For current posts, scroll down past artist's statement.

The Muse's Storage Box

The Muse's Storage Box
Copyright Diane Lou.

Alchemical Dreams and Disparate Realities

Rust and bones, broken toys and old text, game boards, gears and nests. Even as a child such odd, unwanted items evoked a pit-of-the-stomach response that bordered on exhilaration.
While I make no attempt to conjure up specific feelings in the viewer, the ambiguous juxtapositioning of familiar materials creates art that evokes half-forgotten, dream-like visions that beg to be interpreted by the viewer. There is a sense of deja vu (the already seen) tempered by a sense of jamais vu ( the never seen, or the illusion that the familiar does not seem familiar), and this contradiction asks the viewer to dig deeply, to look inside her own repository of wisdom, intuition and experience to find her own meaning in the familiar objects she sees.
The once-private discards of people's material lives that I collect for my art seem to carry universal memories with them, memories that can engage and mystify the viewer. Their beauty lies within the rust, the erosion, the wear, and the mere fact that they were once possessions.
I play with abandon and with no forethought. Each piece of detritus seems to suggest to me a relationship with some other piece, and I begin to put them together and wait for the mental "buzz" that lets me know I am proceeding as I should. Even at this point, I continue to remain in the play state and will not allow myself to direct the outcome of the piece, a process that requires complete trust. The outcome often mystifies me as much as it might any viewer.
Remember when, as a child, whatever was in reach became the instrument of your creative exploration? That is my life. A rusty, flattened piece of metal on the street, a gnawed bone by the roadside, a unique twisted branch from a tree, a fallen nest, a broken egg, a snake's skin, a dead butterfly...all will be added to my collection and eventually have their beauty honored in one of my pieces. The resulting art creates a new story with its own imagined history, one that invites the viewers to lay some claim on it by allowing themselves to be enveloped by the sight, the history, and the ambiguity of the realities before them.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Moving towards summer...

This morning Nils will attend the commencement ceremonies at  Linfield, and then another term will be behind us.  As we move towards this luxurious time of summer, the wisteria on the back deck are breathtaking, but fleeting with our unusually warm spring weather.  It is seldom that this time of year would bring us day after day in the 80's, so the azaleas, rhodies and all the other glorious spring blooms are even more treasured.  I didn't even have time to pick a bouquet of lilacs before they were withered and dry. 

But the heat and sun have been a shortcut to garden success, and never, in a lifetime of gardening, have I seen such a picture-perfect vegetable garden.  Everything is super-sized, perfect and delicious, and we look forward to months of home-grown organic food.  Fortunately we built a 7 foot tall deer-proof (we hope) fence around the garden as yesterday I spotted a doe with a very newborn fawn by her side.  After watching deer all my life, I am still always delighted by the fragile beauty and vulnerable charm of the fawns while being amazed by their strength as they run full speed through the forest to keep up with their mothers. 

Summer will bring more time in the studio again, and we both look forward to creating new bodies of work.  Also on the agenda is creating a clay mural for the side of the house, which we will do collaboratively.  My blog will follow the whole process of that creation.

Summer will also bring photos of the studio and some step-by-step views into the process that allows me to create my assemblage pieces (as well as glimpses into the cluttered world that is my half of the studio!).

No comments: