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.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

More changes... and recent purchases

Another beautiful fall day here.  Some sun, some rain and a vibrantly colored rainbow as we drove to brunch this a.m.

Here's a continuation of the posts about transforming things before I use them.  Recent bin finds (Nils found them for me) included these very neat little "lanterns" which were fitted onto a string of holiday lights.  
As you can see, they are rather easily cut apart to form an interesting series of small panels.  I'll be showing photos of a piece I have started and which is nearly done which utilizes these little grid panels lined with paper.

Part of Art and Soul, the Portland event that I taught at in October, is a vendor night.  And since I was a vendor myself, I had little time to shop but did manage to hit one very cool booth where I bought the following items.  I can hardly wait to use them.
I love the whole idea of opening doors, keyholes, locks and keys, and when they are old, even better!  I thought these were just terrific.

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