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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.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Back at last...

Following son-in-law Bill's passing, my hard drive on my computer crashed, leaving me without photos, without Photoshop, and very frustrated. The hard drive was sent off for data retrieval to no avail, so I/we started the long route back to re-photographing art and trying to gather things from Nils's computer that applied to me.

Who knew 10 years ago that we would be so incredibly dependent on our computers? Our lives are literally stored in them. Family photos, writings, journals, friends' birthdays, and on and on. Sadly, my blurb book on my art and grandson Jake's blurb book on the 25th anniversary anagama firing that were both nearly done were both lost. It's been a time of electronic frustration, and it seems that Murphy's law has applied day after day with everything related to technology.

We have finally gotten the new hard drive, Photoshop, and a start on the photos. Once I get all of those, I can again begin to work on my book, and I now have photos for my blog.

Summer has come at last after an unusually cold and rainy spring and early summer. We had a taste of several 90-100 degree days last week, but now are back to our lovely 79 degree sunny-with-a-cool-breeze days, which are perfect. The garden shifted into high gear during those hot days, and my tomatoes and basil decided it was worth growing after all.

Life is shifting back to relaxed summer mode, with Nils and I playing golf (and he shot the best game of his life on Tuesday...74!), me doing yoga, us having dinner guests, doing repairs around home, and playing in the studio. Long may it remain this way....

(Photo: Delivered, copyright Diane Lou 2010. Photo by Nils Lou)

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