Painting by Hilma af Klint

Hilma af Klint, The Evolution, No. 14, 1908 © Stiftelsen Hilma af Klints verk. Photo: Albin Dahlström/Moderna Museet

3.12 2020

Create at home – Allow yourself not to know

The artist Hilma af Klint practiced to be open-minded, to trust her inner feelings and to listen to the messages from the spirit world that she received, even though she did not always understand them.Her paintings are thus about daring to follow your inner voice and to express the unknown. Now you can try to do the same as Hilma af Klint; trust your own feeling and allow yourself not to know when you are creating at home!

In 1896 Hilma af Klint met four other women, and together they formed the group De Fem (The Five). They held sessions and had contact with the spirit world. The Five met regularly and often, until Hilma af Klint received a very special message from one of the spirits. The assignment she was given was to create “The Paintings for the Temple”.

Read more about the exhibition: Hilma af Klint – Artist, Researcher, Medium

Allow yourself not to know!

(For twelve years and up)

This task is divided into two steps. Start by looking closely at one of the paintings we have selected, then follow the instructions, answer the questions and finally create your own picture. Listen to the feelings and thoughts that come to you when you enter into and start a dialogue with Hilma af Klint’s visual world. Good luck!

What you need:

  • Two white sheets of paper
  • Colors (use what you have at home!)
  • A pen

Now let’s start! Choose one of Hilma af Klints paintings.

Painting by Hilma af Klint
Hilma af Klint, The Large Figure Paintings, No. 5, 1907 © Stiftelsen Hilma af Klints Verk Photo: Albin Dahlström/Moderna Museet
Painting by Hilma af Klint
Hilma af Klint, Tree of Knowledge, No. 3, 1915 © Stiftelsen Hilma af Klints Verk Photo: Albin Dahlström/Moderna Museet
Painting by Hilma af Klint
Hilma af Klint, The Ten Largest, No. 8, Adulthood, 1907 © Stiftelsen Hilma af Klints Verk Photo: Albin Dahlström/Moderna Museet
Painting by Hilma af Klint
Hilma af Klint, The Dove, No. 1, 1915 © Stiftelsen Hilma af Klints Verk Photo: Albin Dahlström/Moderna Museet

Step 1. Reflect on and answer the questions

Look at the picture and listen to your inner feeling. What do you see? Read the questions and take one of the white sheets of paper to write down or draw your answers. Remember, you do not have to show the paper to anyone. Your answers are memos that are just for you.

  • How do you feel when you look at the picture? Write down two emotions!
  • Of all the colors in the picture, is there anyone special that you like? Which?
  • Is there any color you do not like? Which, and why?
  • Is there a movement in the picture do you think? If so – close your eyes and feel the movement in your body.
  • Look at all the symbols and shapes in the picture! Select one. What do you think it might mean?
  • Do you feel that the image has a message? If so – what? Describe in just a few words.
  • Would you like to ask the picture something? What?
Children in Verkstan painting.
Photo: Åsa Lundén/Moderna Museet

Step 2. Create your own painting

Use the other white drawing paper. It can be any size, the main thing is that it has four corners! Use your memos, follow the instructions and listen to your inner feeling!

  • Place the white drawing paper in front of you, fold the paper in half and unfold it again. Fold the paper in the other direction, and unfold it once more. You now have a center point on the paper, you will need it.
  • Write the first letter of your own first name with your favorite color from Hilma af Klint’s painting, in the top left corner.
  • In the bottom left corner, enter the last two digits of the year you were born. Use both a blue and yellow color.
  • In the top right corner, write the last letter of the name of someone you like very much. Use the same color as the letter in your own name.
  • At the bottom right, draw a circle that is about the size of your own eye. Think of the person you like a lot. If this person was a color, what color would it be? Fill the entire circle with that color.
  • When you looked at Hilma af Klint’s painting, you would look for symbols and shapes and choose one. Draw your own version of that shape or symbol in the middle of the paper in a color that is as similar to your own hair color as possible. Color the whole shape or symbol! When drawing the shape or symbol, it should not be larger than your own fist.
  • The background is still white – paint the top of your picture with the color you did NOT like in Hilma af Klint’s painting! Let the folded edge in the middle guide you, and use it as a dividing line.
  • And for the lower part of your picture, use your favorite color from the painting again, to cover the last white surface!

Now your drawing is finished!

If your drawing was a place, what would it be called? There you go – now you have a title for your drawing!

Pst. We are happy to share your drawings on instagram, you are welcome to tag photos of your drawings with #modernamuseetmalmö

Read more about Create at home

Published 3 December 2020 · Updated 18 December 2020