Cecilia Danell (b.1985) is a Swedish artist based in Galway since 2004. While regarding painting as her main medium, her work is multifaceted and also utilises film and installation. Through her own encounters with the Scandinavian landscape, she explores the theatricality of places that become imbued with artifice, as they can’t live up to the human need for that which is primal, wild and untouched. Recent body of work was based on walks in the area surrounding her family farm in Sweden, where the experience of being in the landscape influences the paintings beyond the photographic source material. Danell details each walk through maps, photographs and notes in her journal, but once in the studio, the quality of oil paint and the hands on process of making become as important to her as the initial source material. She walks and traces an environment that she knows intimately, happening upon decaying remnants of human activity, further upending the romantic notion of nature as untended wilderness. Danell’s work always pulls the viewer back to the fact that what she’s presenting is a construct. The painted landscape is melting, ocular glitches of unnatural colour present themselves as part of the scenery. She has previously used the theatre as metaphor for constructed reality by presenting objects with the surreal quality of being made in the likeness of something, yet falling short of true semblance. Her 2017 film 'Tonight at the Magic Theatre' expanded on this further by mixing footage of a Swedish provincial theatre with footage of theatre props moving about in the landscape. Theatre sets were further referenced through the making of a large-scale forest installation from laser cut plywood which complimented the film piece in the gallery.
Recent exhibitions include: 'In a Landscape' (solo) at the Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA), Dublin (2019), 'Winter Wanderer' (solo) at Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, Dublin (2019), 'Futures - Series 3 Episode 2' at the Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA), Dublin (2018), BEEP Painting Biennial, Swansea, UK (2018), 'The Last Wilderness' (solo) at The Dock, Carrick-on-Shannon IE (2017) and Galway Arts Centre IE (2017) with upcoming solo exhibitions at Kevin Kavanagh Gallery and The Burren College of Art, Clare in 2020. Residencies include Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris (2020) and the Nordic Artists’ Centre Dale, Norway (2016). She was a 2017 recipient of the Arts Council Next Generation Award and has received several Arts Council Bursaries and Project Awards as well as the Visual Artists Ireland & Suki Tea Art Prize (2019) and the Wexford Arts Centre Emergence Award (2011). A publication on Danell's work with an essay by Sue Rainsford was launched in March 2017. Her work is represented in the collections of the Office of Public Works, Trinity College, Kelly’s Hotel, Rosslare, Wexford County Council, Galway County Council and Motala Municipal Council, Sweden as well as private collections in Ireland, UK, Sweden and Norway.