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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.

Monday, February 21, 2011

John Ruskin....and free stuff...

Since we are in the midst of loading the big anagama kiln, and getting ready for the firing which begins Wednesday night, I've been away from the computer.  Back for now, but it will be be a crazy week.

Looking at the calendar, I realize that the month is nearly over! Giveaway time is nearly here.  Yes, yes, I know I still haven't posted a picture of the mixed media goodies you will get to use in your art...but if you post a comment, or have posted a comment this month, your name is in the hat.  For now, all I can say is that it is a box of goodies, ephemera, and who-knows-what!
 Here's another new piece...John Ruskin, the title taken from the cigar box piece at the top (the bluish part).  It began on 2 old, old boards from the ReStore, then an old book cover, and on top of that, the grill from a small barbecue, then....then...then...  The metal strips along the sides are what is called "plumber's tape" (I think).   It comes on a roll and has holes punched in it.  Recently at the bins, I found a bag of wonderful, sort of brassy, very short screws, but with very large rounded heads on them.  I have used them repeatedly because I love their look, and they fill each hole in the plumber's tape.
 This is a detail of the piece.  Under the double arched windows (doll house plastic pieces which have been rusted), a photo strip from a photobooth of a man and woman peek through.  Their faces alternately show passion and almost disgust (and yes, I even found them in the bins several years ago).  Wish you could see all the detail in person.  Lots is lost in the photos.

                                                              Anagama, here we come!


rebeca trevino said...

this is a great piece. i wish i could see it live. i love the images of the people peeking through the window. Plumber's tape? never heard of it, i will check it out though.

Diane Lou said...

Thank you, Rebeca. When people first see the "real thing" vs. a photo, the single most common comment I hear is how different and how complex the pieces are. The details just don't translate well into least not my photos :)! Perhaps a professional.....

Diane Lou said...

Did I mention that "plumber's tape" is a metal strip...with holes in it. Used to support suspended pipes, especially in the "old days" when pipes were heavy metal, not pvc.

Carol said...

This is so beautiful, and then to read your description of the parts you've used, I just feel really inspired. I just got my first deMeng book in the mail and have been glued to it ever since. Another one is on the way. Whoo Hoo!

Diane Lou said...

I'm so glad I could inspire you, Carol! That is why I write all this stuff! And yes, is an inspiration. Even though my work is very little like his, I find looking at his things inspires my own work. Enjoy!

gypsywings said...

Wow oh wow. i am totally blown away by your work. i would be so crazy happy if i had a place to play and create like that. you are so talented and creative. sure wish i lived next door to you so we could share ideas! i love to junk, collect, and create at all times. i have a booth at our local flea market & i create altered jewelry. it's when i'm creating that i'm happiest.

Diane Lou said...

Thanks so much!...and yes, I am crazy happy to have a place to create! Most of my life, it was done on my kitchen table or on the floor, so I am delighted to finally have space and time to play. Absolutely right...When we create, we lose track of time and all is good.