Perceived Memory, Projected Future

Berg Gallery



January 9 - February 15, 2020 at Berg Gallery Stockholm.
Extract from exhibition text by Magdalena Rozenberg:

In Perceived Memory, Projected Future the spectator steps inside a space that evokes thoughts on our inner sensibility and the way reality can appear to us. It is a form of memory research combined with questions about the future: it is in the union of these two that Hellström sees the present. The chronological timeline is dissolved and the past, the present and the future are here working together and are given a shared space to coexist and interact with one another. This could be seen as a manifestation of Hellström’s idea that the world is in constant transformation with fluid boundaries. It is undoubtedly a fluid concept of reality that Hellström experiments with. Her focus around transformation is being expressed mainly through the use of transformative and malleable materials, making haphazardness an element in the formation of the pieces. Hellström challenges the idea of where a process begins and where it ends. The craft is built on timely procedures where controlled processes meet the unplanned, when a material converts from one form into another, from liquid to solid, or solid to liquid. She plays with our definitions of the present, of the past and of the future, of materiality, of crafts, and of what we usually see as universally absolute. Perceived Memory, Projected Future becomes a demonstration of how to be in this world, one that resists a linear narrative and elevates transformative materials to give them emotional and physical shape.

Photo credit: Jonas Ingerstedt. Catalogue design by Jacob Grönbech Jensen. Available for purchase through Berg Gallery.

The Science of Imaginary Solutions

Etage Projects



August 8 - September 28, 2019 at Etage Projects Copenhagen
Extract from exhibition text by Nanna Balslev Strøjer

The exhibition title The Science of Imaginary Solutions is inspired by French writer Alfred Jarry’s (1873–1907) literary trope ‘pataphysics’ - a type of philosophy examining imaginary phenomena existing in a world beyond metaphysics. Originally meant as a canny mockery to the rapid growth of popularisation in the 19th century, Alfred Jarry assigned meaning to the intuitive and the irrational. Subsequently, both Dadaists and Surrealists found inspiration in the quasi-science and artists like Miró and Duchamps joined the group of practitioners praising the irrational, useless, unconscious and the power of the imaginary. In the same manner, pataphysics endows meaning to Hellström by providing a type of terminology to an artistic practice falling outside traditional categories of craft making. By dismantling the conventional categories of material and craft, Hellström has left tradition, and thereby definition. As she is developing new techniques based on the unplanned, creating new realities based on the factitious, pataphysics gives Hellström a vocabulary. 

Hellström explores the poetic and transformative capacities of materials through contrasting narratives and artistic methods. The process of creating, of manipulating and giving form to material, is a continuous confirmation of being and belonging in the world for Hellström. It is a physical and emotional insistence on her own existence, as an artist and living body. The Science of Imaginary Solutions is a demonstration of the energy, poetry and curiosity feeding her practice and visible in the many ways she casts and carves, makes and imagines. Always in process, and refusing to be defined, her works become beautiful hybrids existing in their own right, as imaginary solutions.

Photo credit: Rosalina Kruse Serup, David Stjernholm. Catalogue designed by Laura Silke

The Spine


Public Commission


A four meter tall obelisk installed outside Kvibergskolan school in Gothenburg, for pupils between the 4th and 9th grade. The concrete structure has infused copper shavings that are slowly oxidizing, making the spine age. The commission explores analogies between the spine as a symbol, and the role of the school within society and for the individual pupil. With vertebraes stacked like building blocks on top of each other, the structure emphasizes the way knowledge is built. Commissioned by Göteborgs Lokalförvaltning. 

The Blob

ArkDes/ SI Paris / Trafikkontoret

Public Commission

2018/ 2020

Combined bollard and bike-stand in white concrete first commissioned by ArkDes, Museum of Architecture, Sweden. It was subsequently exhibited and donated to the Swedish Institute in Paris and later produced for the city of Stockholm's body of transport.

