16 04 2011 — 21 05 2011

FELIEKE VAN DER LEEST Once upon a time in My West (part 1)

Once upon a time in My West (part 1)

The world of the adult facing that of the child. They draw together in the recent work by Felieke van der Leest; the well-known artist went in search of her childhood fantasies. Her dreams about the mythical Wild West, in which the enchantment of coloured beads could mingle effortlessly with the lure of wild horses. The fact that life in the prairies of the nineteenth-century was nasty and brutish, and nature there was godforsaken, is a contrast that Van der Leest in no way chooses to avoid. In spite of its humour and cheerful colours her jewellery often comments on bitter aspects of the real world.

In the series 'Once upon a time in My West' the artist plays lightly with ethnic motifs and techniques, using stereotypes that stem chiefly from Hollywood. It is surely not pure coincidence that Van der Leest’s designs now uses filmic devices, such as having pictures ‘bleeding off’, producing stark contrasts in the lighting, or shadow effects. Fortunately, there is a Happy Ending: as variation on the classic closing scene from the Lucky Luck cartoons, a horse trots off peacefully towards the setting sun … 

Ward Schrijver 
(© Galerie Rob Koudijs)