Born Helsinki, Finland.

Lives and works in Melbourne Australia.



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 - 2019


Review by Dr Christopher Heathcote

Art critics keep visiting exhibitions year-in year-out for a simple reason: they are seeking Works of art that sweep them away. Not often, not very often at all, but every once in a while it does happen. You walk into a show and find yourself confronting the inexplicably real thing. The words you write- the paper arguments you make for an exhibition will come later. In the gallery itself there is the pure and simple experience of looking at pieces that stimulate the visual sense, that trigger that essentially inner elation it is so hard to communicate, a wondrous solitary encounter with something that has a stirring creative value.

I could weave together fine phrases and try to convince you of the import of Agneta Ekholm's abstractions, but this would be a poor substitute for what happens when i look at them. One might speak of them purely in technical terms, praising the gentle layering of pigment films, the chasteness of the colours, the powdery tactility of the surfaces, the eloquence of the reductive finish'; or you could go straight to the heart of things and try to tackle how these essentially introspective compositions act as visual monologues, speaking quietly of sensations and intuitions and feelings that cannot be translated into mere words. They are, in short, paintings of refined sensibility where less is always more, although this does not mean they are delicate or visually fragile. Despite their size, each one alone is sufficient to hold a wall, indeed, hang one in a domestic room and you would probably have to remove every other picture in it. Ekholm's pensive abstraction would overwhelm the competition. Only those afflicted with the visual equivalent of a tin ear could surely fail to savour the eloquence of these subtly nuanced works.

Dr Christopher Heathcote, March 2006

Melbourne based art historian and critic, author of A Quiet Revolution