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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.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The piano part 3...

I promise (I think) that this will be the last day I post about the piano disassembly, but it has been fascinating (to me, at least)...and the potential for all those parts, well, that has a lot to do with it.
 I believe I counted 13 different little wooden bits, plus a little ribbon, some metal, several felts and some leather just in the lower piece. And there are 88 of those, and each "hammer" (the bulb-shaped piece) is a slightly different size!   There are also 88 of the upper piece, also wood, felt, leather, metal and wire.  Can you imagine imagining and then creating these little hinged and movable bits and all of them working?
 This is the harp where all the strings reside.  If you look only at the right side, you can easily envision a harp....and one can pluck the strings and make lovely sounds.  The strings jutting across from the left are the bass strings.   When  a key is struck, the hammer (first photo) hits the appropriate string.
This section is part of where the hammers were connected, and so there are 88 little screw eyes and 88 of the little padded cushions.
These were what were under the keys when we lifted them up.

I suppose this all brings back fond memories of when my mother had her piano tuned. The tuner would arrive with his bags of tools and spend what seemed like hours getting everything perfectly tuned.  I am amazed that my father  allowed Mom this one luxury in the house.  As a child, I did not realize what a talented pianist she was (nor of course how frustrated she must have felt that I showed little interest in it).

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