Ian De Weerdt is creating a space-filling installation in Kunstenlab with the lion motif as its starting point. The artist is fascinated by this and is, as it were, hunting for the visual element of the lion in the public space. It has been there since time immemorial. For example, one of the oldest statues in the world is the "Lion Man. It is half lion and half human and was left in a rock in Germany over 35,000 years ago. The statue is seen as evidence of the cognitive revolution: man's ability to exchange information, imagine and make meaning. The lion motif has been found everywhere since this time. In the Sphinx of Giza to in Greek mythology. From the banners of knights in the Middle Ages to the symbol of the Flemish army. It is depicted on coins and statues. It is the logo of a well-known car brand and of a major Dutch bank. The list is endless: the lion is frequently used as a symbol for all kinds of complex structures and concepts: from religion and mythology and from capital to power.
The exhibition 'Mane Motif' reflects the large amount of deep-rooted symbolism. De Weerdt has filled the space with an installation of numerous plaster sculptures. In addition, he uses the space as a photographic laboratory: together with Aalt van de Glind, he develops analogue images which he places over the installation like a new skin. This new skin contains photographs of lion sculptures and reliefs in public space. The artist made them in Deventer, Antwerp, Venice and other European cities. Together they tell about the mass symbolism of the lion on this continent. In doing so, they not only reveal different layers of history, but also unmistakably ask questions about our dealings with a symbol of power in the present and the future.