The secret gallery’s blog

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

Posts Tagged ‘doolin

Scarab With Woman Pattern

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Work in progress,” Scarab with woman pattern”,  pencil on paper, Marianne Slevin 2010

This image is from a dream I had last night, I was amazed by it in the dream and also on waking! Today I went for a walk with my family along the cliff from Doolin towards the cliffs of Moher, it was spectacular! When we stopped by a large sloping slab of stone after laying down on it for about 5 minutes I picked up a sharp piece that had broken off it and drew something like this onto it. It will be washed away in the next shower of rain, I am sure. However I like this fragility in art and am trying to come to terms with it in life!

I am still working on some jellyfish paintings in the studio, shifting from one material to another can be really refreshing; drawing with the sharp nib of a pencil or even a rock after using oil paint on a kind of loose way can keep things fresh, and surprising.

Written by Marianne Slevin

24 October, 2010 at 4:53 pm

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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!

Written by Marianne Slevin

15 June, 2010 at 12:47 pm

Your “Madness” could be your Treasure

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Photograph, Doolin Pier at sunset with motor bike helmets

One of my earliest and deepest fears was that I was mad. Not in a kind of arty way, just plain mad. Yep my brain does not work in a typical way, this I must have been aware of from a very young age, hence the worry being mad! When I went to Grennan Mill craft school after I left school, I found my clan, in a way. I felt normal, it was great! Since then I have been learning that being different and eccentric has many positive aspects.

The other day in an underground car park in Ennistymon my husband and I started to talk about madness. He said everyone is mad, just in different ways, but that the madness is was talking about is not a bad thing; that it can be the thing that is the most beautiful thing about us. I liked this statement. Suddenly it opened up a world of possibilities, for me. James said to me to think of one of my madnesses; one of the things that I have an urge to do but for some reason feel I should not do because of society. I said when I am on the back of the motor bike I feel like holding my arms out like I am flying. So for most of the journey home to Doolin I stuck my arms out, it was great! ( I am not recommending people do this!) What mad or crazy thing do you feel like doing? Allow you madness to express itself, our quirks and individuality are what made us human and ultimately beautiful!

Written by Marianne Slevin

31 May, 2010 at 2:01 pm

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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

Peace and The Little Prince

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The night before last, I was told to “go and make some art” by James, my husband. It is great to have such encouragement to do the things I really want to do but often don’t do on my own.  I have been thinking about the land art project we are doing along the walking routes in the Burren and North Clare, so I went over to the turf basket and started playing around with bits of turf! (one of the walks is on a bog road) First I created this peace sign inspired by James. I have been reading the children “The Little Prince”. I really love the book, it influenced the little stars which I cut out of banana skins.







Banana skin stars on turf in the Secret Gallery between Doolin and The Cliffs of Moher.

Some of the reasons that I put little yellow stars on turf may be because:

I have been reading “The Little Prince”.

The following day we had a conversation with our friend, she was talking about it being the time of stars, as they have more effect on us, maybe because we see the stars more as it gets dark earlier. It is also the time of year that there are more shooting stars.

Stars are very big compared to pieces of turf yet they are similar; the turf is a tiny nugget of the earth which is a planet too.

I remember night time bog walks as a child looking up at the stars.

Apparently there may be some moon dust on the earth after they crash into the moon. I hope it does not upset things too much on the moon or for us as a consequence of us interfering with the mighty Moon.

Maybe because it was playful, and I liked the contrast of the smooth banana skins and the rough turf. Who knows!

Peace to all

Written by Marianne Slevin

9 October, 2009 at 11:02 am