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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, February 9, 2012

The piano...

Arrrghhh!  Where did almost a month go?  Seems the house has been full of grandkids (Jake on weekends and Gigi 2 other days of the week) and now Nils is back to teaching 3 days a week, and two daughters are in the middle of a move, just seems life keeps getting in the way of studio time!

But today Nils is off to school all day, and no one else is here and I don't have to go anywhere (until tomorrow), so hopefully between laundry and all rest I will indeed get some studio time.  It's time to photo some art for jurying into Local 14 (I hope....jurying is now, show not till Sept/Oct) for one thing....and then this weekend, Jake and I will start disassembling the piano.

What piano, you ask?  The college where Nils teaching was having a big sale of excess furniture, etc, and in the mix were about 6 or 8 old upright pianos.  We offered $10 for one, and got it.  That was the easy part.  Well, the other easy part was having 4 strong men to load it into the trailer to bring home.  The not-so-easy part was what followed!

Jake, Nils and I were the unloading crew.  An older man, an older woman and an almost 12-year-old do not equal 4 strong men, not matter how you look at it.

Fortunately we were able to back the trailer right up to the big doors on the studio.  Check.  Then the hard part.  The piano has to weigh 300# at least.  Just sliding it off the trailer onto the concrete floor of the studio took nearly 1/2 an hour and a couple near tragic incidents.  Then the problem was the piano was in the trailer on its side, not upright, and it seemed to be very happy to remain in that position.

Assisted by a large jack, several blocks, 3 struggling people of various ages and strengths, we FINALLY got it upright...1 1/2 hours total to get that thing unloaded.  At one point the support underneath collapsed and just missed falling on Nils!

Jake and I plan to start disassembling it this weekend (it does not work) for all those cool keys and hammers and bits and pieces.  We'll see how challenging all of that is.  Think I'll look online to see if anyone has any tips....


rebeca trevino said...

I was wondering where you were going with this . . . i am always on the look out for piano keys. . . a couple of years ago i across a few of them and i put them in an art piece, and i just loved the way it came out.

any way - i can't wait to see what you do with all those wonderful piano parts . . . what fun!

Diane Lou said...

I'm sure I'll have more than a few piano parts available for purchase if you are interested, Rebeca. There is no way I'll use all of them.

Watched a video on YouTube yesterday (25 minutes long but really took 5 hours) on disassembling a piano! Gotta love the internet and the ability to find out absolutely anything!

Will keep you posted on the progress.

Diane Lou said...

Love your piece, BTW.....

Dayna Collins said...

Oh, how fun to get to disassemble a piano for all the wonderful parts you will glean.

Diane Lou said...

Will post some pictures, hopefully today. LOTS of pieces.....