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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.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Show opening

Wednesday night, NW Wines, show opening.  It is always revealing to me to hear people's comments about my work.  It seems I can do the visual part, but even though I am a writer, I cannot seem to verbalize much about what I feel about my work.  John G. called the show "bloody brilliant".  Another viewer called the pieces "springboards to remembering and imagining".  One woman called it "dreamlike and full of mysterious archetypes".  Others commented on the architectural quality when viewed from a distance (yes, I love rooflines and house shapes), then being attracted as they came closer by things that looked familiar to them.  Finally, when viewing up close, the mysteries of the pieces started to reveal themselves as they saw the strange uses of those same familiar objects.

It was a great evening, gathering with friends and college students (and their interest in my work is especially appreciated) as well as strangers who happened to drop by.  Luke Zimmerman's big paintings downstairs captivated viewers too.  Luke had a paper beneath each painting asking for suggestions for titles.  A great way to engage onlookers more fully!


Blog O Directory said...

Hi, I ran across your blog and found it very interesting. You should take a minute and submit your blog to Blog O Directory for free and also I invite you to stop by uBloggit Blogger Forums to say hello and show your blog to the community. Chat with you soon :-)

Blog O Directory
uBloggit Blogger Discussion Forum

Diane Lou said...

Hi Mel,
I tried to submit my blog, but the code didn't appear (just a box with a question mark in it). Will try again tomorrow.