Exhibitions03 11 2012 — 05 01 2013
FELIEKE VAN DER LEEST Once upon time in My West (part 2)
For Felieke van der Leest the 'Wild West' was once the world over the rainbow. The realm where villains were defeated and heroes triumphed, where Indians lived and broad plains beckoned, even the colours and animals looked different there. Her youthful longing has by now evolved into a clear view on our world and society; the long-ago dreams have become a rich repository of images and symbols.
A year and a half ago she drew on this source for the first time. In the work of 2012 a new parade of wild-west-phenomena is introduced: of course there are many animals, like skunks and bulls, and references to themes as safety, greed and commanding respect. Van der Leest prefers to leave the interpretation of her work to the viewer. The bracelet 'Prairie Pioneer' is a fine example: for what does this prairie dog stands for? He is adorned with the frightful claw and beak of an eagle; does that mean that he represents the ambitious beginnings of the nineteenth century USA, or just the opposite, the impotence of a country which used to be one of the most powerful on earth? The kaleidoscope of associations in Felieke van der Leest's jewellery makes it rise beyond the allure of endearing animals and appealing colours and earned it its well deserved international appreciation.
(© Galerie Rob Koudijs)