Anneli Simonander Exhibition

One of the arenas for art exhibits in Luleå is Landstingshuset (the County Council House), where artists are invited to use the rather large lobby space. Lots and lots of people pass there during a month, as not only do the County Council hold their meetings there, but they host many other congregations and conferences as well.

I was invited to the vernissage by my friend Anneli Simonander, about whose art I have written about before. She has exhibited here in the past, twice, and cancelled what was supposed to be her third time in 2008, as she was too busy going to Paris on a motorbike to get married! She is an adventurer, let me tell you. She has always been a cool girl and I always feel like a grey mouse in her company. Some of it rubs off, though. Few people are so inspiring and encouraging as Anneli is, and I would probably never have dared to put any of my own stuff forward if it hadn´t been for her support.

Anyway, it´s exciting that she is exhibiting again, as it´s been six years since last time. I was very curious about how she has evolved in the time that has passed - so much has happened in those years.

Mostly, it´s the colours, I think, after just a quick viewing. Colour has always been Anneli´s strength, she started very young with oil painting, and even though she works more in acrylics and watercolours these days, she built a really solid foundation during those early years. Somehow, she seems more secure now, it´s all stronger and the colour choices are more audacious. There are a few pieces with female figures painted in bright reds with a leaning towards blue. I am struck by how two of the new paintings, at a distance rather alike in motif and colour choice, express completely different things: joy and pain, dance and torture. Like they are the same, or at least very close.

As usual, there is a wide range of motifs, techniques, materials, and moods. Anneli is good at a lot of things, and I would love to see her taking some time to wrestle an idea, to create a collection that is a bit more coherent. You know, a real project.

There are also some really charming, small sculptures of women. They are probably not new, but I don´t remember seeing them before. This is something I also wish she would do more of - she is so darn talented! 

I came towards the end of the day, and she had already sold several pieces. It is not surprising, she sells well when she works, and I hope this exhibition will be the starting point of a new, prolific period. 

The exhibition last all September and is accessible weekdays during office hours. 


  1. i enjoy exhibitions by living artists. not that i don't enjoy seeing works by long-dead artists, but there's something special about seeing a striking work and thinking, "they could be painting some new thing right now!"

    1. Yes, as with everything, it´s more interesting the more you know about it. Following someone else´s growth is very exciting, and artists really put their hearts out there, usually.

  2. Thanks a lot, Viktoria. You granted me words to unexpected feelings which surprised me standing lately in front of her art. She’s fantastic. Wish you the best of luck in your brilliant writing. Björn