An Gailearai

Ag Bailiú

An Gailearai
Ag Bailiú

Ag Bailiu

Cruinníonn muid uilig rud inteacht, ní miste cé acu an aithníonn muid é sin nó nach n-aithníonn. Tig leis a bheith ina rud ar bith - peataí, leabhair, méaracháin, plandaí, éadach, stampaí nó fiú ealaín de chineál éigin. Más maith leat pictiúir, bhuel ansin ar ndóigh is féidir leo a bheith ina riocht ar bith: pictiúir bheannaithe, pictúir teaghlaigh, gaiscí shlite beatha agus mínealaín fiú. Ar scor ar bith, creidim féin gur ag cruinniú na n-earraí seo agus ansin á socrú ina n-áit fíorgnhíomh na cruthaitheachta ann féin. Tá mo chroí-se istigh i mínealaín agus tá mé á bhailiú ón tús, ar a laghad, den aistear fiche bliain go dtí seo den Gailearaí. Féadaim a rá, más maith leat, go raibh mé ‘san áit cheart ag an am cheart’. Sin ráite, is iomaí sin uair nach dtiocfadh linn fáil a bheith againn ar an rud a mheas muid a bhí go speisialta álainn, siocair nach raibh an t-airgead againn. Agus seo rud nár cheart a choinneáil ceilte: má tá tú i ndáiríre ag iarraidh saothar ealaíne a fháil agus go bhfui tú gann in airgead, ná lig an deis thart chóiche le ceist a chur ar an ghailearaí nó ar an ealaíontóir an mbeifeá ábalta díol ar a shon de réir a chéile - beidh 99% díobh sásta glacadh le sin.

Tá mórán cineálacha bailitheoirí ann: poiblí, príobháideach, corpóraideach &rl., ach caidé a thugann ar dhuine rudaí a bhailiú? Diomaite de na bailitheoirí poiblí nó príobháideach a bhfuil fócas eacnamaíoch acu, déarfainn gur beag duine againn a bheadh den bharúil go raibh ‘bailiúchán’ fíor againn. Tá an íomhá seo againn den bhailitheoir mar dhuine proifisiúnta – ach tá ‘rud éigin’ ar na ballaí ag gach duine againn. Anois, tá seo suimiúil – ná nuair a smaoitíonn tú air, ní miste cá has nó cá háit a tháinig na pictiúir ar do chuid ballaí, is TUSA a phioc iad, is tusa a shocraigh cá háit le hiad a chrochadh; de bhrí sin, is cinnte go dtabharfainn ‘bailiúchán’ orthu. Ní miste cé chomh beag is atá an rogha ar do chuid ballaí, ar dhóigh éigin is eisprisean duitse atá ann agus léiríonn sé d’fhís agus do phaisean.

Go pearsanta, ní dhearna mise ariamh anailís ar na pictiúir a bhailigh muid agus cén fáth ach amháin gur aonán an-láidir é. Anois mar sin féin, lenár gcuid saothar ealaíne taobh amuigh dá gcuid áiteacha ar leith inár mbaile, tchím go bhfuil i ndáiríre téama faoi ‘áit’ i gceist: áit sa domhan a raibh muid ann go fisiciúil, áit gur shamhlaigh muid a bheith ann, na pobail éagsúla, áit a thaobhaigh lenár gcroí, ár gcuid aidhmeanna – is iad seo uilig ‘ealaín áite’ ar dhóigh. Tá a fhios agam gur ionann an méid atá bailithe againn agus modh cuimneacháin, ach domhsa go speisialta thig liom a fheiceáil go bhfuil sruth fineálta de mhothúchán spioradálta ann cibé go samhaltach nó mar scéal. Ach tá sé soiléir go bhfuil tús áite ag an aeistéitic.

Dá bhrí sin, gabh abhaile agus amharc arís ar an mhéid atá bailithe agat agus glac d’am le smaoineamh ar an mhéid atá agat agus cén fáth go bhfuil siad agat. Creid inár bpaisean agus inár mothúchán féin siocair gurb iad a thugann orainn rudaí a bhailiú. Smaoitigh fosta ar rudaí mar frámáil: tig leis seo cur leis an phictiúr nó é a mhilleadh. Ní gá duit an fráma a fuair tú leis an saothar ealaíne a choinneáil ach, níos tábhachtaí ná sin, ná lig don fráma bheith i gceannas ar an phictiúr chóiche. Chomh fada is a bhaineann sé liomsa, níl rialacha ar bith leagtha síos nuair atá tú ag ceannacht ealaíne ach amháin muinín a bheith agat i d’instinn féin agus an rud a bhogann tú a cheannacht. Ar ndóigh, chun seo a dhéanamh caithfidh tú cuairt a thabhairt ar ghailearaithe, agus tá go leor acu sin againn. Ní bhaineann bailiúcháin leis an connoisseur beadaí amháin; coinnigh cuimhne gur leat féin an méid atá bailithe agat agus gur do ‘bhailiúchán pearsanta’ é a chuireann in iúl do mhothúchán agus do phaisean féin – ná lig do dhuine ar bith a mhalairt a inse duit.

Úna Campbell,
Nollaig 2018

Collections

We all collect something whether we realise it or not. It can be anything at all, pets, books, thimbles, plants, clothes, stamps or even art of one form or another. If your preference is pictures then of course they can be of any guise; holy pictures, family photos, career achievements and even fine art. Either way, the act of gathering these items and then arranging them I believe is in itself a true act of creativity. My passion is fine art and I have been collecting since at least the beginning of the twenty year journey to date of An Gailearaí. If you like, I have been in the ‘right place at the right time’ so to speak. That said, many, many times we just couldn’t afford to secure something we thought was particularly wonderful. And here is a something that should not be a secret; if you really want an artwork and you are short of funds never pass over the opportunity to ask the gallery or artist can you pay in instalments, 99% will say yes. 

There are many types of collector, public, private, corporate etc but what drives an individual to collect? Setting aside the public or private collectors who focus is an economic one; I would say that very few of us consider ourselves as having an actual ‘collection’. We have an image of the collector as a professional – but we all have ‘something’ on our walls. Now this is interesting – because if you think about it, no matter where all those pictures on your walls originated from YOU have selected, decided and arranged them; therefore I would call this a collection for sure. No matter how small the selection on your walls is, it is in some way an expression of you, your vision and your passion. 

Personally I’ve never analysed what we have collected and why except that art for us is a compelling entity. Now however, with our artworks placed out of their specific locations in our home, I can see that there is indeed a theme about ‘place’ occurring; where we have been physically in the world, where we imagine being, the various communities, where our hearts have lain, our aspirations – are all in a way the ‘art of place’. I am aware that what we’ve collected serves as a means of remembrance but markedly for me I can see that there is a subtle current of a spiritual expression either symbolic or as narrative. Clearly though, the aesthetics dominate.

So go home and look again at what you have gathered and take time to think about what you have and why. What drives us to collect is determined by our own passions and quirks so believe in them. Consider too things like framing; this can make or break a picture and you do not have to stick with the frame you inherited with the artwork but most importantly never let the frame dominate the image. As far as I am concerned there are no set rules in buying art except to trust your instinct and buy what moves you. To do this you must of course visit galleries and we have plenty. Collections are not the prevail solely of the aloof, snobbish connoisseur so recognise that whatever it is you have accumulated it is in actual fact your own ‘personal collection’ that expresses your own concerns and passions – let no one tell you different.

Úna Campbell
December 2018