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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.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Remnants...and snow again...

If I'm not visible for a few days, it is because of snow.  Because we live way back in the woods, we have a satellite dish for internet, which is fine....but as soon as there is 1/4" of snow on it, we lose service.  Good thing we live where there isn't much snow.  Seems they should have a little heater in there that kept it just warm enough to keep the snow off.

The snow and predicted cold (teens Friday and Saturday) made us postpone the anagama kiln firing for two weeks.  Just not worth the risk with dozens of people trying to make it out here on bad back roads.  And I can't imagine getting snowed in with 20-30 people!

Another new piece below is fashioned on the framework that would hold a wooden sewing machine drawer on an old cabinet treadle sewing machine.  The "flying buttresses" are actually plastic bridge pieces from some child's toy, while the little stained glass piece under the top finial is part of a very 1960's stained glass hanging lamp that I disassembled.

Within the wooden framework, I attached a sheet of copper on the back, and to that, I attached a "rusted" plastic rib cage (which I made use of it broken) attached to the copper with red cotton string.  Over the top of that is some heavy wire mesh (hardware  cloth).

Yesteday I finally figured out how to finish up the piece that had the vintage French doll eye on it (I'd have to look back to see which post that was).  Utilizing an image of a vintage nude and an old document disfigured by my burning much of it away, I'm finally happy with it.  Will post that soon.

Drawing for free assemblage "stuff" coming on March 1!  Post a comment to be entered

(Remnants copyright by Diane Lou)


Carol said...

This is really beautiful. Hard to believe that the flying buttresses are plastic but I'm getting the hang of this now and realise that nothing is as it seems. Very clever.

Diane Lou said...

Thanks, Carol! Everything is fair game....I just look at shape or design (this was two sides of a bridge piece which I disassembled to have the two pieces) 5" of snow this a.m. Weird to think it is fall there, while we are waiting for the flowering bulbs to bloom!