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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.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A couple finishes...

I'm just back from the studio where this a.m. I finished up these two pieces.  You've seen their earlier iterations on the blog a week or so ago.
 At this moment, I don't have a title yet for this one (possibly Bits and Pieces).  Above, a couple of the pieces are from one of those decorative bird houses one sees...the archways, which used to have wire "bars" on them, and the top roofline portion.  There is a dial on the right side, as well as the handle, which came from the vintage gas pump.

The detail below shows the interior gears (once aqua plastic but now rusted) and the red string manipulating the woman.

Here's the second piece,  currently untitled (that part of my brain seems to be on vacation).  It's a very simple composition, but it feels right to leave it this way.
 Without a flash on it, the silvery shapes on top cast intriguing shadows that sort of fill in the composition.  Those, you might remember, were part of a metal lamp (painted reddish-purple) that I acquired at that farm sale where I got a huge pile of stuff for $40.  I'll look forward to using the rest of it in future pieces.
The beadboard on the inside of the white box also came from the same farm sale.  The ancient pitchfork from friend Ray.


rebeca trevino said...

diane both of these are quite stunning. i especially like the hand and fork piece.

and yes please do title them. untitled pieces seem unfinished, somehow.

Diane Lou said...

Thanks, Rebeca. Something will come to me. Since I never work with a plan in mind, sometimes I have to spend a little time with a piece to find the right title.

I appreciate your comments!

Carol said...

Love that pitchfork. I ordered your e-book Alchemical Dreams ... and now have your inspiration right at hand on my iPad when I travel. Just great. Hope you are keeping well, Carol xx

Diane Lou said...

How nice you ordered the ebook, Carol! I haven't advanced to the world of the iPad, but think they are quite wonderful. Technology amazes me every day as it is so far beyond the scope of my imaginings.

I'm feeling good, Carol, and doing everything I always do so I guess I am doing something(s) right. Thanks for asking.

Hope all is well down under. Going into summer there? We had our first skiff of snow this a.m.