Home » General » ‘Floraleza’ Comes to Town

A thought-provoking solo exhibition titled “Floraleza” by Oula Leele from Spain officially opened on Tuesday night at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe. The show is made unique by the way she combined her immense talent in photography and poetry.

The title “Floraleza”, according to Leele, is a combination of the words nature, flower and force (naturaleza, flor, fuerza). The exhibition, which fuses nature, humans, feelings, focus on flowers, runs until September 4.

Leele, a photographer, artist and poet, took her time to perfect her skills in so many ways and on this exhibition; she pours her heart out for the love of flowers. The drawings on serigraphy or screen printing complemented by her poems in English and Spanish are neatly sealed in beautiful frames, exuding her mastery in art.

The poems make it easier for the lay- man to understand her works without difficulties. So striking is her close hand working with colours that she blends with precision. Her artworks at the gallery are small but so powerful that one ought to mistake them for a drawing by a complete novice.

Her piece “Once again the thirst for mystery” it combines a flower, sun with a human face and all surrounded by a heavy wind, while on “When evening falls”, define the outlook of the surroundings when dark fades away.

However, the exhibition invokes feelings, inviting one to appreciate life in so many different ways be it in times of happiness or sorrow.

As she rightly puts it: “This exhibition aims to show that flowers, even the littlest ones, are a song of life dedicated to life, and a lesson in living geometry. The essence of flowers is exhibited through me, and I exhibit myself flourishing.

“The works were created just after my mother passed away and they helped me a lot,” said Leele.

Born Barbara Allende Gil de Biedma in 1957 and inspired by her childhood living between Madrid and Spain Rafeal, Leele spent her days drawing and painting and reading books on art.

She took the pseudonym “Ouka Leele” as an artistic name and Leele had an artistic vocation on paint- ing.

However, she spent her time studying drawings, sculpture as well as painting and later fell in love with photography. She later merged it with painting and included it in her personal language that was iconic and emblematic of the “Movida Madrielena”, a cultural movement that led to Spain crossing all boarders.

Since then her works had been exhibited in cities across every continent, collecting accolades, chief among them was a Goya Award by the Spanish Film Academy for her effort.

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