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Birte Hella
Digital Artist

Birte Hella

Digital Artist


Birte Hella is a Toronto based artist, whose art is inspired by the passing of time: concepts, subjects, objects - people, culture, history - the landscape of life… Works are predominantly traditional, but also contemporary in both approach and media. Born in Flensburg, Germany, and raised in Cochrane, Ontario, she studied Literature at UNB (B.A.(hons)), and Visual Art at Queens University (B.F.A.). She has an extensive exhibition record nationally and internationally, and has won a number of awards.

“M works are affirmations within primal patterns, acknowledgements of transience, personal totems, marking time.”

Born: Flensburg, Schleswig/Holstein, Germany. Resident of Northern Ontario with her Art Practice in Toronto, Canada.
Art Academics: BFA'93, Queen's University, Kingston, Canada, Studio Majors: Painting/Sculpture; Summer '88 "Painting the Landscape", Ontario College of Art & Design, (OCAD), Toronto, Canada; and, BA (hons)'71, (Humanities: English/History) University of New Brunswick, (UNB), Fredericton, Canada.
Background: As a member of the Danish minority in Flensburg, she was both bilingual and bicultural in Danish and German up to her tweens when her family emigration to Canada in the late fifties to begin homesteading on a patch of land north of Cochrane. During her formative years she immersed herself in the tri-cultural (English/French/Cree) way of life that defines Northern Ontario.
Art Practice: Inspired by nature and the uniqueness of the Canadian landscape, Birte began painting in oils in the mid sixties, emulating members of the Group of Seven and other Canadian landscape artists such as Emily Carr (1871-1945) and Tom Thomson (1877-1917). Later, with more formal art studies, seduced by the European Masters, the influence of Expressionism and Neo-Expressionism began to dominate much of her work. She works in drawing, painting, and contemporary digital media; however, the majority of her art was composed of oil based paintings, wherein she ‘expresses’ visual dialogue on issues both conceptual and concrete, in singles, segments, and series of works. More recently her works have leaned toward digital creations which, with the lure of the creative possibilities of the Metaverse, will continue to be explored.
Artist Statement:
My works are affirmations within primal patterns, acknowledgements of transience, personal totems, marking time. Each mark, each piece of art is an affirmation of the continuance of existence - form, gesture, ritual, symbol, and myth (personal and archetypal) serve as visual metaphors.
My art is inspired by the ‘passing of time’ – a form or living and not living in the moment, taking to task each observation, each jolt to the senses, accepting each state of being in its intensity, by passionate distancing to allow for such to record the landscape of life. My mark making is both traditional and contemporary in approach.


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