Mikael Hallstrøm works with materials such as the familiar ball-point pen and watercolours. He describes his fascination with the ballpoint as a passion for discovering the richness of a medium we usually associate with its everyday quality. In his watercolour works, Hallstrøm works with a technique called strata - meaning a collection of layers. This term is also used within the field of geology, describing the layers formed at the earth's surface. We have asked him to give an introduction to himself and his practice.
"I live and work in Copenhagen am a father of two and am trained as a social anthropologist. I’ve always been drawn to art, crafts and other creative expressions. 20 years ago I moved to the countryside with some good friends. I found a stock of strangely beautiful shaped logs that sparked my interest. I set up a wood working studio at a nearby farm and for years spent most of my time constructing sculptures and doing wood work. After moving back to the city, I started working with less space consuming formats, and replaced the sculptural works with works on paper. Time, repetition and accumulation a key elements in my work process.
I’m somewhat obsessed with exploring the basic - material, structural, and visual - qualities of the materials and media I use: water, pigments, ink, paper, fire etc. Often, I use repetitive and accumulative mark-making as a way to do so.
I find inspiration all over. In the physical and imaginary structures and formations of natural and urban landscapes, geology archaeology, biology etc. Sometimes, I get a beautiful sense of peace while working on drawings and watercolour works. I hope the works, to some extent, convey this experience to the viewer."