‘You are where your heart is’ says Danelle Bergstrom, who paints the land via mnemonic references and imaginative conjurings rather than literally en plain air. Meditative and transformative, her new works symptomise a quiet surrender to the heart – not in an indulgent or sentimental way, but as an honest and raw acceptance of self. A layering of ghostly greys and bluey lilacs entwined with earthy umbers and sandy browns creates a poignant vision of the landscape that lingers between representation and abstraction. With no defined perspectival focus to pull us in and anchor our gaze, the painterly scenes invoke a broader emotional and psychological exploration of environment.
Interested in the existential union between her psyche and the landscape of Hill End, Bergstrom pitches her paintings on ideas surrounding the ancient symbol of the Ouroboros – a serpent eating its own tail. Representing cyclicality, self-reflexivity and the philosophical notion of the ‘eternal return’, the Ouroboros encapsulates the artist’s continual return to and rekindling of the past in order to move forward through the present. In this way the works function as revised narratives – tangible footprints along well-trodden roads that wind through the artist’s memory. For Bergstrom, this eternal march is never the same as she carries with her new experiences and evolving perspectives.