Apparent Appearance of Life


Public Commission


Public commission for the birthing center at Södersjukhuset hospital in Stockholm Sweden

Photo credit: Åsmund Sollihøgda

Big Bang and other Explanations

Etage Projects



November 18, 2016 - January 21, 2017. The Plinth Project at Etage Projects Copenhagen

Monolith resembling a core sample or a diagram over Earth's crust. Inlays depicting different understandings about the creation of the world. 

Photo credit: Åsmund Sollihøgda

The Asynjas

Residence In Nature



A project built around the local legend of Blenda and conceived during Residency In Nature in Småland Sweden. Around the 11-1200s, a band of women from Värend seduced, tricked and killed an army of Danish invaders. After the killing they entered the lake of Åsnen to wash themselves from blood. Here, they are also said to perform fertility rites, a supposedly integral part of the lives of the local women at the time. The legend, invented by Petter Rudebeck in 1691, was long a part of serious history writing and many of the local place-names (f.ex. Blodberget, Blodviken, Skägglösa) allude to the legend. Myth has entered our everyday reality. As if the legend was materialized in the local matter, the two river sculptures are made of gault clay, sourced close to the location of the events. From the clay, two fleshy looking shapes were fired and sat bathing on the surface of the water. 

Erosional Remnant

Ace Hotel, London

Private Commission


Photo credit: Peter Guenzel

Stena Stiftelsen Award

Gothenburg Museum of Art



December 6, 2014 – January 6, 2015 at Gothenburg Museum of Art
About the award in Swedish

Photo credit: Åsmund Sollihøgda


Gothenburg Museum of Art



This is anthracite. The black rock gleams in sunshine to attract crows. As the most metamorphosed type of coal, its moniker is crow coal.  Coal is used by humans in every stage of its metamorphosis; peat, coal, anthracite, graphite, diamond. I stumbled upon anthracite on a hike by Loch Long during an artist residency in the western part of Scotland. The glittery black stone was lying on the side of the road with a seemingly precious appearance. Had I found a gem? When I returned to the residency main building, a person detected it as anthracite and concluded that it probably had fallen off the back of a truck during transport.

The journey of moss post mortem: If moss happens to decay in an acidic environment without oxygen, it becomes peat. Peat is the accumulated energy generated from the moss’ photosynthesis. Buried far below ground, peat will be exposed to the heat and pressure from Earth's crust. In a metamorphosis it transforms into coal. As a rock that sets on fire, coal is used as fuel. Further in the metamorphosis, coal turns into anthracite which later becomes graphite. With every transformation the molecular structure changes. Anthracite glitters, coal doesn’t. Graphite is arranged in very thin layers, each line drawn with your pencil is a layer of molecules. Graphite transforms into diamond, the hardest natural material we know and the end of the journey of moss.

A year after my hike by Loch Long I created two sculptures for an exhibition at Gothenburg Museum of Art. They would be around two meters tall and made from large blocks of anthracite. Close to Brecon Beacons National Park, in the south of Wales, I found an anthracite mine. The people working there had a profound knowledge of ecology and put a large amount of work into restoring ecosystems in closed-down pits. The crows were there too. I called the sculptures Pressure to emphasize the unfathomable weight that causes a metamorphosis. Based on traditional bridge construction, wedges of anthracite were placed in an archlike composition. Nothing but the pressure from each wedge stacked on top of each other, held the construction together, alluding to the pressure in a metamorphosis. In hindsight, I can judge that the project was a bad idea. The thin layer of black dust, which made the museum space resemble a coal mine during the set-up of the exhibition, caused a lot of annoyance amongst the technicians. For a year after the show I paid extra storage to keep the pieces. When it was time for me to move to another country, I was so fed up by the look of the crates, that I gave it to a man with a vintage steam-engine boat, who would use it for fuel.

Photo credit: Åsmund Sollihøgda


Tramway Glasgow



A film commissioned by Panel for the exhibition House Style at Tramway Glasgow. The exhibition took as its starting point a monthly Technicolor film series called Roundabout (1962-1974) which was designed to promote Britain as a progressive world leader. Produced by the British government, every issue was packed with stories that portrayed Britain in the vanguard of research, the forefront of manufacturing as well as the creative edge of the arts and design. Malleability was formed as a response to one of the films promoting the manufacturing of plastics and depicts plastic transformations.

The Monument

Design Museum London



A commission for the crystal manufacturer Swarovski. Initially developed for an exhibition at the Design Museum London 2012. In 2014 a second edition was produced for Swarovski Wonder Chamber in Innsbruck. The sculpture depicts the topography of the Tyrollean mountains, where the Swarovski head-quarters are located. It was conceived using Google Earth imagery which was transferred into a 3D program and cut out in a cnc-router. The sculpture was accompanied by a film split into three screens. The film, a fictive narrative that vaguely portrays the origin of the sculpture, shows images from the Tyrollean mountains, a limestone quarry and a house interior. Director of photography Wai Ming Ng.

Photo credit: Wai Ming Ng, Åsmund Sollihøgda

The Materiality of a Natural Disaster

Royal College of Art



The graduation project The Materiality of a Natural Disaster from The Royal College of Art, is a project around a geo-specific, human-inflicted narrative transferred onto local matter. The project takes place a year after the Tohoku Daiichi power plant disaster in Japan, and is a collaboration with local rice farmer Naoto Matsumura, who was determined to stay in the evacuated area. From soil from his unusable rice fields, five muddy vessels with typologies hinting to the local produce, were created. The project's aim was to lead one’s thought to the mythological, to construct allegories to the devastating event. Although being loaded, the vessels did not contain radiation, since the soil was dug up from 40 cm below ground. In Mythologies Roland Barthes writes that any object can be open to appropriation by society, thus anything can become mythological. It is only dependent on how the subject matter is being communicated. A 12 minute documentary portraying Matsumura’s everyday life, accompanied the vessels in the exhibition.


Sedimentation Urns


Studio Work


There is a juxtaposition between intent and chance in casting techniques that allow the casting compound to show agency within the controlled environment of the mould. In the Sedimentation series, several pigments are incorporated within the material. Similar to the strata of bedrock, the pigments become trace detectors when the casting compound sets. In an object developed this way, the physicality of the liquid casting compound is transferred to its posterior form. Its becoming is present in its being. The typologies of these urns are taken from the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London; the appropriation of the form hints to the appropriation of the geological material. 

In the 16th century the technique of scagliola was developed to imitate coloured marble and other rock formations. It was composed of gypsum, animal glue and pigments. Painted by artists, it was a process much more elaborate and costly than using natural stone. The aim was an exaggerated richness of colours which you could not find in nature. In 1984 Englishman Peter Hawkins developed a synthetic, harder type of plaster called Jesmonite. Instead of animal glue, water-based acrylic resin is added to the gypsum for strength. Jesmonite is the compound that constitutes these vessels.

Photo credit: Åsmund Sollihøgda



Studio work


Hilda Hellström graduated from the Royal College of Art, London 2012. In her practice, she thematizes around the immanent forces and narratives within materials and the surrounding natural world. Her work encompasses ideas around transformation and liminal states, presented through a preoccupation in casting processes and metamorphic aspects of materials. Her work draws upon geology, archeology, alchemy and pantheism where she interweaves fabulation and fabrication, shape and image making.
Her work has been exhibited at Gothenburg Museum of Art, The British Craft Council, MAK (Museum für Angewandte Kunst) Vienna, Victoria & Albert Museum London, Tramway Glasgow, London Design Museum, Eskilstuna Konstmuseum, Gustavsbergs Konsthall, Kalmar Konstmuseum, Röhsska Museet, Art Basel Miami, Shanghai Power Station Art Museum, Daelim Museum South Korea, Design Museo Helsinki and MUDAC Lausanne, amongst other institutions. Hellström currently lives and works in Copenhagen, Denmark.


    ◦ Master of Arts, Royal College of Art, London 2012


    Solo & Two-persons exhibitions

    ◦ “Perecived Memory, Projected Future” Niclas Berg Gallery SE Stockholm 2020
    ◦ “The Science of Imaginary Solutions” Etage Projects DK Copenhagen 2019
    ◦ “I do spend time in nature” Niclas Berg Gallery SE Stockholm 2017
    ◦ “Stenastiftelsens Art Award” Göteborgs Konstmuseum SE Gothenburg 2014/15
    ◦ “Still it moves” Gallery Bensimon FR Paris 2014
    ◦ “Hilda Hellström x Bec Brittain” Matter US New York 2014
    ◦ “The Monument” Swarovski Wonder Chamber, AU Innsbruck 2013- 2014

    Selected Group Exhibitions

    ◦ “Public Luxury” Swedish Institute FR Paris

    ◦ “Public Luxury” Arkdes Architecture Museum, SE Stockholm

    ◦ “5KV” Kvalitar Gallery, CZ Prague
    ◦ “Twelve Tall Tales” (The British Crafts Council) Oriel Davies Gallery IR Wales
    ◦ “Gustavsbergs Konsthall Revisited” Gustavsbergs Konsthall SE Gustavsberg
    ◦ “Room With its own Rules” Chamber NYC US New York
    ◦ “This is Today” Chamber NYC, US New York

    ◦ “The Plinth Project” Etage Projects DK Copenhagen
    ◦ “Chamber NYC booth” Art Basel Miami US Miami Beach
    ◦ “Keep In Touch” Skånes Konstförening SE Malmö
    ◦ “Konsthantverk i Sverige” Eskilstuna Konstmuseum SE Eskilstuna
    ◦ “Residence-In-Nature” Växjö Konsthall SE Växjö
    ◦ “Objects Of Desire” Design Museo Helsinki FI Helsinki
    ◦ “Twelve Tall Tales” The British Craft Council UK London UK
    ◦ “Colour Your Life” Daelim Museum KR Seoul
    ◦ “Sur” Apalazzo Gallery IT Brescia

    ◦ “Eva Bonnier for public Art” Konstakademiet SE Stockholm
    ◦ “Den Nya Kvinnogruppen” Eskilstuna Konstmuseum SE Eskilstuna
    ◦ “Pilsen 2015 – European City of Culture” CZ Pilsen
    ◦ “Radikal Vänskap” Gustavsbergs Konsthall SE Gustavsberg
    ◦ “Samtidsarkeologi” Galleri Format NO Oslo

    ◦ “DNK: Så Därför Kom Vi Hit” Verkstad; Rum för Konst SE Norrköping
    ◦ “Atemporaneo” Apalazzo Gallery IT Brescia
    ◦ “Crafting Narratives“ The British Craft Council UK London
    ◦ “Rum 319” Crystal Gallery SE Stockholm Art Week
    ◦ “Den Nya Kvinnogruppen” Fullersta Gård SE Stockholm
    ◦ “The Future Is Handmade” Kalmar Konstmuseum SE Kalmar
    ◦ “NightTime DreamReal” Power Station Art Museum CN Shanghai
    ◦ “House Style” Tramway UK Glasgow
    ◦ “Mastering Design” Mudac CH Lausanne
    ◦ “Swarovski Digital Crystal” Beijing Design Week CN Beijing

    ◦ “Digital Crystal” Design Museum UK London
    ◦ “Royal College of Art Graduation Show” Royal College of Art Battersea UK London

Download CV
Exhibition/catalogue text - Perceived Memory, Projected Future
Exhibition/catalogue text - The Science of Imaginary Solutions
Interview with theguardian


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