Heidi Wallaeys’ canvasses show us images of an ephemeral nature : the capricious flight of birds, the soft falling of snow, hesitant still waters, mountains frozen in the absence of wind, the scintillating light of a summer sun or the shadow of a tree disappearing in the night. The vast and ethereal outdoor landscapes of freedom and infinity evoke an inner space, one without the limits imposed by our existence.  In that space, the promise of the intimate and veiled but boundless landscape of our thoughts, our feelings and our imagination, unfolds. The artist calls this in one of her paintings ‘the sky in my mind’, quoting Virginia Woolf. Likewise, this tangible spaciousness suggests the unbridgeable distance that separates us, it depicts the difficulty to find each other.

Colour, very present in Heidi Wallaeys’ work, is never neutral.  Limpid turquoise, wavering purple-blue, vibrant yellow, some sumptuous pinks as well as white and black appear on monochromatic surfaces, always applied in subtle shades and transparencies.  With some brushstrokes, lines or stains and simple means of expression, the painter achieves to create scenes which bring to mind the concision of the Japanese haiku.

This association is not arbitrary, since one of her references is the beautiful ‘the book of tea’ by Okakura Kakuzo, an aesthetical guide and a philosophy for life.

Heidi Wallaeys’ whole artwork originates from a real need and from a definite vision on the world.  As well as her paintings, her drawings and her prints – which seem miniatures out of antiquarian books – claim something we nowadays often lack : delicacy.

 

–  Anna Lopez Pujal