Posts Tagged ‘land art’
“Day Two of feeding the birds on a stone wall” Ink, dew and text on Japanese Paper Marianne Slevin November 2014
I have always loved loose work, scribbles and splurges such as Cy Twombly’s work, almost looking like the image got washed up on some artists paper or canvas by a wave. Early influences were expressionism and abstract expressionism such as Jackson Pollock, Land Art, Haiku poetry, where the poet merges with its subject so much they become one, Eastern philosopher and interpreter Alan Watts. Then I found John Cage’s visual art, Miceahangelo Pistolleto, Arte Povera, The Brazilian artists of the 50s and 60s such as Lygia Pape working for social change. Performance Artist Marina Abramovic, The ‘Beat’ writer Jack Kerouac and Aboriginal artists such as Judy Watson Napangardi and Jazz music, and that’s just the main characters!
Humanity tends to divide, separate and compartmentalize everything, I am drawn towards these rifts and gullies between things. Where East meets West, where formalism meets process, where art meets life and where intention meets the unknown. Performance comes into my process but I am not strictly a performance artist. I love the dark room but I am not really a photographer, I love the direct yet unexpected results you can achieve through printmaking, but I am not one for heavy presses. I prefer spontaneous in situ ways of working. However there are aspects of the dark room and the printing press in my work. I hack, invent, and use life around me to make images. I make unseen things in my environment visible and they develop in front of my eyes like a photograph, I also print with living things around me whether in the fridge or the garden. I use the elements, my environment whether inner or outer. My sense of self as the artist expands out into the universe around me meeting with the dew that settles on the grass and the leak that trickles through the window. I am a gentle opportunist borrowing whatever is around me to play with and grow with.
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
Yesterday, I handed in a proposal for a collaborative exhibition and site specific art works, so fingers crossed, some time next year when the heather is in bloom there will be Art works in all sorts of wild and wonderful places. Myself and my husband James Slevin, are going to be working on it together so I am very excited! We will be fusing organic with technology! I am really looking forward to working with James on it, I think that it is going to be really interesting to see what we make. Making a deadline on time is always a great feeling. Though I was like a angry rat yesterday trying to get it done! I am not sure when we will hear back but the best remedy for that is to apply for another exhibition straight away so I am not focusing all my attention and hopes on it.
Today, I went on one of the natural walking routes that we are planning to make some art on. I often go horse riding there as it is the only place near by that I can ride off the road. It is a bog road, it is really beautiful and so removed from the road a couple of kilometres away. I took some photographs and got some inspiration, I brought back some natural materials to work with including heather, bog oak, red grass and turf.
The photographs were taken with an old film camera, which is a lovely change from using digital, but sorry no images for now. I took some photographs of the stacks of turf. This year I spent a very short time stacking turf with a friend and it was such lovely satisfying feeling. I also make two hay cocks myself with hay I hand turned, this was really enjoyable for me. Now I go around with a scissors and cut roadside grass for Maya the horse. I guess I am a country girl!
We are saddened by the lack of off road walks for people walking and riding horses, so we want to try to do something to get more trails made. Even The Burren Way goes quite a distance on the road, this is sad when the landscape is so beautiful and the roads are so dangerous.
My Family Cooking mussels on the beach at Fanore
Mine might start in a tent. We have a slight addiction to buying tents, the best value one was £12 from Argos in London. I would wake up in a beautiful place on some common land beside the sea. I’d brew some coffee in a Mocha pot and enjoy it far more then when I wake up in the comfort of my own home, and having coffee. Ever since walking the Caminos (we walked the Camino de Santiago three times in total with James), morning coffees while camping have been a lovely ritual. Though Jasmine tea, hot chocolate or whatever you love to drink in the morning is a great start to the day. Next I would go for a swim or walk or do a little bit of yoga, Reiki or meditation, it is amazing they are all free! Remember to breathe and drink some natural spring water.
For breakfast for best value for me it has to be porridge or if you catch your your own mackerel that is even better, fried in a dusting of flour on the camping gas, or on an open fire make with driftwood. With some flour a pinch of salt and some water, mix into a dough for flat breads to accompany the mackerel. You could go out on the rocks when the tide is out and pick some mussels for lunch too!
The postal service is one of the best value things these is, in my opinion. Emails are great but here is nothing like getting real physical letter. I would spend the rest of the morning writing a couple of letters. Another thing that is great value, well in fact it is free is to video call on Skype to other people who use Skype. I would love to have a distant gathering of friends who cant get to see each other often enough. Or reading a library book book for hours would be good too, libraries are brilliant!
Do some land art on the beach and the rocks. Find out how to make a Camera Obscura out of a shoe box so you can take photographs without buying a camera. They have a very different quality to a normal photograph, I think they look amazing. Remember to bring a shoe box or two with you. I have not made one for years so I am a bit rusty.
Another possibility is to go kayaking, either in the sea or on a river, or like we did along the canal. Maybe go for a walk and look for a veggie garden and offer to buy some or do some barter, such as I will let you borrow our kayak for a couple of hours in return for a dinners worth of fresh vegetables! Or give an art class on the beach to them or their children, tell a story, sing a song or help them in some way. You could also travel with some of your wares such as hand make jewellery, poetry, mounted photographs, or whatever you make so that you can offer something that is often worth more then money.
There will be free art classes happening soon in the Secret Gallery, all welcome!
Cut grass, aluminium printing plates and tent pegs on the way into the Secret Gallery. These are my alternatives to news papers! My friend found these sheets of aluminium beside a skip, I think they are used for printing news papers. I have used some of them for dry points and a few of these even have marks scraped into them ready for printing. Our children helped gather the grass for me. I wonder will they turn into hay hearts! I enjoyed doing some land art/ interventions again and hope to do more, maybe along The Burren Way and the coast of Clare.
Have a Heartfelt journey where ever it my take you! And remember I am having an exhibition in the Courthouse Gallery in Ennistymon, Co. Clare with two other artists on 14th August at 8pm, I hope you can make it!
There hadn’t been very many visitors to the gallery lately, it felt like allot of effort to keep the doors open for maybe no callers! I had started to let the gallery become a home, and a pretty messy one at that! This has changed as of yesterday, and we are back in organised mode! I have been reminded to get ready first and the rest will follow! Sometimes I think that it is the very part of me that allows me to paint and be creative that make me very chaotic and is not a great business head! just as well there are two of us! Yesterday was a grand combination of cleaning, clearing, feng shui, lessons in computer skills and creative play which took the guise of placing coins, shells and little precious things in the cracks and cubby holes in the old stone fire place, like offerings. This also reminds me of some of the bars in Galicia, Spain, where they put coins in the walls. I am not sure why they do this, maybe somebody knows?
We have started to extend the gallery outside as well! A line of shells and drift wood that resemble both a tide line and a ladder that runs down the garden path. The first day we enjoyed watching the birds exploring their new perches, I hope they approved! Today we open at 9am, so we hope to see more than the birds, though they are always welcome too!
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!