Laurence Leenaert’s paintings are a distillation of her myriad skills. Designed, painted and woven entirely by her own hand, the works take inspiration from local Moroccan crafting techniques and natural materials. Leenaert eschews the use of digital tools and machine-led interventions, believing in a purely tactile approach to her work. Building up abstract, three dimensional works with acrylic paint, wool yarn and cotton patches on rough burlap canvas, embroidery and weaving are incorporated into her painting practice to create expressive compositions. Her naïve indeterminate line and unruly geometric forms are balanced by an effortlessly refined sense of composition. These minimal marks made on a heavily textured canvas become almost reminiscent of cave paintings, hieroglyphs and runic inscriptions from ancient worlds. 

‘I’m constantly looking for harmony in this important space, translating it into textiles, lines, graphics, relief.’


Her work combines the colours, materials and mirage-esque forms she finds on the edge of the desert in Marrakech, creating harmony out of the contrasting chaos of the city. The palm trees, the pink walls, the light of the sun and the busy architecture of Marrakech can be seen and felt in her paintings. After moving to Morocco in 2015, Leenaert surrounded herself with visual, material and cultural inspiration for her works, drawing from her personal experiences in a new city. Finding freedom in the city’s sense of timelessness, Leenaert admits to working impulsively, destroying more work than she makes. With a fluid method employed across her canvases, aspects from each painting often swapping and changing, her works reflect the spontaneous environment she works in. 

Studio shots
Exhibition | QALB DARI | Laurence Leenaert

Laurence Leenaert studied Fashion Design at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent, Belgium. After completing an internship with Bless in Berlin, she launched her own design studio, LRNCE.  Her designs quickly became sought after in high-end outlets such as The Conran Shop and the Picasso Museum. Moving to Morocco in 2015 allowed Leenaert to further develop her practice and Cadogan Gallery is delighted to be showing her unique paintings in London. 


Selected exhibitions



'Argile et Rêves', Cadogan Gallery, London



‘Izdihar’, St Vincents, Antwerp



‘Qalb Dari’, Cadogan Gallery, London



'Invisible Subjects', Group Show: Cadogan Gallery, London