Cecilia Danell (b.1985) is a Swedish artist based in Galway, Ireland since 2004. While regarding painting as her main medium, her work is multifaceted and also utilises experimental film, installation and photography. The starting point for her most recent body of work 'The Last Wilderness', which was exhibited at Galway Arts Centre and The Dock, Carrick-on-Shannon in 2017, was a residency at the Nordic Artists' Centre Dale, Norway in early 2016 and her proposition: "In a post-nature future, the unconscious mind will be the last wilderness". Influenced by Jungian psychology, existentialism and Utopian/Dystopian science fiction, Danell uses landscape as a metaphor for the exploration of the human psyche. By experiencing and documenting the Scandinavian landscape on foot she explores ideas about wilderness and solitude and how the yearning for an authentic life may be no more than a construct. 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 new film 'Tonight at the Magic Theatre' has expanded on this further by mixing footage of a Swedish provincial theatre with footage of theatre props moving about in the landscape. Theatre sets are further referenced through the making of a large-scale forest installation from laser cut plywood which compliments the film piece in the gallery. As a painter, Danell's working method is close to that of a cinematographer, as she documents and selects imagery based on the story she wants to tell - as opposed to documentary objectivity - the resultant paintings being hybrids of photographic semblance and abstraction. Her work touches upon a universal as well as personal condition; of exploring the otherness within oneself as well as the connection between the Self and the surrounding world.
A graduate of GMIT CCAM, Danell has exhibited solo in The Dock, Carrick-on-Shannon (2017), the Galway Arts Centre (2017) which garnered a five star review by Aidan Dunne: "A landscape of the mind, and a terrifically effective one too" (Irish Times 28/03/17), Eight Gallery, Dublin (2014), Talbot Gallery, Dublin (2012) and Wexford Arts Centre (2012) with an upcoming solo exhibition in the Ashford Gallery, Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin in 2019. She will also feature in 'Futures Series 3 Episode 2' at the Royal Hibernian Academy in autumn 2018. Danell has exhibited in two-person exhibitions at TACTIC, Cork (2016), Motala Konsthall, Sweden (2014) and Ballina Arts Centre (2012). Group exhibitions include: Island Life, Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, Dublin (2018), The BEEP Painting Biennial, Swansea, Wales (2018), Veins, Molesworth Gallery, Dublin (2016), The Claremorris Open Prizewinners' Retrospective (2016) selected by Helen O'Donoghue (IMMA), the RHA Annual Exhibition (2015), Tulca Festival of Visual Art (2010, 2012, 2014), and Kaleidoscope: Art from EU Member States, Farmleigh Gallery, Dublin (2013) where she was invited to represent Sweden. Awards include a 2017 Arts Council Next Generation Bursary Award, Arts Council Bursary and Project Awards (2010, 2011, 2017), the Wexford Arts Centre Emerging Artist Award (2011), Bursary- and Tyrone Guthrie Residency Awards from Galway City Council and a Nordic Artists' Centre Dale Residency Award funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Culture (2016). Her work is represented in The OPW Collection, the Wexford County Council Art Collection, Galway City Council Art Collection, The Kelly Collection, Rosslare and The Motala Municipal Art Collection, Sweden. A publication on Danell's work to date with an essay by Sue Rainsford was also launched in March 2017.