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.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Where Birds Dream...

In about 10 days I'll be delivering this piece to The Arts Center in Corvallis, OR for a show with the theme of Where Birds Dream. The above picture is not the most recent, but shows the early stages of the pieces. The one below shows the rockers on the bottom, the stars in the trees and more.  I had found this old birdhouse at the bins, as well as the striped cat.  The house had so much character and age and history that I couldn't resist using it for this project.  The peeling paint, the rusty screws, the old faded stencils...perfect!

I drilled a couple holes in the roof to accommodate the 2 branches obtained out the studio door, complete with moss and lichens.  Cut out stars from a metal tin I also found at the bins.  Stars were tacked on the house and hung from the trees with gold wire.  The final touch was adding the cradle rockers to the bottom.  They were also from the bins (need I say that anymore?), newish wood, but I spray painted them black, then sanded them to make them match the aged patina of the birdhouse.

Show opening Nov 19, running through Dec 24.  Opening and beginning of silent auction Nov 19.

No comments: