The secret gallery’s blog

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

Posts Tagged ‘interventions

Interventions on the beach at Fanore

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Today was a lovely day, part of it involved a journey to Fanore beach. I did something that I had not done for a while, that was go for a walk on the beach on my own with my old camera, sorry no images yet, I will have get the film processed! The sand was formed into miniature sand dunes with little islands of no dunes, in these islands  I wrote words, such as: Love, unity, joy, smile, laugh and Free Tibet.

I also found the piece of silk from a Foxford blanket  that had been a wedding present given to my parents. I had been carrying around in my camera case for years, taking photographs of it in different situations. The pale blue piece of silk was very fragile and had come away from the rest of the blanket. I repaired the length of silk with horses hair. It reminded me of the the white silk scarves that it is traditional for Tibetan Buddhists to give when they met someone. It also reminded me of the Tibetan prayer flags also known as Wind Horses. I took some photographs of the silk going across a large rock, in places it was a bridge and in there places it was a pale blue path. It was fun to do these playful interventions again.

The last time I did an intervention on Fanore beach was 7 years ago when I stuck bamboo leaves in the sand I had written words about the surrounding area on the leaves, then waited for the sea to come in and to see what would happen the leaves; how the words would be effected by the sea and how the leaves would be dispersed and float on the in coming waves, and I documented this. I enjoy the playful, poetic, absurdity of these interventions!

Written by Marianne Slevin

4 September, 2008 at 11:01 pm

Happenings and Interventions in the landscape and urban spaces

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Things seem to move in circles and 8 years ago I spent a month or so living in the same cottage that we all live in now. I was making work for my M.A. Show. I did interventions which were documented with photography and one video which was of the sea coming in over a sheet, that had text written on it in indigo pigment. I did a series of Wind Records which were made by hanging hand made vessels that dripped indigo pigment and oil onto large sheets of cotton, each one was different; as the wind determined the pattern of the drips. I also made a collection of rain records on rice paper, the rain actually disintegrated little holes and made marks and corrugations through the paper.

  A lot of the interventions I did at that time were playful and kind of visual affirmations of a more harmonious balance between us and nature or between our wild nature and our intellect. Such as taking a sheet of words which were the human aspect, to the sea which was the natural element, then the sheet of words and the sea would do their dance, sort of a playful prayer, or dialogue between the words and the sea. As well as Flour on car roof, which looked almost like archipelagos in a deep blue sea or snow covered mountains!

I also believe that words are very powerful and either written or spoken their vibration ripples out into the universe. There is a scientist who took photographs of ice crystals that formed around certain words, they found that the crystals that formed around positive words such as Love were beautifully formed and the formations around words like `hate´were jagged and all over the place.         

One of the sheets of words I made the words were written while I was walking in the Burren, and about what I saw while I was walking; describing the nature around me. These interventions have been documented and now are made into small folding hand bound books that we now have hanging in the Secret Gallery. It has been a while since I did any of that kind of word work but I think it wont be long before I do again!

The Secret Garden

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Spain (Camino to Santiago)

The back of our Lada Niva 4×4 was filled with the contents of James’ herb garden, which luckily was in pots! Lavender, Rosemary, Thyme, Mint, Tarragon, Fennel and a few more, along with lanterns and candle holders, painted tiles, pieces of oak from old wine barrels which had some words painted on them hoping to inspire the passing pilgrims. A couple of woven table cloths to cover the top of the rusty well, and a watering can. The location was the sight of an anciant Roman village, now all that there is is a dry well and two benches. Suddenly it was a little herb garden!

Every morning we brewed fresh coffee and water for tea that were left along with a little teapot and cups for the ceramony! We left a mound of oranges and lots of granola bars along with a few handy backpacking supplies like cloves of garlic, chillies and shallots! Every morning after leaving the fresh supplies James and I would light the candles and wind up the musical duck pond and dissapear quickly to give the pilgrims a very surreal experience in the middle of a lonely track!

For two months we left these little offerings for pilgrims. The idea of the donativo or donation system that we always used was so that anybody could afford to have something to eat and drink it didn’t matter if they had no money, people could leave what they could afford and what they felt happy leaving in the donativo box. This system worked really well for us and things seem to all level out in the end and everybody seemed to be happier including us! It was hard to believe what a huge difference this little idea made to people’s day, perhaps even their Camino.