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.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Wings..early stages

This is the not-quite-finished state of a piece called Wings.  I'll show the finished version soon.
The background piece is an old wooden cabinet door.  I chose it because I needed something substantial to fasten all my other pieces to securely.  As pieces have become broken in shipping, I am becoming increasingly conscientious about having them be very, very sturdy!

Anyway, to the cabinet door, I screwed down the 4-section piece you see there which is a stainless steel bread loaf pan, slightly dented, from the bins (again).  Inside of each of those is glued a reproduction of a photo I took in England (on one of my very few bits of foreign travel) at St. Anne's chapel in London.  You can't really tell from the photos, but those 4 sections are concave, curved inward, to accommodate the loaf of bread so they become nice little alcoves for the image.  The combo of the photo and the alcove sets a rather religious tone for the piece.

Along the sides, the white pieces came from (how can I describe this?...) the wooden framework that would hold the drawers on an old treadle sewing machine.  In other words, I bought old sewing machine drawers that were still within the framework that held them, then disassembled the framework.

An aside here...Most often I cannot figure out what to do with something until I disassemble it.  In complete form, I have a hard time looking at it for other than what it is, so usually step one when I get something is to take it apart if it has multiple parts  (or wait until grandson Jake, age 10, comes over.  He loves to disassemble!)

The wings on the bottom came from a toy, and they too are screwed firmly into the wood.  Hanging in the two center sections of the bread pan are two freely-revolving pieces of balsa wood, covered with transparency images of children and people. They hang from recycled chains and fishing swivels.   At the very bottom is an old rusty castor, and at the very top, 1/2 of a stool seat.  There are just a few more touches which I have since added to this piece which I'll show you in a day or so.

Had a great day today with friends Kate and, lunch, and Avatar in 3-D.  Tomorrow off to jury for the Wild Woman show.  No studio time today, but hopefully tomorrow.  Finished another piece I'll be showing you soon.

Have a great weekend!

No comments: