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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, March 23, 2011

First Offerings...finally done!

If you look back at least weeks, if not months ago (, you'll find the start of this piece.  It  began with a wooden checkerboard for a background, topped by a wooden box painted black.  The two pieces that are screwed to the top and bottom of the box are, I believe, from some type of Lego set that I found in the bins. The finial is an inverted pendulum piece (plastic) from a very cheap clock.
 The background piece inside the box was one of my "glueless" collage pieces that I created for my book, Transfers and Transparencies.  On top of that, I fastened down with construction adhesive the silver warmer, with my favorite angel image inside.  The wing was broken off a ceramic angel, and also glued down with construction adhesive.
Like sometimes happens, this start of a piece which included the checkerboard, black box and Lego pieces, sat in the accumulation of "stuff" that gradually piles up in front of my working wall.  Yesterday I took my brush and dustpan and decided to tackle that messy area.  Not only did I find this piece and finally see the way to finish it (literally within minutes), I got rid of some things I don't think I will ever use.

I often find cleaning or sorting or just looking through things brings out things I had forgotten I had, or things that were set aside when I just couldn't figure out where they were going.  It's a great way to jump start some new art!


Carol said...

This has turned out beautifully, Diane. What a lovely collection of disparate articles making a coherent whole. Love it, and find your description inspiring.

Diane Lou said...

Thank you, Carol! It's always so satisfying to have a "slow" piece finally come to fruition. It IS quite a hodge-podge of "stuff", isn't it?