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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.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Book About Death

Starting September 10th,  the Emily Harvey Foundation in New York will be exhibiting the work of numerous artists in a show called A Book About Death.   Artists send in 500 postcards with their work pictured on them, and these are placed around the gallery.  Viewers can pick up one of each card and leave with their own unbound book about death.  There will also be a mosaic-like presentation of all the cards on the wall. 

One of each card will held in the Emily Harvey Foundation permanent collection, as well as in Cecil Touchon's Collage Museum. 

Above is a picture of the assemblage I created for my cards.  And there's that wonderful raccoon skull that was given to me a while back....a timely acquisition.  You can view many more of the submissions by going to :

(Death Mask, copyright Diane Lou 2009.  Size  14"x22"x4". Photo by Diane Lou.)


Teri said...

Moving. I love your work!!!

Diane Lou said...

I so appreciate your comment, Teri. Hopefully I'm ready to get back into the studio for some serious art time soon. I have about 5 new pieces going right now, but none are resolved....yet.
Thanks for the support.