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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.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Adding to art and another new piece...

Since I posted Game of Chance on the previous post, I've added a bit to it (but the camera is on it's way to school with Nils today so I'll have to photo it later).

I came to the realization that even though I have loads of metal things that I have collected,  I seldom use them.  I also realized that much of what I have collected are really heavy metal things, which will just not work in the art I do. So, in my usual state of clean and purge which is amplified by the first signs of spring, I packed up boxes and buckets of very cool, but very weighty metal bits and sent them off to school with Nils.  Some of the students who do very large pieces or metal sculpture will love them, and I no longer have to look at them sitting here unused.

At the same time, I committed to at least trying to use some of my smaller metal pieces...like cool metal bits from the old fashioned adding machine Kim gave me and Jake disassembled.  I decided that if I find I really don't use them, off they go to a new home too.  As a consequence, I added a bit to the Game of Chance (honest, I'll have a picture next time).  I think it made it a more interesting and mysterious piece by adding a metal piece with a spring and a couple wires.

I've been doing a lot of cleaning and purging, and find it a great creative exercise.  Not only do I find things I had forgotten I had, but some that I had disregarded as sort of uninteresting before have suddenly become the exact piece that I need right now!

Here's another new one.  I'm not sure there still isn't something that needs added, but here is where I am right now with it.

Here is a detail shot of that little piece. That lovely little eye is a very old French doll eye (thanks, Maria!) which opens and closes.    No title yet.

First 2 crocus are in bloom and more and more of the daffodils are budded!  I LOVE spring!! (Sorry to all of you who are still buried in snow.  Stay safe and warm).

Oh, I'll get a picture of the giveaway packet for this month for you too.

4 comments:

Jennifer said...

Love the way you incorporated the dolls eye into your piece!
Jennifer Campbell

Diane Lou said...

Yes, I finally used one of them. I just love them!...and this one fit perfectly into the door plate.
Thanks, Jennifer.

Carol said...

This is really beautiful and the eye (opening and closing no less!) is just a wonderful finishing touch.

Diane Lou said...

Thanks, Carol. Yes, those eyes are just the best...