A.M. is also starting to come together again and we will be starting to do some collaborative projects very soon again.

Another thing we can do is realize that while it might be harder to gain recognition in rural places as an Artist the rural is a wonderful and inspiring place to make art work, and the more Artists that stay the more creative a place it will be for everyone. However I do intend to visit cities more to create more openings to show my work to a larger audience. Starting with Dublin where I am also looking forward to seeing the work of Rivane Neuenschwander in The Irish Museum of Modern Art, then London then who knows! What do you Think?

Written by Marianne Slevin

20 January, 2012 at 1:05 pm

The Critical Mass

with 2 comments

Outside The Funny Little Gallery, Doolin photograph by Marianne Slevin

Artists often work on the periphery of society, rearranging or dismantling border controls and crossings, shifting boundaries and boulders  and generally being a bit discontent with the current situation. Somehow the word “content” and the word “artist” don’t really go together. This discontentment and unease could be one of the reasons that the general public who are not in this creative battle find much contemporary art to be not what they are looking for. This “not what is being looked for” is a problem for artists; as in, people coming to view art with a preconceived idea and the art has to fit into their idea of what art should be, for them. If art is to conform to the wants of the masses, how is art to grow? This discontentment and unease is a catalyst for growth in art, like an athlete, an artist will push beyond the comfort zone, questioning and creating and developing, as if they were muscles being pushed to their limits.

We have “The Funny Little Gallery” on the road towards The Cliffs of Moher, you can imagine the traffic! yet the only people who call in are artists or have a artist in their family and/or have a big appreciation of art. This is a tiny percentage of the people who pass by every day. The masses drive to the Cliffs and do the Aran Islands. The majority of people feel alienated from art, unless it is something that they can relate to, such as a scene of a landscape  that they like or something nostalgic or sentimental. This gap between the people who appreciate art and the people who don’t is gapping. There should not be such a gap, there is something wrong; as everyone is creative. I feel things are changing now, but in the past there was nothing taught in school since about The Impressionists. That’s about where the appreciation of art stopped, in certain places.

It is part of the job of the artist to take the audience into consideration, but not to be stifled by the audience. It is a two way thing; artists need to take a step towards the public and the public needs to take a step towards the artist. Many artists and collaborating groups are doing this and have  been doing this for many years. My own step is opening up our house to the public and welcoming anyone who wishes to come inside into an informal setting, also by talking about my work to the people who visit in a way that you don’t need an art education to understand. My mission is to start filling the gapping void between the art world and the rest of the world, even in a tiny way. When the critical mass reaches a certain number or ratio then the general public will love art too!

Written by Marianne Slevin

15 June, 2010 at 12:47 pm

Wonderful Nature And The Inner Art Critic

with one comment

“Dazzled by Red Cabbage,” photographs by Marianne Slevin

Today, I am going to begin to write a little bit about, how some of my paintings or other art pieces come about. Well, just about everything that I am anyway aware of, effects my art work! That which I put in and also that which I omit. What is left out of an art work often says as much as what is in it. The art making process is a sort of distillery of time, space and experience. Sifting through the river bed at a rapid speed, honing in when there is a sparkle as not to miss anything precious.

Over time our specific areas of interest become more developed, embracing new ideas that fit in with the growing picture. I have always loved nature, now that love of nature is finding nature in all sorts of places, such as the kitchen.

There are many parts to this art making beast, but it may be helpful for them all to join hands and cooperate. Many artists talk as if their inner art critic is a dreadful unruly beast that they would be better off without, and perhaps they are right, but perhaps our inner art critic could be useful if we listened to them and gave them a little of our time, maybe they are just angry cause we think we know it all.

May I suggest a meeting with the inner art critic; a constructive interview. Hear what they have to say, and have a conversation, debate and put your side forward too. This may stop future torment in the studio mid movement! Which is far worse and hurtful. Put that dreadful little voice to rest for good or take some advice that could be worth taking. Grab it by the horns over a coffee or Jasmin tea! Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could actually made peace with our inner art critic?

Written by Marianne Slevin

16 March, 2010 at 10:54 pm

Every Child is an Artist

leave a comment »

DSCF2873

“It looks prettier with blue in it”    Oil paint and natural pigment on a paper bag  by our Daughter aged nearly 4

Every child is an artist, children can also see art more than adults, often. I recon that if art was” taught” in a more encouraging way in schools and by parents, and adults nurtured children’s creativity that the next generation would be a lot more confident about making art and looking at other people’s art.

Written by Marianne Slevin

14 May, 2009 at 9:27 am

Posted in I would say...

Tagged with , ,

Conversations with trees

leave a comment »

DSCF2586

Drawings in the studio

Left Bird flight formation

Right Conversation with a tree

 

DSCF2588

Detail of drawing

pigment and ink drawn with an eagles feather on wall-paper

A few years ago I attended a Shaman weekend workshop in Dunderry park, Co. Meath, which I really enjoyed. Part of the workshop introduced the practice of “Stalking Awareness” which was a very slow moving operation involving listening to the Earth, one particular morning this was followed by having a conversation with a tree, it is amazing what you hear when you listen! This particular tree was not too happy about man’s unharmonious relationship with nature, particularly roads and traffic, considering its close proximity to Tara and nearby motorway it is not surprising! I still don’t know if it was me talking or the tree, I suppose it is all the same thing!

Written by Marianne Slevin

20 January, 2009 at 12:28 am

Let me light up!

leave a comment »

DSCF2417

Detail of work on paper in the studio today

Willow Charcoal, indigo pigment and ink on paper   Marianne Potterton 2008-2009

 

DSCF2420

Detail of work on paper in the studio today

Compressed charcoal, indigo pigment and ink on paper   Marianne Potterton 2008-2009

 

I am feeling a bit disgruntled today about certain things so I thought I would make some art about it! Things like not being able to smoke in a pub or cafe. I don’t care what they say it has changed things; people don’t go out and talk and and fun like they used to, they stay in and watch television more. Our freedom is slipping away, bit by bit. Life has gotten so serious, so today I say light up, (a candle if you don’t smoke!) lighten up and liven up!

These drawings started off as stone rubbings from the floor of the Secret Gallery, then I saw that it looked a little like the sea and coast line maybe even the Cliffs of Moher.If you look closely you can see a little boat and a tent, James in search of wilderness!

Written by Marianne Slevin

5 January, 2009 at 5:14 pm