The secret gallery’s blog

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

Posts Tagged ‘cliffs of moher

The Critical Mass

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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!

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Written by Marianne Slevin

15 June, 2010 at 12:47 pm

James Art in the Secret Gallery’s Garden

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This is a selection of some of the Art work that James has made over the past few months. He started with the large wooden sign for the Secret Gallery which is on the road between Doolin and The Cliffs of Moher, and since then his creativity just keeps on flowing! The piece above was made to support our wedding cakes, I really love it, now it is a Love Unity sun dial sculpture. “The Dalai Lamas Very Happy Wine Bar” was made for our wedding, and in keeping with the fancy dress in the theme of Kind People from History. The actual bar was painted all over with the word Love and Unity. I am hoping that there will be even more of James art at the Secret Gallery Garden soon!

Written by Marianne Slevin

11 September, 2009 at 4:37 pm

Thoughts on tissue paper

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Thoughts on tissue paper 1,2,3,4,5, Marianne Slevin (formerly know as Potterton!) September 2009

Thoughts written in  children’s colouring markers on recycled tissue paper hanging in my studio in the Secret Gallery somewhere between Doolin and the Cliffs of Moher, on 5th September 2009. Maybe in a years time I can fill a whole gallery with these floating thoughts. This is a new phase in my art practice after 18 months or so of painting, though it relates to much of the previous art I did using text and materials that are not traditionally used for making art. I wanted to start to write a journal again in the old fashioned way, this is a culmination of blogging, tweeting and the good old diary, turned into a visual experience; you  can read as much or as little as you like. I am drawn to working with fragile materials once more, I like the way when up get close to them and breathe that they move; our presence effects them, as well as the gentlest breeze.

I would like to do some as often as it seems appropriate for a whole year, but then that sounds a little contrived so I will just see where it leads me. 365 thoughts in the first year of my marriage my sound  very neat but in my real and chaotic life it my be something like as many thoughts as I have pieces of tissue paper,( that was used to protect and wrap our wedding presents) till the time when the thoughts I  have no longer wish to be written upon that same tissue paper! The very first piece I wrote was about this need to constantly compartmentalise things in the west, everything has the be accounted for, and all the messy bits need to be cleaned up! It is often those messy straggling bits and pieces that are the most interesting and awaken something within us!

Written by Marianne Slevin

5 September, 2009 at 7:49 pm

The Secret Gallery is a Sleeping and Meditating Space for the Winter!

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Gradually The Secret Gallery has become more and more homely, James has been baking everyday and his croissants, breads and biscotti have been divine! I have been making my own stock and soups. The other day as I carried a wooden platter turned by my Dad with some fresh bread made by James with loganberry jam on it made by my Mum into our children, they said “and everyone made the butter”! Long live the Good Life!

The gallery is becoming a meditation room for the winter, paintings are being stored and incense and candles are burning! If people are interested in visiting the studio to see some art work we can arrange that if we have a little notice! We will be opening up again next year, hope to see you all then!

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Front door of The Secret Gallery last Summer.

 

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Shells down the garden path at The Secret Gallery

 

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Road sign, between Doolin and The Cliffs of Moher

Written by Marianne Slevin

22 November, 2008 at 10:36 pm

Little poems from Doolin

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Eight years ago, when I visited Doolin for about a month during my M.A, I wrote these poems that slightly resemble Haiku poetry. I wrote them as I walked near the Cliffs of Moher and across The Burren. Now they are draped over our sofa on lengths of cotton! Little did I know that my family would one day sit on the words in the very same house! Life is very unpredictable and mysterious!

 

Here

horses graze

among sea-foam

 

Looking down

the sea-gulls

are imitating stars

 

Floating on

even thistles

become soft

 

Every day

I walk

a circle

 

The moon

is reflected

in a distant rock-pool

 

Wind is blowing

even horses

cling to mountains

Written by Marianne Slevin

26 October, 2008 at 6:36 pm

Posted in Words

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The day posting simple 3

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Its early, its quiet. Early is the ONLY time its quiet in this house come gallery/studio, such is life with children. Its raining, its pouring.

Marianne has been commissioned to create these small handcrafted paper boats dipped in wax, they are amazing, but every time my eyes glance upon one scattered around the gallery I wonder if it is an omen, Noah’s ark, not perched on mountain filled two by two, but here on the weather battered Cliffs of Moher, waiting for the floods to come.

Its early, its quiet.

Its raining, its pouring.

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Written by James Slevin

26 August, 2008 at 5:47 am