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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, February 13, 2012

The piano continued....

Grandson Jake was here this weekend and first thing Saturday a.m., since it was still too chilly to work outside on the zipline (another story for another day), we decided to dive into the piano disassembly.  I had indeed found a 24 minute YouTube video of a guy doing the same which helped with a few of the tricker points, but all in all, it was far easier than unloading it!

I must say I was awestruck in the same way I was when I first disassembled a vintage typewriter.  How did someone design and make all these varied pieces (and then actually make it work)?  They really are little miracles we take for granted.

Here are a few photos.

 For every note, this part has 3 separate screws that need to be removed from this section to free up the various pieces, so do the math.  Still working on this part.

The top of a big Rubbermaid full of keys.

We are still left with the cabinet and the "harp", the wires strung under incredibly high tension that make the notes. (That was the scary part of the YouTube video....watching that guy cut through those high-tension wires.  One piano tuner commented that the wires have a combined tension of something like 130,000 pounds of watch out!)  Wish I could keep the harp as it is lovely to make music on...but it has to remain on the "sounding board" on the back of the piano which is the other very heavy, very large part of the piano (besides the harp which is cast iron).  Don't know yet what we will do with it.

But a job well done, Jake and Nils!

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