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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.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Strange Woman....finished

I finally finished (I hope) Strange Woman with the few additions in the bottom box.  Some small fake cherries in the left hand corner, and a glass and copper hand on the right.   They seem to add the needed visual weight to the bottom of the piece.
Here's the detail of the lower box.

 Life's been a little crazy lately.  One daughter has moved back here with her 6-month-old daughter (Geneva aka Gigi), and they will be living in a cabin on our property.  We all know what moving and settling into a new place is like, so we've been helping her with that.  I look forward to spending time with both of them.

I had added new soil to all the garden beds and started planting when we found out the soil we had bought and already added to the beds was no good, so all will have to be dug out and replaced!  Not a chore I look forward to.

Hopefully things will settle down and the spring weather we have just had a few days of will become more regular.  Sunshine does wonders for the spirits.

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