The secret gallery’s blog

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

Posts Tagged ‘environment

Greener Art

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When I was in my degree year I went through a dilemma, I had been making paintings about nature and the environment but using materials that were toxic, particularly white spirits, it seemed paradoxical. I stopped painting and began to work with natural and reclaimed materials, doing land art and interventions. One of the more playful ones I remember doing was a tree with brown bread horses dangling from it in Cork city. My thesis was called “Art from the Land” and I became inspired reading books such as “The unpainted Landscape”. Artists such as Chris Drury and Robert Janz were making work I found interesting. Even when I was doing ephemeral pieces such as “Ice melting on indigo” and “Flour on a car roof” I tended to think of them like paintings, I just could not get away from it! I documented them with photography. I then took it a step further and used natural materials such as rice paper and cotton sheets to document the weather. I used the rice paper to hold the traces left behind by rain showers, and used reclaimed old bank statements folded and stitched and formed into vessels then filled with pigment and oil, when the breeze blew the drips would form wind portraits.

Now I have come in a circle or spiral and I do it all! The different ways of working all interlink and over lap, the paintings sometimes disappear and words are painted and the ephemeral becomes preserved! I do not see it as a question of one or the other but I see there being a place for all. In my practice I recycle, reclaim, and I reduce my use of toxic substances such as white spirits. It can be reused if you allow the mucky paint the sink to the bottom and pore it into another container, it goes a bit orange but it is fine to use again. You can also get water soluble oil paint but I do prefer the oil paint you use white spirits or turpentine with. One day I would love to only use pure pigments, made up in the old fashioned and loved way by James.

My thought of the day,
Sublime and mundane are one and the same!

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Written by Marianne Slevin

11 September, 2008 at 5:55 pm

Part Time Muse for sale, one owner, good mileage.

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The role of a muse is an endless chase, but a better role I know not. Once you taste the nectar you can rarely go back, yet I have occasionally tried to dip my little toe back into the murky waters of “real job title” life, but, its just not for me, its an overly chlorinated pool that just stings the eyes too much.

The moments of rebellious toe dipping generally happen when my role has reached the point it has as of this moment, the point when you have seen your cherished owner fly to the highs of creativity and surpass the need of any outside stimulation, a bird basking in the perfect environment that they were created for, sun, wind, freedom.

At the point of take off, the point a muse must constantly be seeking to harmonise the surroundings and circumstance to create, the muse is temporarily unemployed, no, temporarily retired is more accurate, and it is a strange moment of satisfaction mixed with boredom.

The satisfaction is not an issue as you can imagine, but the boredom is, hence I have decided to offer up my part time retirement as muse in waiting for an artist in search of such services a muse has to offer.

To apply for my services write in no more than 400 words “why you need the service of a muse”.

Please use the comments section of this post for contact and application

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Written by James Slevin

30 August, 2008 at 10:08 pm