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About

Välimäki’s underwater series 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, her paintings appear alive with movement, texture and colour. This series of works talks about Välimäki’s connection and love towards nature, especially the ocean. The work 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 the paintings, schools of fish swirling around. Recently, Välimäki realised that she is using the same colours in her paintings as the Finnish traditional textile artists weaving the landscape of Finland. Välimäki loves exploring and experimenting with the mediums she chooses to achieve a visual feast in the viewer’s eye.

Finnish born Australian based impressionist artist. 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 twenty-two 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, USA, Canada, England, Ireland, Hong Kong, Singapore, Germany, Sweden, Spain, Turkey and Finland. 

 

 

 

CV

Education 

2000-03  Masters of Fine Arts, The University of NSW, COFA, Sydney
1997-98  Bachelor of Fine Arts, The University of NSW, COFA, Sydney
1996       Bachelor of Creative Arts, 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



Selected Solo Exhibitions

2020  Woven Ocean, Art2Muse Gallery, Sydney
2019  Ocean Vista, Art2Muse Gallery, Sydney
2018  Ocean Forest, Art2Muse Gallery, Sydney
2018  Majestic Ocean, The Art Bar, Kiama 
2017  Nordic Taiga, Art2Muse Gallery, Sydney
2016  Asia Contemporary Art Show, Hong Kong
2015  Natural Vibrations, Embassy of Finland, Canberra
2014  Natural Rhythms, Wollongong Regional 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 Regional Art Gallery 
2004  Sampo - matka - Kalevala - installaatio, Juminkeko, Kuhmo, Finland
2003  Sampo: Kalevala and my journey, Kudos Gallery, Sydney
2002  Paljastus, Wollongong Regional 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 Gallery, Kiama 
1998  Expressions, The Old Fire Station Gallery, Kiama 
1996-99  Out of a Suitcase, Long Gallery, University of Wollongong
Bonegilla 50th Anniversary, Reunion Festival, Wodonga Plaza 
The Old Fire Station Gallery, Kiama 
50th Cowra Migration Camp Reunion Festival, Cultural Centre of Japanese Gardens

 

Selected Group Exhibitions

2020  On the Edge, The University of Wollongong
2019  The Other Art Fair, Sydney
2019  OOTI, NSW Parliament House, Sydney
2019  Näyttely, Galleria G12, Helsinki, Finland
2019 Scarbough Art Show
2019  For the Wild, Kiama
2018-19  Summer Love, Wollongong Regional Art Gallery
2018-19  Locals on Board, Wollongong Regional Art Gallery
2018  Now, Wollongong Regional Art Gallery
2018  Scarbough Art Show
2018  Kiama Bats, The Pavilion Kiama
2018  International Women’s Day Exhibition, Art Bar Kiama
2017-18  Making Landfall, Waverley Library Galleries, Sydney
2017  OOTI, NSW Parliament House, Sydney
2017  Feast, Belconnen Arts Centre, ACT
2017  Thirroul Art Festival
2017  Scarbough Art Show
2016  Belonging, Project Contemporary Artspace, Wollongong
2016  Scarbough Art Show
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 Regional Art Gallery 
2013  Photographic Portrait Prize, Wollongong Regional Art Gallery
2013  being in the moment, Nan Tien Temple, Wollongong
2013  Thirroul Art Show, Wollongong 
2013  International Women's Day Exhibition, Project Centre for Contemporary Art, Wollongong
2013  IAVAtography, The Hanging Space Art Gallery, Wollongong
2012  WCG Resident Artist Program 20th Anniversary, Wollongong Regional Art Gallery
2012  unfolding, Nan Tien Temple, Wollongong 
2012  Habitat Artefact, Project Centre for Contemporary Art, Wollongong
2012  Post codes from the Edge, Wollongong Regional 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, Shoalhaven City Arts Centre
Historic Houses Trust, The Mint, Sydney
Spiral Gallery, Bega 
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, Shoalhaven City Arts Centre
Historic Houses Trust, The Mint, Sydney
Tuggeranong Arts Centre, Canberra
Goulburn Regional Art Gallery 
Spiral Gallery, Bega 
2009  Mapping, Project Contemporary Artspace, Wollongong
2008-09  Meroogal Women's Arts Prize, Shoalhaven City Arts Centre
Historic Houses Trust, The Mint, Sydney
Tuggeranong Arts Centre, Canberra
Goulburn Regional Art Gallery 
Spiral Gallery, Bega 
2008  Lingua Loca, Project Contemporary Artspace, Wollongong 
2008  Just Imagine, Wollongong Regional Art Gallery
2007-08  Meroogal Women's Arts Prize, Shoalhaven City Arts Centre 
Spiral Gallery, Bega
Tuggeranong Arts Centre, Canberra 
Wollongong Regional Art Gallery 
Sturt Gallery, Mittagong 
2007  Contribution, Project Contemporary Artspace, Wollongong 
2007  (collected) Women, Wollongong Art Gallery 
2006  Just Imagine, Wollongong Regional 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, Sydney 
2003  17th Liverpool City Arts Prize 
2003  Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre 
2002  The Wynne Prize Finalist, Art Gallery of NSW, 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 Regional Art Gallery 
1998  Contours,TAP Gallery, Sydney 
1998  Freedom, TAP Gallery, Sydney 
1997  From the Coast to the Highlands, Foyer Gallery, Moss Vale 
1997  Redundant, Karoona Gallery, West Wollongong TAFE 

 
Grants, Awards and Prizes

2017  Packers Prize, Thirroul Art Show
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, COFA, Sydney
2001  National Association for the Visual Arts, Marketing Grant Scheme
2000  Research Grant, The University of NSW, COFA, Sydney
1999  Artist in Residence of Wollongong Regional 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, COFA, 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

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, Ireland, Finland, Germany, Sweden, Spain, Hong Kong, Singapore and USA

Residency

1999  Wollongong Regional Art Gallery, One year residency