Lena Appel
Lena Appel
Lena Appel


It’s easy to be drawn into Lena Appel’s pictures. Large colourful paintings that go straight to the heart or the stomach. Even if they are not visible, they are there in her pictures – the family, love, the wonderful and the difficult. A son was diagnosed with autism and it affected Lena both as mother and as artist. She wants her art to delight and give power, but also to promote knowledge about those who do not fit in and their relatives.

“We need to be able to talk about how difficult it is to find a place as the strange flowers that we are. I don’t always feel so good, and that’s because of all my never-ending gardening to help the little ones to take root. You forget yourself and wither.”

She talks about her passion for colour. To create something harmonious and beautiful, but not too beautiful. There must be something that chafes, some flowers are actually downright ugly. And that is the artist’s own review. During a dark period in life, all colour was replaced by black and white motifs. When the light returned, the flowers and all the plants landed as explosions of colour. The flowers are like us humans, all different, with different needs.

“We are all in a flowerbed, some need a lot of water and sunshine. Others prefer to be in the shade. Some are beautiful, others ugly. I think it’s fun when it’s not just beautiful. We are all a bit wonky. That’s fine. Both sides should be included.”

A little flaw makes a painting interesting. Something is moving in there, just as we do outside the flower garden. Around each other, behind and above, quickly, slowly.

“I’m not a traditional artist just sitting in my studio creating. I like to be out with my customers, to work with a client to achieve exactly what the customer desires.”

She does not want viewers to be able to interpret too quickly and imagine that they can see what the picture actually represents. It should take time to delve into Lena Appel’s world, where the message is about the equal value of all people. The plants represent different individuals who act and are part of the public debate.

“But if the person observing my pictures feels joy, if the viewer feels good from looking at my art, then it’s not important to know what I mean, what my message is.”

Lena Appel’s art fits especially well in large format in public spaces. Large empty areas inspire her, a boring conference room needs a breath of colour and imagination.

“I’m a megalomaniac,” she says, laughing. “I love colour and form, I love what is beautiful and to create what is beautiful, to bring joy and strength to others.”


EDUCATION (selection)
Umeå Academy of Fine Arts 1990-1995
Oslo National Academy of the Arts 1993-1994
ABF Art School, Umeå 1986-1988

EXHIBITIONS (selection)
Eskilstunas Konstmuseum 2019
Culturum, Nyköping 2018
Galleri K, Oxelösund 2018
Konstrundan, Sörmland 2018
Mårtens Hus, Nyköping 2017
Konstrundan, Sörmland 2017
FORUM, Nyköping 2016
Nicolaikyrkan, Nyköping 2015
Norrtälje Konsthall, Everyone’s Property 2 2014
Save the Children gala, Nyköping 2014
Får Du Rum, Vattengränd, Nyköping 2014
Project Street Art, Katrineholm 2013
Stjärnhov, Nyköping 2012
Generator, Nyköping 2012
Kulturhuset Ängeln, Katrineholm 2012
Falun Art Week, Falun 2011
Kulturhuset Ängeln, Katrineholm 2010
Galleri Fiskhuset, Nyköping 2010
Church project, Flen 2010
Ebelingmuseet, Torshälla, Eskilstuna 2010
Galleri Rostrum, Malmö 2009
V.art09, Värnamo 2009
Konstpaus, Katrineholm 2008
Galleri Handmade, Nyköping 2008
Multeum, Strängnäs 2008
Galleri Kronan, Norrköping 2008
Box Gallery, Eskilstuna Museum 2007
Skånes Konstförening, Malmö 2007
Nynäs Slott, Nyköping 2006
Galleri Formverk, Nyköping 2006
Liljevalchs Konsthall, Stockholm 2006
Publikation Rollon 2005
Eskilstuna Museum, Eskilstuna 2003
Södertälje Konsthall, Södertälje 2003
Bryggeriet, Nyköping 2003
Liljevalchs Konsthall, Stockholm 2003
Färgfabriken, Stockholm 2000
Länsmuseet, Gävle 2000
Sandvikens Konsthall, Sandviken 2000
Forsbacka Bruk, Sandviken 2000
Konsthallen, Sandviken 1999
Galleri Ynglingagatan, Stockholm 1998
European Capital of Culture, Stockholm 1998
Galleri FC, Malmö 1997
Galleri Rotor, Gothenburg 1997
Norrtälje Konsthall, Stockholm 1997
Galleri Ömalm, Stockholm 1997
Galleri Index, Stockholm and Gothenburg 1996
Galleri Andreas Brändström, Stockholm 1995
Bildmuseet, Umeå 1995
Galleri 61, Umeå 1994

REPRESENTED (selection)
Nyköping Municipality
Katrineholm Municipality
Umeå Municipality
Gävle Municipality
Södertälje Municipality
Eskilstuna Municipality
Södermanland County Council
Sparbanken Sörmland
Gävle Konstcentrum
Norrtälje Konsthall
Åsa Folk High School
Nyköping Folk High School

Myntan retirement home
Nyköping Municipality
Nyköping Hospital
Södermanland County Council
Nyköping Folk High School

SCHOLARSHIPS (selection)
Södermanland County Council cultural scholarship
Nyköping Municipality cultural scholarship
Sandviken Municipality cultural scholarship
Märta Hähnel Memorial Fund
Ax:son Jonsson Foundation