Selma Mäkelä, When the birds gather, you know there is something you must do


29 Mar, 2024 - 28 Apr, 2024

Addressing themes relating to environmental and ecological concern, this exhibition of new work by Selma Mäkelä, features intimate paintings inhabited by statues, birds, figures from archival photographs and fleeting moments of the everyday.

View and purchase artworks in this exhibition online here.

Selma Mäkelä’s paintings derive their subject matter from a variety of sources; some images have developed from taxidermic collections and some gathered from research she undertook in the room of extinct animals at the Grande Galerie de l’Évolution in Paris. Other paintings have evolved from an archive of 19th century photographs of climbers on now retreated alpine glaciers. Mäkelä weaves these images with references to geological and meteorological phenomena, alongside images composed from everyday life and travels.

Inhabited by statues, birds, figures from old photographs, comets, and fleeting moments of the every day, Mäkelä’s small paintings reflect on fragments of lost things and fragile ecologies. Hung in small groups to suggest subtle narratives and alignments, this collection of paintings quietly calls to attention the place for nuanced meaning in a fractured world.

Artist Bio:

Selma Mäkelä is an artist of Finnish and Turkish Cypriot descent, born in London and based in Galway, Ireland. She graduated from Galway Mayo Institute of Technology with a BA Hons in Painting in 2007. In her paintings she often explores ideas relating to distance and dislocation, in terms of geological timelines, our position within them, and in terms of displacement, migration, and ecological concern in a time of great uncertainty.

Previous solo shows include; Future Haunting, The Whitaker Museum and Art Gallery Lancashire, 2022, Bystander, The Model, Sligo, 2017, Magnetic North, Galway Arts Centre, 2014, Cosmic Ray Weather Station, PEER UK, London, 2012, Eavesdropper, Oonagh Young Gallery, 2011, Sound Travels Farther in The Cold, PEER UK, London, 2010.

Selected group exhibitions include; Detroit Stockholm, 2022, Interface Galway, 2022, RHA Dublin, 2022, Gerald Moore London, 2020, Creekside Open London, 2019, Galway Arts Centre, 2018, Barbican Arts Trust, 2017, RWA UK 2017.

Her work has multiple awards including from The Arts Council of Ireland 2022, Galway Arts Office 2022, Leitrim Sculpture Centre 2017 and Cairde Award at The Model Sligo 2017. She was also awarded a residency to the Centre Culturel Irlandais Paris in 2022, a residency at FOGO Island Arts Newfoundland 2011 and awarded a Fleck Fellowship to the Banff Centre in Canada in 2010. Her work is held the public collections of Trinity College, Galway City Council and Mayo County Council and in private collections in Ireland, the UK, Finland, and Canada.

Image 1: Selma Mäkelä, Cobweb on my morning walk, 2024, Oil on linen, 30 x 25cm, Image courtesy of the artist.

2. Selma Mäkelä, When the birds gather, you know there is something you must do, Photography Kate Bowe O’Brien.

3. Selma Mäkelä, Conference Room, 2024, Oil on linen, Image courtesy of the artist.

4. Selma Mäkelä, Once I was here, 2024, Oil on canvas, 20 x 24cm, Image courtesy of the artist.


  • Date:

    29 Mar, 2024 - 28 Apr, 2024
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