Arja Välimäki
Arja Välimäki

Upcoming Exhibition ‘Ocean Forest’ at Art2Muse Gallery, 7 – 20 August 2018

Nordic Taiga

 

Nordic Taiga explores and talks about the experience of Finnish nature, echoing in my dreams and in my art practice. My memories, feelings and experiences of growing up in southern and northern Finland materialise on canvas. The Finnish national epic poem Kalevala plants the basis of this experience, and beats like a drum in my heart and paintings. The majestic forests, flora and fauna of the two countries’ of my residence, Australia and Finland, are echoing and conversing with my memories. The plants and trees are becoming one, like a new world of imagination, in this series of works.

 

 

Finnish born, Arja Välimäki is an Australian based artist, who starts her daily practice with a coastal walk where she finds an exultant connection to nature. She draws her inspiration from the microscopic details, the natural world and bird’s eye views of the landscape. Arja’s daily practice is reflected in her abstract interpretation of the way she feels when in nature. She absorbs the details and patterns that the water and sea life leave behind on the sand and rocks. The vivacious arrangements that emerge in Arja’s paintings can be interpreted as microscopic images, flora and fauna or photos taken from space.

Practicing since the mid-1990s, Arja has completed her BFA and MFA at the University of NSW, Sydney. She has exhibited widely in both Australia and Finland, including sixteen solo exhibitions. She has been a finalist in the prestigious Wynne Prize at the Art Gallery of NSW; Sculpture by the Sea, Sydney; Fisher’s Ghost Art Award, Campbelltown Arts Centre and the Sydney Living Museums Meroogal Women’s Art Prize. Arja has won numerous awards and grants, including a scholarship to study her MFA. Arja was also named 2004 Young Kalevala Artist of the Year, Finland.

Arja Välimäki’s works are held in public and private collections in Australia, Finland, Hong Kong and UK.

 

Education

2000-03  Masters of Fine Arts, The University of NSW, College of Fine Arts

1997-98  Bachelor of Fine Arts, The University of NSW, College of Fine Arts

1996  Bachelor of Creative Arts, (1st yr. level), University of Wollongong

1989-93  Bachelor of Textile Engineering, Tampere University of Technology, Finland

1983-85  Artisan’s Diploma, Hollola Arts and Crafts School, Finland

 

Residency

1999  Wollongong Art Gallery

 

Solo Exhibitions

2017 Nordic Taiga, Art2Muse Gallery, Double Bay, Sydney

2015  Natural Vibrations, Embassy of Finland, ACT

2014  Natural Rhythms, Wollongong Art Gallery

2013  Kuurankukka, Alibi, Wollongong

2013  Esillä, Ekho, Wollongong

2012  Joyful Moment, Project, Centre for Contemporary Art, Wollongong

2012  Inka, Alibi, Wollongong

2012  Kesä Joulu, The Hanging Space Art Gallery, Wollongong

2007  The View, Ekho, Wollongong

2005  Planting Feet, Wollongong Art Gallery

2004  Sampo – matka – Kalevala – installaatio, Juminkeko, Kuhmo, Finland.

2003  Sampo: Kalevala and my journey, Kudos Gallery, Sydney

2002  Paljastus, Wollongong Art Gallery

2000  Arja Välimäki: 1999 Resident Artist, Wollongong Art Gallery

1998  Friends Regardless the Words, Project, Centre for Contemporary Art, Wollongong

The Old Fire Station, Community Arts Centre, Kiama

1998  Expressions, The Old Fire Station, Kiama

1996-99  Out of a Suitcase, Long Gallery, University of Wollongong

Bonegilla 50th Anniversary, Reunion Festival, Wodonga Plaza

The Old Fire Station, Community Arts Centre, Kiama

50th Cowra Migration Camp Reunion Festival, Cultural Centre of Japanese Gardens

 

Selected Group Exhibitions

2016  Illuminate, Vera Hatton Gallery, Jervis Bay
2016  Sojourn Summer, Beach Art Gallery, Wollongong
2016  Pledge for Parity, Project Contemporary Artspace, Wollongong

