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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, September 8, 2011

And another....

If you look back a couple posts, you'll see the square box with part of the collage I started with in the background.  This one turned out to be a perfect example of how things evolve and totally change if one just lets the process lead you.
After trying too hard to make the other image work, I just covered it up. (Tip:  When things don't work out, take it apart and start over....or rip out a major component and then see where it goes).  Once I did that, found a rather racy old letter written during WWII (the little blue rectangular handwritten section on the left) and the St Christopher Be My Guide winged pin...well, it all fell together.

The angelic transparency in the top triangle (a wooden child's toy) fits right in with the carefully posed young women (who also appear in Magical Kingdom).  And the vintage French postcard addressed to "Ma cherie Gabrielle" seemed to fit, and the rusty horseshoe nails piercing the bottom add a little ambiguity to it.

And actually the wooden rectangular piece framing the left was pulled from another piece I was working on, but where it didn't work at all (another plus of working on multiple pieces at once.  You can pull from one to the other).

Moving on to the garden, I saw the most amazing spider there yesterday, curled up the leaf of the scarlet runner beans.  Here she is:
I've had garden orb spiders in that area of the garden before, and when their eggs hatch, a whole web will be shimmering with tiny golden spiders making their way up, up and away (I understand they make a strand of web and float away on the wind).  But I've never seen one with this large white body with a black spot.  The new style?


Carol said...

I've been away on an adventure trip (see my blog for pics) so have missed the past couple of weeks. Just love the stuff you got at the garage sale - what a haul! And what you're making is just fantastic. I haven't put my rusty photos on my blog yet but I took lots and will show them off soon. As luggage was very restricted I was only able to collect very tiny things but at least I didn't come back empty handed. Stay well, thinking of you. xx

Diane Lou said...

Hi Carol, Will take a peek at your site and see what you have been up to.

Will be posting a pic of more new stuff when I get back home this weekend. Am in Portland with grandkids right now. Too hot!
Thanks, Carol.