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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.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

We're home...

I apologize for the empty period on the blog while I was hospitalized, but we came home on Thursday (could have Wednesday except that they couldn't find a pain med I could take at home that didn't nauseate me), so I'll be getting back into everything gradually.  Blogging is a great activity for recovery actually.  It doesn't take much energy at all, you get to put your thoughts down,  and later on, you can look back and see how spaced out on the pain meds you really were!
During the period when they kept trying oral pain meds on me, several induced hallucinations.
They were completely bizarre...some creative and some horrific. One was beyond wonderful.
I think I had mentioned that I was listening to a pre-surgery CD for about 2 weeks prior to surgery, and then again post surgery (it contained tracks for both).  It helped with pre-surgery anxiety, and then helps with healing afterwards. 
Anyway, listening to it in the hospital during my hallucination phase, I closed my eyes and suddenly I was about 60-80 feet above a stage looking down on a beautiful set of reds, blues and purples and a floor full of dancers in flowing costumes.  As the dancers moved, their motions created fractal-like designs, and the costumes  gradually changed colors as the background music on the CD changed (yes, all the choreography moved with the music on my healing CD). They had me on so many drugs at that point that my first thought was, "I didn't realize there was a video with this CD." (Funny....)
At that point I realized I was seeing my own response to the music and that my own brain had created the stage sets, costumes and complex choreography.  It was wonderful seeing it, and yet being awake enough to realize that.  I experimented to see if I could open my eyes and go back to it, and I could...and I could "fly" around to look at it from different perspectives.
I had 20 minutes of that, and it was pure pleasure.
Anyway, now we are home.  I am far exceeding any expectations the Dr's had of how I would feel (quite good), I am not in pain, I am relatively mentally clear (thanks to IV Vit C to clear anesthetic out of me after surgery) and I feel like my recovery has already moved way ahead.  The Dr saying I wouldn't feel like myself for 6 months, is not even close to reality.  In fact, later today I want to go check on the garden and studio, and see if I gained some new ideas for future work.
So glad to be back!


Anonymous said...

Wonderful news! You are a warrior:)

Diane Lou said...

Thanks! Still wading through recovery. Some days good, some not so much, but every day is closer to being back to normal.