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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, March 21, 2011

Quote for today...for all artists

Bob Hicks, the writer for The Oregonian who did a couple great write-ups about the anagama firing, wrote the following at the end of one of his articles.  I think it is wonderful!

"So maybe it’s just a pot. Maybe the Greek guys were right. Yet it strikes me, looking into the maw of this volatile and strangely comforting furnace, that our foolhardy canoe slipping downriver into the current of an unruly past is bringing back something that the future needs. A sense of the vitality of the frankly physical. The nitty-gritty joy of sheer cussedness. The primal and transformative power of clay and blood and bone and raw human
 doing-ness that can’t be conveniently abstracted away by the intellectual arbiters of an overcrowded lockstep world. The fugitive pleasures of fun. The potters, the weavers, the carvers, the hand people, are our wild children and our pioneers and our roots. Let them feed the fires. Let them float the canoes. Likely as not, we’ll be needing what they know. ~Bob Hicks, freelance writer for The Oregonian.

Feed the fires, float the canoes......


Carol said...

What a beautiful image to go with the wonderful Bob Hicks quote. I wanted to check out the super moon from the other end of the world but we've had a few days of cloud and rain and I couldn't see it. But last night I dreamed about it, so I feel I've seen it. See, you have influence from afar.

Diane Lou said...

Carol, I love that you dreamed the moon when you couldn't see it! How magical is that?? I always relish your thoughtful comments.

Anonymous said...

That quote is pure poetry to me. Just lovely. I would love to cut and paste it somewhere, but not sure where yet. May I use it, perhaps on my blog, with your permission? And thanks for listing my blog on your blog list! Will you be at the Focus Book Arts conference in June? I will. Hope to see you there.

Diane Lou said...

I agree, Jackie. I think those of us who work with our hands really "get" it. I know so many people who are deciding to post it.

I think it would be fine, but I'll get back to you with a link to Bob so you can ask him. I'm sure it will be OK as long as you give credit for it.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely it would be credited properly. He should be a poet as well as a writer for the Oregonian...

Diane Lou said...

And I am so embarrassed 'cause I think I never got back to you with the link, did I? Life gets so crazy at times....

I lovely.