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P1060048During the dog days of August, the Pink Panther came, conquered and left quietly albeit tired from being photo snapped by countless tourists strolling by the window of the Wout Vuyk Gallery on the Singel Canal in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

P1060053This quiet summer show featured two Dutch women artists – Quinta Bies and Conny Kuilboer

P1060049The tattoo announcement on the arm should have prepared me for this Mundus est Fabula “the world is a fable or story”. Yes, it was and incidentally it is also the title of a painting by the Pope of Dada – Max Ernst. As soon as I walked into the gallery I knew it. Nothing had prepared me for a surreal feeling seeing the Pink Panther and the life size palm tree coupled with three dimensional art on the wall made out of wood with a figure saw.

P1060038Slowly but surely the imagination from Quinta Bies took me by surprise, but more than that it was the obvious social concerns underneath that some Dutch would call “ludiek” or playful art. Besides a small painting or two by her, there was much more that caught my eye.P1060041P1060039The wall sculptures seem to carry an overdose of irony in them referring to events in peoples lives and then there were the gifts, boxes with miniature sculptures with BIG statements attached warning you before opening them.

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the artist says: Be caring and buy a lot!

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be full of yourself!

P1060056There was plenty of irony here like in the packaging box which said, “carefree, satisfaction, self confidence, modesty and gentle and last but not least OPTIMISM”.P1060054If your life is full of surprises and you need to escape you can buy a “survival box” from Conny Kuilboer or the letter O with some advise on paper by Quinta Bies, reminding you to say just Oh or Oh really.P1060058Yet underneath all of this you sense a seriousness with their work like the silkscreens by Kuilboer echoing the Pink Panther feel and other fiber art she makes.

P1060043P1060036As a final pièce de résistance there was a reminder that all of us are artists in our daily life, but even artists need a commemoration at times. So, the “Hommage to the Artist” flag adorned the wall with Quinta Bies seated behind the desk who threw words of wisdom to the unsuspecting visitor wandering around the gallery.

Wonderfully surprised and with a large grin on my face I left the exhibition glad to have been one of those wandering visitors!

P1060059Thank you Ladies. www.quintabies.nl  en www.connykuilboer.com

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