The secret gallery’s blog

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

Posts Tagged ‘artist

Frames and Shiny Things

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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the old way it is no longer available to us because everyone is caught up in the cycle and the old way of doing things is obsolete.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”

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Written by Marianne Slevin

10 February, 2013 at 1:01 pm

Everyone is an artist but not everyone can see it as art!

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Joseph Beuys said ‘Everyone is an Artist’, I agree with this statement and think that Joseph Bueys was a terrific Artist himself, and one of my greatest influences. Much of the art made since Beuys has the same sentiment; that everyone is an artist, yet it is often this very art that many people feel alienated from, or baffled by, it is such a paradox! I notice this with my own art sometimes. A reasonably skilfully drawn, recognisable and framed piece, where people feel that they could not technically draw it themselves is revered above the pieces that are more inventive, imaginative, creative, original, and playful, and there are many other qualities that can be associated with art and life which are available to everyone and you don’t need to go to art classes to get them! We work with what we have available to us at any given moment. As we change constantly so will our art. One day we can be present to making a certain type of art but the next it does not seem to fit where we are at that moment. Sometimes it may never fit!

If I do not have a steady hand to paint fine detail with precision or the temperament, this probably means that I wont be painting the fine intricate masts of the ships at sea, that I remember being in owe of as a child. However my strengths as an artist will be somewhere else, and the same applies to every single other person. Making art related to what you are passionate about and not faking it is a good start! Just because you like Rembrant, it does not mean you have to be like him and reproduce his work. Sometimes I am shocked by what I create and have to leave it for awhile to catch up with it, but this work-play helps me to grow; it is all part of the creative journey.

Written by Marianne Slevin

15 November, 2008 at 1:38 am

The Art of Selection and Integration in the age of information

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Overload! even as I write this blog the T.V. is on, I turn it off! The wind blows, there is information and lessons coming from every direction: nature, myself and each member of the family, every electric gadget in the house such as, iPods, laptops and televisions! and memories of past lessons and information. There are also lifetimes worth of learning in books, poems other people’s art and many other things to take in. That’s just inside the house!

One of the jobs of an Artist is to make a lot of decision! What is important? It seems limitless, stretching into infinity, but you have got to start the journey with a single step, that step could be in any direction. It could even be a step too far! Last night I had a dream about making a garden in a little corner of a built up area, I planted young leek plants and laid some stones but there was something missing, I placed one of my boots set one step into the earth, by removing one step’s worth of earth, like the person had taken one step too far or something! I think I might actually try to reconstruct this dream somewhere in the real world. When you dream you have already filtered through loads of information and made sense or stories out of what you have been witness too. Sometimes this can be really creative, and uncensored, and while we are asleep there are not all the usual distractions of external information.

Sometimes I ask myself can I  balance the information I receive, and give it perspective, can I integrate the ideas of the modernists and the postmodernists? Can I also while doing this not dissipate into a million different directions! Is it simply better to forget everything you think you know and give it to the wind and the snow! Sit under a tree and learn everything you need to know!? Or continually balance our two sides? Maybe if we could balance our own polarities so they sang in harmony the rest of the world would follow!

Written by Marianne Slevin

10 November, 2008 at 5:09 pm

Dreams and the subconscious in art

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For many years dreams have played a large part in my art. My degree show was an instillation which was inspired by a series of dreams. There were nine horse dream blankets, they were the size and shape of real horse blankets. They were suspended between the floor and the ceiling, like bridges between the earthly and the spiritual. They were made from different materials  including: hay, hessian, clay indigo pigment and poppy seed stain, some of the blankets had dreams written on them.

Last night I had a dream about painting, all I remember was in the dream I realised that when you are painting you have to become the painting. I think this relates to how connected you are to the painting when you are working on it; that you really have to feel it. It is a little bit like how the Zen masters become one with what they are meditating on, or say writing a Haiku about.

Sometimes it feels like you become the painting and sometimes it feels like the painting becomes you, it is a dialogue between the artist and what is becoming revealed through the painting; or the conscious mind and the subconscious mind.

As a child, one of my strangely strong memories was of thinking to myself that, I wanted to invent a way for us to tap into the subconscious mind. Then I did not know how art could do this. It is strange, or maybe not so strange that this is what I am still attempting to do!

Written by Marianne Slevin

23 September, 2008 at 9:31 pm

Secret art in surprising places

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I love the idea of things being a little bit surprising, even odd! I would like to think of the art that I make extending out beyond the parameters of the frame or actual piece that I make. I was thinking why did we call the gallery The Secret Gallery, well one of the answers is that the word secret hints at something that is unknown possibly magical or mysterious, coming across something that is personal or intimate as opposed to solely commercial. I like the idea of having a gallery in a cottage that is also a home. To me art and life are inseparable. I do also enjoy the less homely type of gallery! However, they say we try to create what we think missing in the world, and I wish there were lots of secret galleries, and if I was going to buy some art I would love to talk to the artist over a good cup of coffee or a glass of wine! I wish there was more art that was taken out of its studio storage hiding places! For me it has been a very positive experience to air my paintings and other art work to the public.

Written by Marianne Slevin

13 September, 2008 at 1:42 pm

Art and Horse Riding

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I agree with the artist Deborah Butterfield who makes large sculptures of horses out of pieces of scrap, when she described horse riding as a "kinetic language" and that we try to "communicate with another species". I have been fascinated by this kinetic language since I was eight years old when I began to learn about horse riding. I think my first lessons in art came from my horse riding instructor, Fergus O’Connor. Since then horses and the art of horse riding have been a huge inspiration to me. The feeling I try to (though don’t often!) achieve while on a horses is a dynamic, athletic movement that is so soft and balanced it almost like floating along in a dream! It is both effortless and precise at the same time. I think this could be applied to just about anything, but to me it is the same feeling I try to achieve while painting in many ways.

Written by Marianne Slevin

12 September, 2008 at 11:30 am

Finding great women from the past and present.

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I would like to know more about great and inspiring women from the past. When I think about the people that I don’t or did not know personally, that have influenced me I am sad to say that there are few women. Some of the men I think of as being great are: Basho, Herman Hesse, Joseph Beuys, The Dali Lama, Derek Jarman and Christy Moore and last but not least my greatest inspiration James Slevin. Though the women I grew up with and went to college with are profoundly inspiring. I wonder why I don’t know about more about great women that I did not know personally? I know they are there. Some of the discovered women I do know through books that I think are great are:  the artist and painter Frida Kahlo, Clarissa Pinkola Estes, who wrote Women who run with wolves, and Suzi Gablic, who wrote a great book called Conversations before the end of time, among others. Please let the great women from the past and present not be a secret anymore! Come out come out who ever you are! Please let me know who you have discovered by writing in the comments section of this post.

 

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Written by Marianne Slevin

8 September, 2008 at 9:37 am