A Swedish visual artist living in County Louth since 1996, Petra Berntsson is Creative Spark’s Artist-In-Residence from 1 May 2018 to 31 July 2018. She studied photography in Folkunversitetet Stockholm before receiving a Colour Design Cert from the Scandinavian Institute of Colour. She went on to study colour psychology and design in the Fargskolan, Leksand, Sweden, before taking up a Painting and Decorating Apprenticeship, specialising in Decorative Arts in Celander AB in Gothenburg, Sweden.

She is currently undertaking an Art and Research Collaboration MA, from the Institute of Art, Design & Technology, Dún Laoghaire, which has expanded her practice to include installation and video work. She also has significant art teaching experience, having Co-delivered a Graphic Design Module in Create, Dundalk, as well as an Art & Design Programme in Dundalk Youth Centre, and one year of art tuition in The Grammar School, Dundalk as well three years of art tuition in The Magnet Centre, Dundalk.

Petra’s paintings depict the Swedish coastline, as well as the Irish countryside, inspired by closeness to the sea and the delicacy of light and buildings that have a story to tell. Her landscapes are barren and free with only traces of people, often capturing a sense of calm and familiarity. Over the years her “Swedish” and “Irish” paintings have merged, the sentiments of longing and belonging entwined. She works mainly in oils, occasionally with egg tempera and natural pigments.

Harbour Spring oil on canvas 60x60cm, 2016
B. ‘Harbour Spring’ oil on canvas 60x60cm, 2016

Petra has self-published an art book, titled “Once Upon Reflection” and she is represented in the Gallery Zozimus, Dublin, the Chimera Gallery, Mullingar, and Ross Fine Art, Ramelton, Donegal.

She has exhibited at numerous shows including the Annual Summer Show (Solo) at Vrångö, Sweden, since 2012, Annually at RDS Art Source, Dublin with Gallery Zozimus since 2011, Interlaced, 2016, at the Hamilton Gallery, Sligo.

During her time at Creative Spark, she hopes to publish a book as well as deepen and develop her current project within her MA programme. She is currently working on a collaborative video piece, involving clips of the sea from around the world, intended to be viewed on a specially designed screen at floor level, which will be shown in Dublin this autumn. She would also like to further her printmaking skills.

Tea in an imaginary landscape oil on canvas 40x40cm 2016
‘Tea in an imaginary landscape’ oil on canvas 40x40cm 2016
Artist Statement:

To continuously inquire, submerge, explore, and learn. To be courageous and coherent and never lose heart.

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