Glowbaby is a series of paintings on cardboard. They feature thick layers of paint and collages of fabric and objects. Together they comprise one work, based on Hällman’s trip to a nuclear power plant in Sweden. Once he arrived at his destination, he found his attention drawn to an adjacent nature reserve; there, vegetation appeared unaffected by its proximity to the reactors, despite their obvious presence. Hällman often bases his work on travels and explorations, where he finds material to use in his paintings: both literal materials, but also content and more abstract ideas. His work for Afgang incorporates fabrics obtained from a small thrift store near the plant, words and comments collected from signs in the area or conversations with locals, and scavenged junk.
Glowbaby is concerned with synthetic nature – with meeting points between the artificial and natural. The work is both an evocation of the complex, beautiful, and sometimes psychedelic patterns found in nature, and an ambivalent examination of industry’s intrusion into supposedly idyllic landscapes. Hällman doesn’t treat these states as simple opposites, but as related situations. By filtering personal travels through a process of collage and abstraction, this work echoes the afterglow of high energy consumption and how a complex and changing climate can be seen and experienced.