The Studio 74 Gallery Official Launch Party showcased a range of work from acclaimed National & International Artists. Our artist highlight for this article is the immersive Danielle O’Connor Akiyama.
Artist Danielle O’Connor Akiyama has enjoyed major international success as an artist for over 30 years. A Canadian raised in Toronto, she has spent much of her life travelling. This travel has led to her works encapsulating vast references from the world around us.
She has exhibited her vibrant and exquisite masterpieces to great acclaim all over the world. She has numerous accolades including President’s 1st Choice, Florence Biennale, 2009 and ‘Best New Artist’. She also has accolades from the UK’s Fine Art Trade Guild awards, 2011 and was awarded with the prestigious Japanese Sumi-e Master’s Seal.
Danielle's Early Life
Danielle was born in Toronto, Canada, in 1957. She enjoyed a serene and free childhood, growing up with just 22 homes in her small neighbourhood. From an early age her artistic talent was nurtured as her mother and two sisters all paint. She describes her mother as a painter with a courageous paintbrush and a fierce belief. Her creative father was affectionately known as ‘the mad inventor’.
After an illness in her teens, Danielle began to travel the world as a natural rehabilitation. This was the start of Danielle’s journey to discover inspiration from her travels. This was encouraged by her mother to have a fearless approach to the creative process.
Danielle’s time spent with her mother helped focus her purpose and direction: painting was a brilliant and joyful form of expression. Courage was her guide. She began her lifelong habit of travel which at this time included Kent in England, Ireland, the Continent and North Africa.
Inspired deeply, she came home to paint and tell “the stories” with her brush. Every subsequent trip served to inspire the fire of her imagination and fuel her will to become a solid painter.
Learning Her Skills
Danielle O’Connor studied art therapy, which commenced her career as an Art Therapist. She used multiple artforms as a direct link to the emotional world – without verbal intellectualization or guarded style. The power of art once again revealed itself to her as clients blossomed and healed.
Danielle married her husband Denis in 1987, and later had two children. The family moved to New York City at which time Danielle began to paint in earnest with the knowledge that this was her true path.
These later years were to form her signature style as Danielle completed rigorous study in Sumi-e (Japanese Brush Painting). She was honoured with the Sumi-e Master’s Seal by the head sensei of the Nanga School. The name given in recognition of her spirited brushstroke was “chi-sho”- a source of joy. The unique East meets West fusion began to blossom and become singularly identifiable with the irresistible style we see in her work today.
Types of Art Created
Through Danielle’s skillful brushstrokes she creates bursting abstract pieces. Each imaginative piece includes numerous symbols and markers, creating a unique artistic language which makes her work recognisable.
The abstract nature of the artwork means there is always something left for the viewer to interpret. From impressionistic florals and to abstract mountains and landscapes, Akiyama often explores the sense of place. She says “along a continuum, from inner self to the vast beyond. Images drawn from my internal world and inspiration from the moon, stars, and interplanetary play illustrate how a place is both physical and ethereal.”
Identifiable by her Eastern & Western artistry fusion of influence. Her signature style is highly prized by art collectors and unlike any other artist. Her work was also the focus of a retrospective book entitled Illumination. The major fine art retrospective book further enhanced her status in the UK.
Throughout her career as an artist Danielle has created a vast array of Original and Limited Edition artworks. One of which is the immersive The Golden Reach to masterful Originals which will be on view at the Studio 74 Launch show.
Where Danielle is Today
The Odyssey is Danielle’s most recent collection, and the first in 2023. The sumptuous and diverse artworks explore a symbolic world of light and colour. While inviting us to discover, reflect on and ‘honour’ our own personal odyssey. The mesmerising paintings include all the iconic symbols and tropes that make Danielle’s work individual.
Within the collection is a Limited Edition triptych, The Golden Reach. The three panels demonstrate her intricate brushwork to perfection. It depicts her signature style with a soft abstract design in deep blues and delicate gold leaf detail. Finalised with her distinctive red chop mark, which renders Akiyama’s work instantly recognisable.
Speak to us about Danielle’s Original and Limited Edition artworks. There is high-demand for her artwork. Contact us to enquire about the available collections and to arrange a private viewing of her work.