Fanny Hellgren

Active Göteborg, Sverige
Fanny Hellgren Sediment Drawings, #1 #2 #3 #4, 2021–2022  Grafit, pigment, akvarellpapper, varierande mått. Courtesy: Konstnären

Fanny Hellgren’s series of Sediment Drawings can be seen as an experimental documentation of geological sequences from a neo-materialist* perspective. Hellgren references a phrase from a poem from 1803 by William Blake, To See a World in a Grain of Sand, where he describes how every grain of sand can tell us of the genesis and origins of humanity.

She claims that the energy released in the enormous explosion that created our universe is stored in the tiniest elements of matter. Instead of depicting nature, Hellgren lets the materials of the landscape leave their mark on the paper. She covers wet watercolour paper with sand and then sprays it with a mixture of earth pigments, graphite and water.

After the paper has dried in the sun, she brushes off the sand. The imprint of the procedure on the paper illustrates the geological sequence when landscapes are formed, showing the processes of materiality, time and the earth’s cosmic origins.  

*Neo-materialist ideas are concerned with moving away from distinctions such as dead/living and nature/culture, in favour of understanding matter, nature and humanity as manifestations of one complex, living totality.