Art is very subjective. It means different things to different people. This can cause challenges for an artist trying to get their art out to the public. Galleries are thoroughly curated. Not just when creating an exhibition, but when choosing who to exhibit. So what to do when your art style does not match the gallery’s? Open your own gallery.

Siri Bjotveit is an artist with a difference. Ask 100 artists where they get their inspiration, and you will get 100 answers. But what makes Bjotveit stand out, is that she gets her inspiration from meditation. “The motifs in the paintings are based on the messages I receive during meditations,” Bjotveit explains. “The messages I receive are concrete text. I have to go a few rounds with myself to get the text turned into a painting on the canvas. This is educational, sometimes frustrating, but always rewarding.”

Galleri Siri – a gallery that speaks to the heart

Grief. Life gaining a new insight, seeing a greater perspective.

This is why the creation of each painting is a lengthy process, resulting in one to two paintings a year. Each message, or theme, is only painted once, so every piece of art is unique. “They must be read with the “heart”,” says Bjotveit. Feedback she has receives confirms that, with one buyer saying that the paintings talk to her.

There is no themed series of paintings, which is something galleries often prefer. The exception is mixed exhibitions, like the ones Bjotveit participated in at Bærums Verk in 2019 and 2020.

Galleri Siri – a gallery that speaks to the heart

Pollution. What is it that we humans do not understand?

Bjotveit’s art is meant to be shared. When she could not find a gallery that matched her philosophy, she decided to convert her garage into her own gallery. Since it is run by Bjotveit herself, visits must be booked in advance.

It is not a gallery one stumbles upon serendipitously, but sometimes Bjotveit’s paintings reaches the right person unexpected ways.

When Bjotveit’s car broke down, a young man was sent to help her. He was looking around the garage and one of the paintings made him stop. “He was quiet for a long time, so I asked him if there was something special about that painting,” says Bjotveit. “He had left his home country, alone, as a teenager, crossed the ocean, travelled through Europe and ended up in Norway. He said – that painting tells my whole story.”

Galleri Siri – a gallery that speaks to the heart

Friendship. Demanding, trusting and rewarding.


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