The secret gallery’s blog

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

Posts Tagged ‘life

A Little Bit About where I Am Coming From

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“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.

Written by Marianne Slevin

18 November, 2014 at 12:35 pm

Arting Around!

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Words cut out of recycled gold paper from coffee packaging, hand turned wooden platter made by my Dad, home make banana bread, butter and cling film on wooden table.

Why should art be separated from our “normal” everyday life?

Thank you for looking.

Written by Marianne Slevin

28 August, 2009 at 10:05 pm

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Personal Statement

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My art practice and everyday life can blur into one another so much that it is impossible to separate them. I  often use everyday materials that are already in my life but somehow call me to create something with them, such as brown paper bags turned into poppy seed heads, a broken umbrella, the biker leathers James gave me for my 34th birthday. One day I put on these leathers and my back went for no apparent reason, we both thought that I needed to make some art with these leathers, some healing needed to be done, my back recovered!

My own art journey travels to the invisible and tries to make it visible and overlooked reconsidered and repositioned. I like to combine things which are rarely seen together; relocating them, such as painted words on clothes, both clothes for humans and in the past horses. I often use text in my art practice and see words as having a lot of power, like prayer flags.

However I do not limit myself to making or recreating objects solely, I move freely from the flatter lands of painting and drawing, printing, collage and photography and into the rolling hills of solid object land, I also enter the disappearing and reappearing land of video from time to time. As well as the land, sea and sky itself with environmental and time-based works. Sometimes these all overlap.

James Slevin is both my partner in life and my muse. In the past it was usual for male artists to have a female muses. We work together, I make, but he somehow sees from a distance with more clarity where the piece is going and guides it  in a very gentle and perceptive manner, not changing its destiny but helping it to fully reach it.  

(This statement is to go with my resent work, which is hand made objects and instillation art, though it is connected to my painting I have a separate statement for my painting written by  a great friend and art writer.)

Written by Marianne Slevin

27 November, 2008 at 11:15 pm

Beautiful bowls by the side of the road

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Sometimes art is seen as a commodity; an object separate from life and the rest of the world, which is bought and sold. I love when life and art merge into one another. We probably cannot sell these creative moments, but that does not mean that they are not worthwhile! In many other cultures it feels like art and life do merge. Costumes, ritual, dance, story telling are just some of the aspects of art that are practiced in a very living way, that do not have to be sealed into a white gallery to exist.( I like going to galleries as well but wish there was more art every day in life !)

In the west, practicality seems to breed out the finer details that are so important in art. Sometime we pair away the heart and art in our obsession with survival in our throw away fast culture. Mass production, and often the use of cheap materials that either unfortunately, last forever or are designed only to last as long as they bring out the next model for us to buy are cutting away at our right to a more beauty filled life, compromise when we try to live our dreams seems to be too normal. Where are the artisans?

We have started selling beautiful wooden bowls, platters and lamps created and turned by my Father, in the Secret Gallery. On fine days we leave some of these lovely bowls on a table with an table cloth with word written on a walk through the Burren. This arrangement is at our gate by the side of the road. As the wind blows the table cloth billows out from the sea smoothed rocks that hold it down, and random Burren inspired words are revealed.       

Written by Marianne Slevin

25 September, 2008 at 5:39 pm

Secret art in surprising places

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I love the idea of things being a little bit surprising, even odd! I would like to think of the art that I make extending out beyond the parameters of the frame or actual piece that I make. I was thinking why did we call the gallery The Secret Gallery, well one of the answers is that the word secret hints at something that is unknown possibly magical or mysterious, coming across something that is personal or intimate as opposed to solely commercial. I like the idea of having a gallery in a cottage that is also a home. To me art and life are inseparable. I do also enjoy the less homely type of gallery! However, they say we try to create what we think missing in the world, and I wish there were lots of secret galleries, and if I was going to buy some art I would love to talk to the artist over a good cup of coffee or a glass of wine! I wish there was more art that was taken out of its studio storage hiding places! For me it has been a very positive experience to air my paintings and other art work to the public.

Written by Marianne Slevin

13 September, 2008 at 1:42 pm

The illusive nature of inspiration

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I know nothing about the nature of inspiration, usually when I think I do, it disappears completely! It is mysterious and that is what makes it so appealing. When art is too easily understood or needs to be understood it looses its allure. Clever art that is like some kind of trick or brain tease is not the art I love. No puns, this is one of the reasons that Basho is one of my favourite Haiku poets; because all of his Haiku poems are devoid of all “cleverness” and puns. Saying this, you will probably find one or two in my own work! Though I have not intended to have any.

Often in order to be inspired I have to be searching, as if in the dark going on a journey making awkward often ugly attempts of painting, then over time something happens, each time it feels like it wont, something new and unexpected happens. I am in the middle of one right now and it feels very awkward. It does remind me of giving birth! Paintings are born! You cant really go into it in a half hearted way! The difficult thing with painting may be imbuing it with life and soul. Not necessarily the artists soul, but soul, these are the painting and other pieces of art that have a kind of presence. There can be many different ways of getting there but this kind of describes the road I am on!

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Written by Marianne Slevin

9 September, 2008 at 10:28 am