Born in Helsinki and currently living and working in Melbourne, artist Agneta Ekholm paints vast abstract paintings - over many hours and using many layers of acrylic. Each work evolves on the canvas, and I see the ambiguous, organic shapes working together to form 'scapes' - not anything quite as recognisable as a landscape but certainly something just as tangible. They make me feel like I'm looking through a window, but the view is overwhelming and much larger than what I can actually visualise. Some of the works remind me of the tissues made visible in X-rays, others seem to move like something a little less fluid than water.
Agneta has studied art in both Finland and Melbourne, and has exhibited her work in over a dozen solo shows, as well as countless group exhibitions. Elements was her most recent solo show, held at Flinders Lane Gallery in Melbourne, from where the works pictured here are available to purchase. About Elements, she says ‘In a way nature is always the starting point. It acts as a mirror on the soul; a reflex. In nature I find something that triggers a kind of personal state of mind.’
Agneta's Artist Statement gives us an insight into the creation and meaning of her artworks:
"My current work is by definition abstract and it is built entirely from imagination and engagement with my technical process. Each painting evolves on the canvas: no working drawings exist.
The viewer is immersed in the luxurious ebb and flow of paint and mysterious forms which might be suggestive of radiological images, landscapes, light-play, water flow or movement: many personal associations may be provoked. The scope of individual response to the paintings reflects an indefinable quality that is essential to the work's ultimate success.
The paintings result from the exploration and discovery inherent in a technique honed over the last number of years.
Working with fast-drying acrylic and water, I use a sponge to apply layer upon layer of shapes and gestures with solid pigment and transparent washes, while continually washing and rubbing sections away until the final complex image is built. I may work for days on a small isolated section of the painting. It is an obsessive and fastidious process and the work travels a complex journey of twists and turns before I have found the 'solution' which is that paintings final incarnation..."
"...A spare use of colour focuses attention on a sense of movement in the forms framed by a still surround. In these works an inky blue creates a cool, dark and sensual space.
It seems paradoxical that the work, while time consuming and re-worked attentively over weeks and months, should appear at first glance simple and immediate.
The strong fluid and organic core stilled by the gentle ground , contributes to vague figurative and emotional qualities that the audience just cannot pin down."
Agneta Ekholm - 2013
Agneta Ekholm is represented by Flinders Lane Gallery in Melbourne, and you can learn more about her work at www.agnetaekholm.com. I feel I could get lost looking into these incredibly beautiful and moving artworks. At once, they speak so loudly and whisper under their breath.
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