The secret gallery’s blog

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

Posts Tagged ‘instillation

Modern Mary gets some finishing touches!

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A while ago I wrote about the piece I was making which was mused by James called ‘Modern Mary’. The piece started off as biker leathers with words painted on them, such as brave woman, strong woman, romantic woman, and a list of words that are associated with women. Today, after a conversation about the piece with James, I was encouraged if not sent off to finish the piece as an instillation piece and not just funky looking biker leathers! and to be on time for an open submission exhibition this Friday! So off I went to Ennistymon in search of old fashioned wallpaper, fabric, a very large shoe box or boot box and materials to make a good looking box!

I always find it difficult to finish my work so it becomes something concluded and salable, and does not disappear after a heavy shower! James is far better at this then I am. So he suggested that the box be part of the piece and displayed underneath it with the lid off and resting on the side of the box, the box needed to be lined with old fashioned paper like they would have been, he was thinking of around the 1920s or 1930s as the leathers are old and that is from about when things started to change the most for Women. I really like James’ idea of having the box that the piece is transported in being part of the work and just as much attention and love given to it. We discussed putting it in a glass case or even resin but I preferred the simplicity and lightness of the box. I love art that can be taken with you and is not too cumbersome. This folds up so neatly  into the boot box there is not an inch of waste!

It was fun going around the shops in Ennistymon and asking for the materials, and explaining what I needed them for, it is all part of the art making process. I also enjoyed sitting by the fire and meditatively wrapping wool around the wooden coat hanger listening to the wind. It was almost like knitting by the fire, something many women would have spent many wintry nights doing.

I liked James’ idea of the box looking like it had been stored since the 1920s and now the leathers are taken out and aired reveal ‘Modern Mary’.

Written by Marianne Slevin

27 November, 2008 at 12:52 am

Rising tide lines

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Yesterday, we drove through such a deep flood, that the head lights of our Lada Niva filled with water, and made them look like goldfish bowls! Apparently about 70% of the earth is covered in water. Our own bodies are also about 70% water, I think. What happens when the ice melts with global warming? If the ratio of land to water changes on the earth, what will become of our own physical bodies? Are we not also part of nature? Shall we float or drown or perhaps go else where!

I just had a realization today that I have had a preoccupation with waterlogged fields, for years. Probably from before I ever heard of global-warming. I have done many paintings of unexpected objects under the sea; from beds to bulbs, trees and horses! I have done instillations of drowning/floating hand made objects too.

After an unexpectedly inspiring visit, to a certain  particularly miserable supermarket, sometime early in the early hours, an image of an instillation came in to my mind of a clean empty supermarket, in the open fridge section there was an arrangement of beautifully hand painted milk cartons. They were paintings of dripping sea and sky in what looked like oil paint, but considering they were painted in recycled milk cartons, they were painted with a lot of care and love. The cartons had plastic screw caps so they looked like they could still be full of milk, maybe they were! The flash of an image I had was a perfect antidote to the previous ‘real’ visit to the supermarket.

James suggested getting lots school children to paint one carton each, brilliant! so we are off the find the empty supermarket and ask allot of school children to paint their own interpretations of global-warming and the sea on a milk or fruit juice cartons. Getting children involved in this collaborative project would be great, I also love the idea of doing something to raise environmental awareness with art, both bringing our attention to how much stuff we are creating to simply be thrown away as well as the huge issue of global-warming!

Peace to all!  

Written by Marianne Slevin

11 October, 2008 at 8:44 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