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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, September 12, 2011

New stuff...

I've recently been the happy recipient of some good "stuff", as most of us call it.  Blog reader Su told me she had something for me, and I envisioned some small item she wanted to send me, but no! came a big box full of goodies.  Each nook and cranny around the ever-so-interesting drawer (out of an old sewing machine cabinet) was filled with something inspiring and fun.  Take a look:
There's the wonderful metal knight in armor, a pile of black finials, metal turtles, glass faces, keys, rusty metal curliques, and glass hearts (which Su tells me were made from powdered glass melted in a waffle iron!)

Then, a couple bins trips yielded not a lot, but some, interesting items. picture is sideways, but you get the idea.  I especially like the woman figure on the right, the very unusual cow, and the aqua gear item.

Finished up another piece today and here it is in its final form (I hope).   The background is part of that initial collage jumpstart I did a week or so ago.  Also in the piece are some old letters and music, a old red and black typewriter ribbon (see lower right), aqua rusted metal from an old vehicle, a key and tag, a part from a piano (on right interior) and a rusty lock on the bottom.
It's called Amatory Poems,  and here's a detail. 
Don't forget to post a comment during the rest of the month to be eligible for the next drawing for some wonderful free item.  It's nice to know someone is out there!


Ruth Armitage said...

I love this new piece Diane. I'm looking forward to seeing your work at Local 14 this year :)

Diane Lou said...

Thanks, Ruth! I hope to see you there. Looks like some wonderful art in the show this year.

Carol said...

Lovely new 'stuff' and I love Amatory Poems and your Samurai's Garden. I do appreciate your descriptions.

Diane Lou said...

Thanks so much, Carol. Think my working time is about over for Local 14, and now it is time to figure out what to take, get everything labeled, packed up and then relax a bit before the big weekend at the end of the month.