"PARADIS", an exhibition by Danelle Bergstrom, inspired by the Åland Islands, is on view at Galleri Skarpans until 30 July 2022

ÅLAND ISLANDS, FINLAND - Media OutReach - 20 July 2022 - Galleri Skarpans, located in the idyllic Åland Islands in the Baltic Sea between Sweden and Finland, presents an emotive exhibition of new oil paintings by renowned Australian artist, Danelle Bergstrom, with the largest paintings spanning almost 2 meters in width. This is the latest exhibition of Bergstrom in Finland and follows the unveiling of her portraits of the former Finnish president Tarja Halonen at the Åland Art Museum in 2021.

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Curated by Leila Cromwell-Morgan Lönnroth, PARADIS is an exhibition about the fragility of our existence, through experiences and memories personified by nature. Lönnroth, explained that Bergstrom's work conceptually represents nature as fundamental to the human existence on Earth and the exhibition aims to encourage the audience to re-examine the connection that exists between humans and nature. "We all create our own idea of paradise and it can be a precarious existence. It stresses the importance of living in harmony with mother nature, appreciating its diversity and challenges, and respecting her power and vulnerability" Bergstrom said.

The conception of Bergstrom's series in 2019 coincided with the strongest ever recorded storm in Finland called "Alfrida" that swept across Åland. Inspired by the Åland people's resilience to nature's fury – a resilience repeated countless times across the planet as communities deal with extreme events – Bergstrom's works evoke strong resonance among viewers who engage with the exhibition. Lönnroth has observed visitors to her gallery have been deeply moved by these images. "They connect within a deep place in our heart" she said.

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About Danelle Bergstrom:

Danelle Bergstrom (b. 1957) is an awarding winning visual artist based in Australia and Finland. Renowned for both portraits and landscape paintings, her work is represented in major Australian national and private collections. Her first major solo exhibition in Finland was at the Önningeby Museum in 2019.

Bergstrom has two upcoming exhibitions in Australia 2023, a new exhibition at the Arthouse Gallery, Sydney and a major retrospective at the Bathurst Regional Gallery in New South Wales, She has recently finished a commission for a stamp issues about UNESCO's intangible cultural heritage of Nordic clinker boats for Åland Post.