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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.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Do Not Enter....

Another new piece, this one fashioned inside half of a small wicker suitcase. One day at the Goodwill bins, I found a couple small (2 1/2" tall) architectural models of homes. To me, this one was especially nice so I "treasured" it for a while before deciding it could go somewhere. I already had the box inside the suitcase with the metal roofline attached, had just located the candlestick in my miscellaneous box, and suddenly it seemed right for the house to go on top. At the same time, I came across a set of game pieces that had traffic signs on them, so "do not enter" went in. On the bottom, I put down a layer of gel medium, sprinkled it with garnet sand (which my sister and I found at a church rummage sale probably about 15 years ago). A lock and key dangle enticingly below the house, and cut electrical wires adorn the two long vertical pieces along the side (all bins goodies). An old copper doorknob (luscious with a natural patina) fits inside the roofline triangle.

Have had grandson Jake here all week, thus the lack of posts, and then dinner guests tonight. Tomorrow in the midst of an unusual heat wave, my sister and I will be off to the antique fair in Aurora. We'll start early so we can hopefully miss the heat of the day. At least I got the a/c in my car fixed.
Anyway, a full week. But now the table is set, the house is as clean as it will get, so I am heading down to the studio to get at least a little creative or at least clean up time in.

Hope you are having a grand summer.
(Do Not Enter copyright by Diane Lou 2010. 18"x8"x5")

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