The secret gallery’s blog

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

Posts Tagged ‘secret gallery

Frames and Shiny Things

leave a comment »

Why should a frame make a piece of art worth much more than the additional cost of the frame? I can understand it can add a certain amount more than what it cost to frame, but it seems to be disproportionate. It is a lot to do with perception, I suppose. Yes, I would like to frame my drawings and paintings in beautifully made frames, the really expensive ones! Real wood, no wood grain effect chipboard that seems to be all you can get in any reasonably priced framers.

This fascination with “finished product” outweighing what is underneath the surface sweeps across many areas of life in the West. There is superficial idea of what beauty is, from our food chain to how we judge art and even people. This tendency to judge things by their outward appearances alone  has tricked us, our “beautiful” shiny objects are breaking down, they are designed to, so we are caught in the cycle of buying the newer version. When we turn to use the old way it is no longer available to us because everyone is caught up in the cycle and the old way of doing things is obsolete.

Marketing is even taking over the way people talk about how to be an artist, how to sell yourself. I am concerned that if you are not already established as an artist, who are free to be eccentric, that artists by the hoops that they have to jump through to get any type of funding or exposure have to, by nature be a certain way inclined. I cant help but be reminded of those pieces of fruit or vegetables that are not the right uniform shape to get to the packaging stage of the production line being cast aside, and their irregular kind dying out.

I always made it through the system as one of those irregular pieces of fruit! I was lucky because I went to interviews with human beings and it wasn’t just about filling in allocated spaces in forms. People are all more than their C. V. more than the forms they fill in more then their 6 jpeg images. We have strange selection processes, I think we need to rethink the way we choose things and deciding what things are worth, not to do things the easiest way, because we all know what we loose when we just go for the easy option, we loose our integrity.

View from "Vulnerable" at The Secret Gallery. Central image "Barbie World"

View from “Vulnerable” at The Secret Gallery. Central image “Barbie World”

Written by Marianne Slevin

10 February, 2013 at 1:01 pm

Glimmer

leave a comment »

Christal in the window of The Secret Gallery             Photograph by Marianne Slevin

I feel like  I need to eat about 10 Mars bars before I could do anything that involved standing up or moving. The winter has left my blood feeling thin and generally feeling a bit washed out. This mornings activities involved looking for a hair brush, 6 hours later, no hair brush, but a room that has a little more order and a lot less mouse droppings! I have not promised Saint Anthony money as usual when I loose things, due to the fact that this seems like a bit of a money making racket set up by the church. This afternoon I might give some money to a charity and ask Saint Anthony to find the precious hair brush. School for the little ones starts tomorrow and “Mother” is being put through her paces!

Tulip starting to sprout in Recycled Juice Carton  Marianne Slevin 2010

The “glimmer” that I have called this blog post is a feeling deep inside of hope or Spring, as if there is a stirring. After the cold spell now bulbs are starting to shoot the smoothest spikes of green. I am starting to write a list of exhibitions that I am going to apply for. Last night, I tidied the studio and made space for new things to happen there. Sometimes it is easy to forget that the simple tasks of tidying and preparing the studio and searching for opportunities and sending off applications are almost as important as doing the art itself.

How do we make sure when we feel that stirring of new growth gather within us, so that when we have tidied and found the hairbrushes and the paint brushes take it a step further and actually create some art and not let it get lost along the way? There are those moment where we can choose to do something creative or we can decide to let it slip away and do something like watch a movie, browse on the internet or wash the dishes, the list is endless. the car is calling,”clean me” my stomach screams “feed me”! But my sketch book needs me! Or should I say I need my sketch book.

Just found the hair brush, now I must think of a charity.  I cant find the cable to plug in my camera now. Great! James just found that. Now what shall is do with those glimmers? Perhaps the sketch book is a good place to nurture them before putting them in large open spaces. So the inner art critic does not get a chance to be too scathing before they have matured to a stage where they are a little more developed and also it is allot less daunting to approach a sketch book then something more large scale and begging to be “finished”. You also don’t have to worry about forgetting your ideas or having them just in your head. I would be interested in hearing how other people keep those glimmers glowing and growing. Please share your stories and tips for the survival of the glimmer.

Written by Marianne Slevin

17 January, 2010 at 8:06 pm

Look The Moon Is Out!

leave a comment »

I listen to some Reggae music, it is so great! “They say that the earth is spinning around, I say the world upside down” Joe Higgs. 

