Posts Tagged ‘marianne slevin’
It’s a new year and I am full of new energy and intentions for writing my blog. After such a long pause that I am having quite some trouble with remembering how do do it. I have been writing in my new sketch book and thought I would start by sharing my first page with you. They are called daily artists statements and inspired by the I Ching and perhaps there will be 64 different statements by the end of the year.
1. All Returns Together
I like art making for many reasons, for one, it has no definite starting point, like writing does. I even write on my art in random places. You don’t start at one corner of the work and work your way the the opposite corner, neither physically or conceptually.
A million things can effect the work to greater or lesser extents. The artist is a filter of ideas. Raw ideas come along during the day and night, they collide and merge with older ideas, they settle and work away like a slow cooker while the artist gets on with what ever the artist has to get on with. When the time comes to make something resembling art, the artist trusts their own inner process and works without trying to recall the ideas. Over time the ideas develop and become so much part of the artist that there is no need to think about them during the process of art making. It is more a case of feeling and listening.
Listening to the weather and sounds of nature
All of a sudden hailstones!
Staring at my work in the studio,
Thoughtless and silent and still
Even my wellington boots have stopped keeping out the cold,
I think its time to move!
“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.
View of Bamboo Installation at “Vulnerable” by Marianne Slevin at The Secret Gallery October 2012
One of the rooms in the exhibition “Vulnerable” was this bamboo installation with text and the sound of a hidden Tibetan singing bowl. On every leaf I wrote one thought about myself that I found hard to say, they are my own suppressed feelings, growing up as a woman in Ireland. I had started my research for this work far away, both in time and physical distance, but in the end I had to look at myself, my own vulnerabilities. The biggest mistake I could make in presenting work about the mistreatment of women in other cultures would be to not look at my own culture and inevitably myself.
In order to be happy, humans have a built in bias toward what they are and do being better than others. I think we have this bias culturally as well as individually. Maybe if we are aware that this bias exists occasionally we can peer around its veil and see we are no better (or worse) than anyone else or any other culture.
What I found surprising was that my own suppressed thoughts and feelings were not just my own, but in many cases they were shared by other, and when I exposed myself in this light I found that others were quick to share their own inner feelings in return. It was a kind of fast forward exercise in honesty and sharing with others what you may only share with those close to you or maybe nobody at all.
There is so often an unrealistic striving for perfection in society which leaves us feeling unworthy and simply not good enough, this effects everything from aesthetics to emotions. We try to make sense and order out of just about anything! I wanted to make some work that made people feel good, by allowing people to see a glimpse of my own vulnerability. Maybe seeing it visually described brings home the enormity of the stuff we feel we have to carry around with us all the time, and perhaps it is so common that is should no longer be a weight on us.
Some dried rose petals from Valentine’s day floated between bubbles,
Along with a yellow toy duck.
She started to put the wet rose petals around it,
she said she was trying to turn the duck into a rose.
. . . . . . . . . . . . .
Their first journey to the Green Road at Fanore,
It’s guardian a piebald cob with a green horse beard.
We walked along a perfect natural carpet edged with rocks.
Then to the fields, he took my hand,
to meet the enormous robots made from mighty stones.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Two Motherhood poems by Marianne Slevin
Standing on the earth I see,
That you are quite the same as me,
We are both like leaves from an apple tree,
I think I am I, but I don’t even exist
surely I am, without the I added in
I look at you, as if you are you through and through
but we are all made from the same sodding goo!
Oh no that’s not right cause it’s not goo at all
it’s something that’s no thing at all!
Now I am no wiser I have just down sized me
to a ant that is beside me,
Then I realize there is no separation at all!
For I am as large as the planet which is still rather small
And I am not sure if my cousin is the moon!
Poem by Marianne Slevin
“Maroon marker finds little maroon marker lid” Marianne Slevin 2010
It is funny the things one notices when tidying up the house. Something that I notice quite often is that similar things seem to be draw together. Just after I started writing this a recovery man came to fix or tow away our car, our car is a Lada Niva from Russia, the man is from Moscow and owns lots of Lada Nivas! He even offered to buy it he loves Ladas! I am intrigued by these more obvious snippets of organisation that are happening secretly around us all the time. It is quite entertaining the way the universe works sometimes. Maroon marker finds little maroon marker lid.
A while ago, I noticed some delicate art that had been given to me by a friend, assembled itself onto of the envelope addressed to the same friend. How did it end up there. I would like to have filmed all of the staged and what happened on its journey to get there. Why does to same not apply to sock, I ask myself?! Does the universe have a slightly wicked sense of humor?!