by Ramon Sicart i Batet
Text for LEO'S PLACE catalogue, Sicart Gallery, October 2000
We are used to be in a hurry, to live day by day by day, to look always forwards and outwards. However, when we begin the trip that Leo Well mar proposes through her paintings, we feel the need to change. At first sight, and the more we get into Leo's landscapes, the more we feel that our sense of time is getting lost. Timeless. It is then, all along the path, that we realize that the journey is just an excuse: it is part of the meaning of life.
A lonely chair in a porch, open to the sea, invites us to sit down. It might give us the sensation of one who is waiting in the timelessness. But it also could mean that the trip has already begun. There is an implication between the loneliness of the one who is waiting and the environment. An implication between the vastness of the environment and the trip. And, of course, all along any trip, the further we go, lonelier we feel and the more we find ourselves.
Another Sign of departure and stepping forward might be the wooden dock lying on rocks. Although between the beginning and the end, what really matters is the distance between these two points, a lonely dock not only provides us a landing stage, but also a starting and a returning point.
As long as we go forward in these seas of calm, we find plenty of islands. Islands that seduce us because of their evocations and their siren songs: the misty islands surrounded by reefs, the recover island swung by the sea, united islands kept together under a fantastic stormy sky, the untouched island looking attentively to the firm land, the meeting island with its three moorings and company cape, far islands where a tongue of land is trying to get closer, the silent island where the sea wave softly, the silent space of the horizon and the motionless silence in the moorings. The island as a shelter, and, as its semantics shows, isolation and loneliness.
The rocky paths in the middle of the sea, opened into the space, invincible: they are the being's unity and its strength, the essence; they make us possible to go through without getting in the tight spot of being denied. They free our mind. They are the strength and the perseverance.
The trees as a symbol of growth, whose trunks impose in front of a landscape. We neither know how they grow into the ground, nor how they communicate with the sky. Trees interfering our way, hiding what is behind them. But as we already know what is on the other side, we have to go further. Trees inviting us to walk in silence, without stridencies, surrounded by a white light, which fills the sky and reflects into the water.
The light is the main character of this journey. Sometimes it leads us, it guides us, it spreads out over the paintings and fills our retinas, and sometimes such excess of light blinds us. The containment of the gray tones make us take shelter in ourselves. It makes us safeguard while we interiorize all the folds of the horizon: the metaphor of the acquired knowledge al I along the journey.
Without sense of time there is no will to return. Neither art nor literature might save us from the environment: only sensations are able to do that. But it might be possible to be the same thing. From these landscapes, far away from the daily illusion, we know its existence, even if they are only in Leo's place or in the memory of those who dared to sit down for a while in the lonely chair on the porch.