DSCF3126

Sunset from the Secret Gallery, looking at the Aran Islands, Photograph Marianne Slevin

DSCF3471

A Lovely little Shadow! photograph by Marianne Slevin October 2009

Written by Marianne Slevin

28 October, 2009 at 4:26 pm

Starting to tie bog grass together

leave a comment »

 

 

DSCF3385

 

DSCF3387

 

DSCF3388

 

DSCF3393

 

DSCF3395

An evening in the Secret Gallery near Doolin sitting in front of the fire, tying bog grasses. I am not sure where this is going but I will keep adding grass until it feels finished. I am enjoying the random intuitive way of working, no plan or pattern. First I thought of trying to create something more particular and calculated then I just began adding little bits here and there, this feels more natural for me.

Written by Marianne Slevin

4 October, 2009 at 9:02 pm

Posted in In progress

Tagged with , , ,

No Formula

with one comment

 DSCF2876

“Angel” Work in progress, oil on canvas Marianne  Potterton 2009

These are the two paintings that I am working on at the moment in thee studio. The one above I think is finished or very nearly, but you never know, I might do something more to it. I had an urge to put it up in the Secret Gallery yesterday, but I think I will wait till it dries!

DSCF2879 Work in progress, “No Formula”, oil on canvas Marianne Potterton 2009

Thank goodness for spell check! I must go and spell it right in the painting now! This is a bit bolder than my usual paintings, I think. It is a sort of attempt to paint in the moment, a sort of meditation, as Alan Watts once said about meditation “Digging the present, grooving with the eternal now!”

Much art seems to be latching on to the past, artists repeating what they know they are good at, but they are not in it any longer. When I go to an exhibition and all of the work looks the same I wonder has the artist just found a formula ? Of course there are exceptions to this, where the art can look very similar but the artist was still open and aware while making it. Such as Mark Rothko, I just could not do it though; do the same sort of thing for years. I even find it hard to finish a painting without wanting to paint it differently the next time I go back to it ! This unknown territory can feel a bit uncomfortable because we have never been there before, it can be a bit hit and miss, but what can come out of these adventures have more life in them than art we make on the journeys that we have repeated with only slight deviations!

Written by Marianne Slevin

27 May, 2009 at 11:56 pm

Grass Hearts, a little journey

leave a comment »

DSCF2849

 

DSCF2846

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.DSCF2848

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!

Written by Marianne Slevin

3 May, 2009 at 12:57 pm

Windy Wednesdays and flowers on the garden table

leave a comment »

 

DSCF2748

 

 

DSCF2742

 

DSCF2738

Photograph Recycled juice carton and oil paint

The wind blows a lot, the sea is so churned up it looks white, doors swing and slam, balloons get caught up in mini whirl winds and we giggle as we  watch our children run around in circles trying to catch the illusive balloon! When I go out into the hurricane, my hair covers the whole of my face which is tense and grimacing as I attempt to clear away the escaped curls from my mouth and eyes getting more and more irritated! Swearing at plastic bottles as they are carried off from under my nose in a very erratic fashion, finally coming to rest half way up a thorn bush or some equally uncomfortable place! I love nature but I do have trouble coming to terms with the wind especially when it is cold and wet as well.

It is Wednesday again, it is windy again but today is a beautiful sunny day. I have just put some painted cartons at the gate and they are full of water so they don’t fall over,(apart from one that has more rounded edges and attached seed or bulb container) and even if they do they don’t smash like a vase would. I really Like the idea they they are affordable hand painted objects, as not everyone can afford to spend several hundred on a painting or artist’s print or sculpture. So today the Secret Gallery is open, well outside is we are still working on inside. I enjoy putting art in public spaces, this is like a very modest and transient form of motorway art!

These are multiuse vessels, one of their uses is called “art on the go” for filling with water and taking with you if you are doing water colour or or using any materials that need water, outside, I am in the process of designing the rest of the “art on the go” artist’s kit! I am going to keep one in my own car just in case I get the urge. It is a bit like the idea of having a suit case packed and ready for spontaneous adventures! Something James suggested but we still have not done, one day!  Spring is defiantly in the air!

Written by Marianne Slevin

18 March, 2009 at 3:56 pm