Hilda Hellström (b 1984 Gothenburg, Sweden) graduated from an MFA at the Royal College of Art in London in 2012. Her work has, among other institutions, been exhibited at Gothenburg Museum of Art, The British Craft Council, MAK Vienna, V&A, London Design Museum, MUDAC Lausanne, Tramway Glasgow and Shanghai Power Station Art Museum.
Her work revolves around our understanding of reality as purely subjective and investigates the sensuous aspects of life as opposed to the rational. Working with materials that, for the observer, often are unfamiliar, she plays with the undefinable in regards to materials, hierarchies, value systems and definitions. This has involved studies about what we classify as ‘natural’ in contrast to the man-made or artificial.
To emphasize the sensuous part of an object she has at times worked with the medium of film in relation to objects, in an attempt to captivate the audience in another world for a while.
Hellström currently lives and works in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Iceberg Diptyque, 2016
Healed Fractures I - II, 2016
Handpoem I - III, 2016
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Hilda Hellström spends time in nature, just like many others. The exhibition name ‘I do spend time in Nature’ refers to a shift in our history, where we as humans separated ourselves from nature. If we previously were a part of a nature, that we tried to ‘deal’ with, we are now progressively taming it, and instead ‘visits’ nature for aesthetic purposes. We are in a constant struggle with nature, with an ambivalence before it’s function in our human world. We prefer it calm and cultivated but benefit from it’s resources created during violent processes.
But it’s not only in this shift where Hellström’s interest lies. In her partly sentimental dialogue with nature, she tries to understand and learn from it’s constant processes and extreme forces. She digs deep into the definition ‘nature’, a way to take on reality. Though she deals with it’s aesthetic and signification, she puts her emphasis on the power of man, not the power of nature. Her shapes and symbols takes us somewhere far away, inside a cosmos where we are the creator of places, objects and narratives. Places that exists under an undefined time and in an eternity. Representations of non-existing yes simultaneously existing realities. Constant and changeable at the same time.
We can also see her interest for human impact in her choices of materials, where she tries to eliminate a traditional hierarchy of value and boundaries between materials. Traditionally the slow natural materials, that were created during a long process, are seen at the top whereas the artificial and imitating materials are seen at the bottom. Glass, as the first synthetic material, is placed somewhere in the middle of that hierarchy.
From methodical craftsmanship, Hellström works with synthetic materials to make them look exclusive, slow, natural materials to try to make them look artificial, hobby classified metals and plastics. This, in combination with some of our most traditional materials and techniques. Sometimes she changes roles with nature plays with the understanding about who has created what or what created who, or maybe what created what.
Mount I-V and Landscape Still Life I-III are made of Jesmonite, a polymer modified plaster that she’s been working with over the past several years. Together with its inherent properties she has, like a bonsai, tamed the material into it’s shape and colour.
Healed Fractures are objects in anthracite, almost gilded with Jesmonite. Similar to the Japanese Kintsugi technique, where cracks and broken ceramic objects are mended with a gilded lacquer, she puts the unnatural Jesmonite in the cracks of the broken shapes of anthracite.
Iceberg Diptyque are an idealized depiction of two icebergs, a natural occurrence most people are familiar with but few have actually seen. The icebergs, one floating of water and one that has sunk, are encased in clear resin. A technique that in a similar way is used for encapsulation of insects, that you would find in a natural history museum.
In Handpoems, hands are balanced, that are balancing something else, in surreal compositions. Here we see the human hand as a tool, a body part as an instrument. The hand of the creator. They also show a sentimental and tender relationship to nature, where found, natural objects are elevated in the silver-shining alloy pewter.
In a reality that always is subjective, and where truth is a question of interpretation, Hellström ponders about aesthetic experiences. She says that in an increasingly abstract existence, the aesthetic experiences that you gain in nature, could be the closest we could come to a collective and objective truth.
The Last Magazine "Hilda Hellström" May 2016
Göteborgs Posten "Göteborgaren Hilda Hellström får designpris" November 2015
Residence Magazine "2015 års vinnare av Residence stora formpris" November 2015
Nya Rum "Med slumpen som verktyg" October 2015
WMagazine "Hilda Helstroms Cast Creations" April 2015
ICON "Hilda Hellström" January 2015
Stena Stiftelsen kulturstipendium 2014
Disegno The Quarterly Journal of Design "Hilda Hellström's Eppur si muove" June 2014
Sight Unseen "Up and Coming The Guardian "The mystery urns that appear to be designed by aliens " Video December 2013
Swarovski at Beijing Design Week 2013: Hilda Hellström
WeHeart "Swedish creative blurring the lines between design, art and storytelling..." August 2013
inhabitat "Hilda Hellstrom Crafts Radioactive Pottery With Soil From Fukushima" December 2012
Hilda Hellström, Swedish Sculptor and Designer" August, 2012
Residence-In-Nature programme, Växjö Konsthall, Sweden 2016
2 months Artist Residency, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, US 2016
Travelling Grant, The Swedish Arts Grants Committee, Sweden 2016
Two works in the permanent collection Eskilstuna Konstmuseum, Sweden 2015
Purchase by SAK, Sveriges Allmänna Konstförening, Art lotto, Sweden 2015
Appointed ‘The Craftsman of the Year’ by Residence Magazine, Sweden 2015
One year working grant, The Swedish Arts Grants Committee, Sweden 2015
Sten A Olssons Culture Grants, Sweden 2014
Helge Ax:son Johnsons Grant, Sweden 2014
Participant in the Iaspis-archive library of Visual and Applied Art, Stockholm Sweden 2013
2 months Artist Residency, Cove Park, Scotland 2013
Workshop tutor at the IN Residence Programme Turin, Italy 2013
Installation in the permanent collection at the MAK (Museum für angewandte Kunst) Vienna, Austria 2013
This is Today, Chamber NYC, New York, 16 Dec – 18 Feb
I do spend time in nature. Berg Gallery, Stockholm, 12 Jan – 4 Feb (SOLO)
Just what is it, Part III, Chamber NYC, New York, 2 March – 22 April
The Plinth Project, Etage, Copenhagen 18 Nov – 21 Jan
Design Miami, Chamber NYC booth, Miami Beach 30 Nov – 5 Dec
Keep In Touch, SKÅNES KONSTFÖRENING, Malmö Sweden, Oktober
Konsthantverk i Sverige, ESKILSTUNA KONSTMUSEUM, Eskilstuna Sweden, September – November
Residence-In-Nature, VÄXJÖ KONSTHALL, Växjö Sweden, May-September
Objects Of Desire, DESIGN MUSEO HELSINKI, Helsinki Finland, June-August
Twelve Tall Tales, The Hospital Club, THE BRITISH CRAFT COUNCIL, London UK, July-August
Sølv, GOLD-SMIDT ASSEMBLY, THE UNION, London UK, May
Slow, SCHLOSS HOLLENEGG, Graz Austria, May
Colour Your Life, DAELIM MUSEUM, Seoul South Korea, February – Aug.
Sur, APALAZZO GALLERY, Brescia Italy, February – May
ÖRNSBERGSAUKTIONEN, Stockholm Sweden, February
Undercurrents, THE CLAY STUDIO, Philadelphia US, February – March
Stenastiftelsens kulturstipendiater GÖTEBORGS KONSTMUSEUM Gothenburg Sweden, Dec – Jan 2015 (SOLO)
EVA, KONSTAKADEMIEN Stockholm Sweden, Oct
Den Nya Kvinnogruppen ESKILSTUNA KONSTMUSEUM Eskilstuna Sweden, Sept – Oct
Ready Made Go, ACE HOTEL, London Design Festival UK, Sept
Summer Exhibition GALLERY FUMI Sardinia Italy, June – Sept
Domus, PILSEN 2015 – EUROPEAN CITY OF CULTURE, Pilsen Czech Republic, April – December
Den Nya Kvinnogruppen: Radikal Vänskap GUSTAVSBERGS KONSTHALL Gustavsberg Sweden, April – Sept
Samtidsarkeologi GALLERI FORMAT Oslo Norway, Jan – March
Eppur si muove GALLERY S. BENSIMON Paris France, May – July (SOLO)
DNK: Så Därför Kom Vi Hit VERKSTAD: RUM FÖR KONST Norrköping Sweden, Nov – Dec
Atemporaneo APALAZZO GALLERY Brescia Milan Italy, Oct – Nov
Crafting Narratives THE BRITISH CRAFT COUNCIL London UK, Sept – Oct
Summer exhibition GALLERY FUMI Sardinien Italy, June – Sept
Hilda Hellström & Bec Brittain MATTER New York US, May – June
IN Residence, Object of Desire MILAN FURNITURE FAIR Milano Italy, April
Rum 319 CRYSTAL GALLERY Stockholm Art Week, Stockholm Sweden, April
Den Nya Kvinnogruppen FULLERSTA GÅRD Stockholm Sweden, Feb – April
The Future Is Handmade KALMAR KONSTMUSEUM Kalmar Sweden, Feb – April
ÖRNSBERGSAUKTIONEN Stockholm Sweden, Feb
NightTime DreamReal POWER STATION ART MUSEUM Shanghai China, Dec 2013 – March 2014
The Monument SWAROVSKI WONDER CHAMBER Innsbruck Austria, April 2013 – Nov 2014 (SOLO)
House Style TRAMWAY Glasgow Scotland, Oct 2013 – Jan 2014
Den Nya Kvinnogruppen MINIBAR ARTISTSPACE Stockholm Sweden, Oct
Swarovski Digital Crystal BEIJING DESIGN WEEK Beijing China, Sept – Oct
Collected Autumn Show GALLERY S BENSIMON Paris France, Sept – Oct
Summer Exhibition GALLERY FUMI Sardinia Italy, June – Sept
The Future Perfect ICFF New York USA, May 2013
WORKS RCA Graduates MILAN FURNITURE FAIR Milan Italy, April
ÖRNSBERGSAUKTIONEN Stockholm Sweden, February
Contemporary Collected TOKYO DESIGN WEEK Tokyo Japan, Oct – Nov
RCA Collective 2012 DUTCH DESIGN WEEK Eindhoven Netherlands, Oct
Digital Crystal DESIGN MUSEUM London UK, Sept 2012 – Jan 2013
Royal College of Art Graduation Show ROYAL COLLEGE OF ART London UK, June
RCA Paradise MILAN FURNITURE FAIR Milano Italy, April
Social Interaction EL MATADERO Madrid Spain, Feb
The Last Supper CHRISTIES, LONDON DESIGN FESTIVAL London UK, Sept 2011
The Copy Kitchen DMY TEMPELHOF Berlin Germany, June 2011
Swedish Sweetness Gallery M. Bolognesi MILAN FURNITURE FAIR Milan Italy, April 2010
Konstslöjdsalong, RÖHSSKA Gothenburg Sweden, Feb – May 2010