2015  OOTI, NSW Parliament House, Sydney

2015  Affordable Art  Fair, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre

2015  The Moods of Summer, Manyung Gallery Group, Melbourne

2015  Shoreline, Clifton School of Arts

2015  Scarbough Art Show

2014  Finalist: Meroogal Women’s Art Prize, Sydney Living Museums

2014  Art Arena Gallery 30th Birthday Exhibition, Wollongong

2014  Feeling the Heat, Clifton School of Arts

2014  Postcodes from the Edge, Wollongong Art Gallery

2014  International Women’s Day Exhibition, Centre for Contemporary Art, Wollongong

2014  IAVA on paper, The Hanging Space Art Gallery, Wollongong

2013  Me, the Road and I, Wollongong Art Gallery

2013  Photographic Portrait Prize, Wollongong Art Gallery

2013  being in the moment, Nan Tien Temple, Wollongong

2013  Thirroul Sea Side Festival, Wollongong

2013  International Women’s Day Exhibition, Centre for Contemporary Art, Wollongong

2013  IAVAtography, The Hanging Space Art Gallery, Wollongong

2012  WCG Resident Artist Program 20th Anniversary, Wollongong Art Gallery

2012  unfolding, Nan Tien Temple, Wollongong

2012  Habitat Artefact, Project, Centre for Contemporary Art, Wollongong

2012  Post codes from the Edge, Wollongong Art Gallery

2012  A New View, The Hanging Space Art Gallery, Wollongong

2011  Fisher’s Ghost Art Award, Cambelltown Arts Centre

2011  Reflections, Shellharbour Village Exhibition Space

2011  Spring into Action, Project Contemporary Artspace, Wollongong

2011-12  Meroogal Women’s Arts Prize 2011, Shoalhaven City Arts Centre, Nowra

Historic Houses Trust, The Mint, Sydney

Spiral Gallery, Bega

Sturt: Australian Contemporary Craft and Design, Mittagong

Lady Denman Museum, Huskisson

2011  Fire & Light, Project Contemporary Artspace, Wollongong

2011  Nautilus, Art Arena Gallery, Wollongong

2010  Stories from Sea and Land, Art Arena Gallery, Wollongong

2010  Women’s Work, Project Contemporary Artspace, Wollongong

2009-10  Meroogal Women’s Arts Prize 2009, Shoalhaven City Arts Centre, Nowra

Historic Houses Trust, The Mint, Sydney

Tuggeranong Arts Centre, ACT

Goulburn Regional Art Gallery

Spiral Gallery, Bega

2009  Mapping, Project Contemporary Artspace, Wollongong

2008-09  Meroogal Women’s Arts Prize 2008, Shoalhaven City Arts Centre, Nowra

Historic Houses Trust, The Mint, Sydney

Tuggeranong Arts Centre, ACT

Goulburn Regional Art Gallery

Spiral Gallery, Bega

2008  Lingua Loca, Project Contemporary Artspace, Wollongong

2008  Just Imagine, Wollongong Art Gallery

2007-08  Meroogal Women’s Arts Prize 2007, Shoalhaven City Arts Centre, Nowra

Spiral Gallery, Bega

Tuggeranong Arts Centre, ACT

Wollongong Art Gallery

Sturt Gallery, Mittagong

2007  Contribution, Project Contemporary Artspace, Wollongong

2007  (collected) Women, Wollongong Art Gallery

2006  Just Imagine, Wollongong Art Gallery

2006  Afresh, Project Contemporary Artspace, Wollongong

TAP Gallery, Darlinghurst, Sydney

2005  Lingua Loca, Project Contemporary Artspace, Wollongong

2004  Masters of COFA 2004, Ivan Dougherty Gallery, Sydney

2004  Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, NSW, Sydney

2003  17th Liverpool City Arts Prize 2003, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre

2002  The Wynne Prize Finalist, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney

2000-02  frisson, Tamworth City Gallery, 14th Tamworth Fibre Textile Biennial Ararat Gallery, Victoria

Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin

Jam Factory, Adelaide, South Australia

Bathurst Regional Art Gallery

Noosa Regional Gallery, Tewantin, Queensland

Grafton Regional Gallery

Manly Art Gallery & Museum, Sydney

Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery, Queensland

Hazelhurst Regional Gallery, Sutherland

Canberra Museum & Gallery, ACT

2001 20th  National Craft Acquisition Award, Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin

2001  Kuusi (Six), Project Contemporary Artspace, Wollongong

2001  Refurnished, Wollongong Art Gallery

1998  Contours,TAP Gallery, Sydney

1998  Freedom, TAP Gallery, Sydney

1997  From the Coast to the Highlands, Foyer Gallery, Civic Centre, Moss Vale

1997  Redundant, Karoona Gallery, West Wollongong TAFE

 

Grants, Awards and Prizes

2014  Highly Commended: Meroogal Women’s Arts Prize

2011  Second Prize: Meroogal Women’s Arts Prize

2010  First Prize: Lingua Loca: Stories from Sea and Land

2009  Second Prize: Meroogal Women’s Arts Prize

2007  The Bundanon Trust Regional Artist in Residence Scholarship (Arthur Boyd)

2004  Juminkeko’s Young Kalevala – Artist of the Year, Kuhmo, Finland

2001  Scholarship to study Masters of Fine Arts, The University of NSW, College of Fine Arts

2001  National Association for the Visual Arts, Marketing Grant Scheme

2000  Research Grant, The University of NSW, College of Fine Arts

1999  Artist in Residence of Wollongong Art Gallery, Connelly Temple Ltd.

1998  National Association for the Visual Arts, Marketing Grant Scheme

1998  Carnivale Illawarra

1998  Illawarra Ethnic Communities Council (IECC)

1998  The University of NSW, College of Fine Arts, Student’s Association

1996  NSW Ministry of the Art Multicultural Activities Program

1996  Carnevale Illawarra

1996  Illawarra Ethnic Communities Council (IECC)

 

Collections

Consulate General of Finland, Hong Kong (Foreign Minister of Finland’s Art Collection)

Embassy of Finland, Canberra, ACT

Juminkeko, (Kalevala and Karealisim Information and Exhibition Centre), Kuhmo, Finland

Wollongong Art Gallery (Three works 1998, 1999 and 2013)

From 1997 Private collections in Australia, England, Finland and Hong Kong

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