Arja Välimäki
Arja Välimäki

Upcoming Exhibition at Art2Muse Gallery 15 – 28 September 2020

Meet the Artist 1pm – 3pm Saturday 20 September 2020


Ocean Vista

Ocean Vista depicts abstracted underwater scenes where schools of fish swim and swirl in harmony. The impressionist application of a single colour per brush-stroke, each representing a fish, works to create a varied depth of field and an almost three-dimensional appearance. In vibrant blues and greens with pops of red, yellow or magenta, Välimäki’s paintings are alive with movement, texture and colour.

“Ocean Vista talks about my connection and love towards nature, especially the ocean. This series depicts abstracted underwater scenes and is full of movement, texture and an array of ocean colours. The titles of the paintings reveal the inspiration behind Ocean Vista: schools of fish swirling around. I apply my brush strokes when in a Zen-like state of mind, where my mood dictates the final mark making. This practice is performed in solitude to sustain the focused, relaxed and joyful mental state. The colours I use are instinctively chosen to create an almost three-dimensional effect on the two-dimensional canvas surface. Recently, I have incorporated a new technique to soften areas of the paintings and to further the depth of field. I love exploring and experimenting with the mediums I choose to achieve a visual feast in the viewer’s eye.” -Arja Välimäki



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.



2003  Masters of Fine Arts, The University of NSW, College of Fine Arts
1999 Bachelor of Fine Arts, The University of NSW, College of Fine Arts

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2019 Ocean Vista, Art2Muse Gallery, Sydney
2018   Ocean Forest, Art2Muse Gallery, Sydney
2017   Nordic Taiga, Art2Muse Gallery, Sydney
2016   Asia Contemporary Art Show, Hong Kong
2015   Natural Vibrations, Embassy of Finland, ACT
2014   Natural Rhythms, Wollongong Regional Art Gallery
2005   Planting Feet, Wollongong Regional Art Gallery
2004   Sampo – matka – Kalevala – installaatio, Juminkeko, Finland
2003   Sampo: Kalevala and my journey, Kudos Gallery, Sydney
2002   Paljastus, Wollongong Regional Art Gallery
2000   Arja Välimäki: 1999 Resident Artist, Wollongong Regional Art Gallery
1996   Out of a Suitcase, Long Gallery, University of Wollongong

Selected Group Exhibitions

2017   OOTI, NSW Parliament House
2017   Feast, Belconnen Arts Centre, ACT
2015   Affordable Art Fair, Hong Kong
2015   OOTI, NSW Parliament House
1999-2018   Various Group Exhibitions at Wollongong Regional Art Gallery
2011   Fisher’s Ghost Art Award, Campbelltown Arts Centre
2014-08 Meroogal Women’s Arts Prize, Sydney Living Museums, The Mint
2004   Masters of COFA 2004, Ivan Dougherty Gallery
2004   Sculpture by the Sea
2003   17th Liverpool City Arts Prize 2003, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre
2002   The Wynne Prize Finalist, AGNSW
2000-02   frisson, 14th Tamworth Fiber Textile Biennial, Tamworth City Gallery

Selected Grants and Prizes

2017   Handlers Prize: Thirroul Art Prize
2014   Highly Commended: Meroogal Women’s Arts Prize, Sydney Living Museums
2011 and 2009 Second Prize: Meroogal Women’s Arts Prize, Sydney Living Museums
2010   First Prize: Lingua Loca: Stories from Sea and Land
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, UNSW
2000   Research Grant, The University of NSW, College of Fine Arts
1999   One Year: Artist in Residence of Wollongong Art Gallery
1996   NSW Ministry of the Art Multicultural Activities Program

Public Collections

Foreign Minister of Finland, Consulate General, Hong Kong
Embassy of Finland, Canberra
Juminkeko, (Kalevala and Karealisim Exhibition Centre), Finland
Wollongong Art Gallery – 3 works
From 1997   Private collections in Australia and worldwide

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