The work of Harry de Leeuw can be placed within the movement of lyrical realism and uses architecture and landscape as important sources of inspiration. The artist is aiming for an atmosphere laden with memories, legends and stories.
In his constructions De Leeuw is often guided by Romanesque architecture. The simplicity and lack of ornaments place strong emphasis on the shape and composition of the buildings. By isolating certain elements or playing with compositions he enables himself to accentuate specific aspects, such as function.
Transition zones or borders and borderlands such as bridges, gateways, doors and towers provide an interesting tension between here and there, inside and outside or inclusion and exclusion.
De Leeuw feels the landscape provides a sense of freedom and quietness. Water, mountains, trees and vast open areas are elements of the landscape that appeal to him and inspire him. Through elaborate observation of the landscape he discovered aspects that have originated in former laws or traditions, which have long gone out of use, but are still visible in the landscape. For example old country roads that are no longer used due to reparcelation. Large, solitary trees standing in the middle of fields, the result of an old tax law, are another example of a landscape component that plays a key role in his work. De Leeuw feels trees show most of their structure and character during winter.
Another aspect that contributes to the character of the works of De Leeuw is the use of the skin of the bronze, as it originates from the process of casting the material. He manipulates the skin in order to determine the colour and structure of the work. By keeping the skin as raw and authentic as possible, an impression of timelessness is created.
De Leeuw casts his works himself. This gives him the opportunity to intervene during the process, to detect technical mistake s inherent to the process of casting the bronze and to subject the process to his will. Consequently de Leeuw has developed a completely unique and personal style.
In his artworks, De Leeuw aspires to present his story in a recognisable way. In doing so, he leaves enough space for the feelings, stories and memories of the beholder. The titles given to the works play an important role.