Aland Islands: Berit Olander

07.08.2023 hrs 07:34
Starting from Karl-Axel Persson's imaginative images of paradise, Berit Olanders creates colourful, life-affirming and lush watercolors. She says that she lived in Africa for ten years and that she has a close relationship with the tropical greenery.

It really shows in her pictures, you are sucked into a fantastic paradisiacal fairy tale world when you look at them. Berit has participated twice before in Konstrundan and it has been successful with many interesting conversations about art.

- Not least the children have shown an interest in my visual world, which is why I thought I would focus on them this year, says Berit.


The paintings will hang at a slightly lower height. Berit hopes that the exhibition will stimulate the children's curiosity. She radiates joy when she talks about her pictures and how they evolve.

I begin painting the pictures quite unconditionally with only an idea and then the picture takes over and grows almost without me having much to say in the progress, says Berit and laughs. I start from the front and work my way backwards, after a while the picture requires a halt, then I start painting from back to front. After that, it is the image that determines the colors and patterns. It's like we're having a conversation, the subject and me. A conversation about composition and color theory. I paint instinctively like a child.


Berit is trained in textile arts and crafts at the School of Industry in Gothenburg. At Åland's Slöjd & Hantverk's exhibition "Livet på kobben" in Eckerö post and customs house, you can see two weavings by Berit during the summer of 2023. During the pandemic, she also wrote an autobiographical novel in which she answered the question "Whose girl are you then?" (“Vemses flicka är du då?”). With it, she tours Åland, together with the actor Matts Stenlund.

During the fall of 2023, I will visit retirement homes on Åland to talk about the book. It has been exciting to see how the words and images are both similar and different in how people encounter them. A completely different kind of discussion can arise around a text than around a picture you have painted, it is as if art is a bit sacred. Imagine if you could have such an open discussion about art too! Berit exclaims.

Therese Hjälmarstrand