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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, April 6, 2011

Where have I been?

Almost a week has gone by, and I've been completely useless in giving you anything new!  Jake was here for the weekend, Sunday was my birthday, and the rest....I'm not sure.  Partly I've been moaning and groaning way too much about the continuing drippy and cold weather we are having, and the lack of the appearance of that golden orb referred to by some as the sun, which we simply have not seen!  We are running 15 degrees or more below normal temps most days.  Very discouraging to moi who wants to be outside cleaning up the flower and garden beds.

But I have managed some studio time, thankfully...the perfect place to escape the realities of things like the weather.

This is a small piece....about 8" wide and maybe 5" tall at the highest point.  It's called Guess Who?
I like to do these tiny pieces sometimes, just as an escape.  I love the colors, shapes and graphics on various game pieces, and at times, I just want to see a bunch of them together....dice, checkers, chess men (the bishop), bingo pieces, and some unindentified ones.   The little "grid" in front of the bishop was made by slicing a masonite chess board into thin slices with the tabletop band saw I have.  (Love that thing!)  The whole piece is housed in a little drawer that I painted black and then added little "feet" to it so it can either hang or stand.

We'll start talking about the April giveaway this week.  Stay tuned!
(Guess Who?  copyright Diane Lou 2011)

5 comments:

rebeca trevino said...

diane! i love this piece. . . in fact i have one that is a bit similar in that i am using a wooden thing with indents in it,the game was played with marbles,i think it's called congklak, or mancala.

anyway, i too am placing things in it that are round, a ball, small doll's head, marbles, compass, and other things. still a work in process, but now i am again motivated to finish it.

Diane said...

I love game pieces too--they are art in themselves--this assemblage is just so cool!

Diane Lou said...

Thanks, Rebeca and Diane. Great minds think alike, of course. Good luck on finishing yours, Rebeca...

Hope you are enjoying spring. We have a LITTLE sun today, but the clouds are moving in again....sigh

Carol said...

Sorry about your weather, here in Aust it's getting a bit chilly in the mornings but the days are gorgeous. (Of course, my idea of chilly probably doesn't count in your part of the world.)

I do like this new piece, and once again I see that I want/need a tabletop band saw. If I could figure out where to put it, I'd have it by now.

Diane Lou said...

Hi Carol, I hope you get your band saw too. It is small enough that I use it constantly just to cut small things down to size, and it takes a second instead of struggling minutes. I love it.
Let me know when you get your prize!