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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.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Art and Soul workshops coming soon!

Preparing for the 3 workshops I'll teach at Art and Soul in Portland at the end of the month is taking up much of my time.  But it is a fun process that culminates in meeting many new people and seeing old friends, and teaching people new creative processes, which I love.
The Transfers and Transparencies workshop is one I have taught now for...hmmm... how many?...probably 4 years now.  It always fills even if we have 3 sessions of it, as we did last year.  If you are signed up, rest assured you will not fall asleep, even though it is in the evening, as the class is engaging and active from beginning to end.
The other workshop I am teaching is Dumpster Diving Assemblage, a found object art workshop.  I've had fun sorting through all of personally collected goodies to fill Rubbermaids full of "stuff" for my students to choose from.  
I'll be posting this week on the Art and Soul Yahoo! group asking for helpers for both classes.  So if you are attending Art and Soul, but didn't get into my classes before they filled, this is the next best thing.  You can help during the class, and you get all the info and materials the class attendees get.  Usually I turn people away because so many want to participate, so if you are interested, email me (see sidebar where it says Email Me).  Thanks!
(At Least Not For Me, copyright 2005 by Diane Lou.)


Deirdra Doan said...

Your work is so beautiful. Blessings on you in Oct. I hope you get to do something fun after not getting to come to A&S. You will be missed!

Diane Lou said...

Thank you so much, Deirdra. I'll so miss seeing everyone and being a part of A&S this year.