Anja Kleener with her art work. | Jessika Ekman


Anja Kleener, is a Danish artist living in the beautiful hills between Alaro and Santa Maria. I meet her at Rialto Living Store this week, where she is the artist of the month. On the top level of this exclusive store, you find the Art exhibition area where you can visit and see some of Anja’s lovely artwork in the current exhibition that is open for another week until April 3.

The Kleener family are true adventurers. I asked how the family ended up in Mallorca and it turns out that Anja and her husband Morten are both true adventurers. They left Denmark when their baby daughter, Freya was sixmonths old, going first to Canary Islands where they bought a sailing boat, which they restored themselves. When the boat was fit for travel, they set sail to take a trip around the world. The tour was very successful and lasted for three and a half years. They both loved New Zealand and were about to move there more permanently but no matter how much they loved it, they realised that it was too far away from friends and family in Europe.

In August 2004 the family arrived in Mallorca by sailboat. It was their plan to end the trip here Anja says: “Mallorca was a good place to sell the boat, and I knew we could go back to Denmark and put our daughter in nursery, but we were not ready to do that. Morten had worked in Majorca before and we had some contacts.” Their son Lucas was born the first winter the family stayed here. “It was a home birth in Santa Catalina,”Anja says and smiles.

Morten had worked in the movie production area on the island but coming back he soon realised that he was missing the blue sky and enjoying nature on a daily basis. It was time for a career change and he now works as a captain on a German-owned yacht based in Palma.

Anja studied to become a production and set designer from The Danish Design School in Copenhagen in 2000. She had worked in the Danish film industry doing props and set design, but while living on Mallorca, she changed over to interior and furniture design. “My style is mostly rustic, simple and natural. Worth mentioning is my work in the Ziva cafes in Santa Catalina and in Son Bugadelles in Calvia where I have worked with the full concept of the shops. It was a very exciting and interesting project. I got to work both with second-hand furniture and building part of the furniture for the shop by myself from scratch. I really love being creative and used recycled materials such as wooden beams and other natural materials when I created the shop concept. The result was much appreciated.

The creative energy on Mallorca is high and in 2018, Katrin Kirk, Monica Moe and Anja started The Alaro BeeHive, which is all about supporting the creative community on our beautiful island. The BeeHive has been online for the past two years, and that works very well. They will continue to support artists with a meeting place and lots of space for creativity. There will be pop-up events in the future. Since The BeeHive opened, Anja has done fewer interior and furniture projects so as to be able to focus on her art.

“I have a very special way of expressing my art. Each piece of work consists of many layers, which tell their own stories, but they also come together in an ambience of poetic and hazy inner landscapes inspired by my surroundings,” she explains. “I am fascinated with texture and layers. They spark my curiosity and provide a glimpse of the untold stories that lie beneath. Collage is often incorporated into my art. The paper used is mostly old, weathered posters, which add an interesting texture to my pieces of art. I mostly work on wood, but I also do work on canvas and paper and they come in all sizes.”

I asked Anja what will happen in her future, and she smiles and says that she has a new project coming up soon together with other artists that she collaborates with. “I cannot tell you more at the moment, but you will enjoy it,” she says. We wish her good luck and if our readers have time to pop into Rialto, Calle Sant Feliu 3 in Palma this coming week, remember to go upstairs to see Anja’s lovely artwork.