Quiet ripples seem to pass through Swedish artist Anette Hallback’s canvases, suggesting lapping waves, icy fjords or layered hills rising up from the horizon. Her textural surfaces are made with linen dipped in off-white, beige or pale grey plaster, which are then shaped into sculptural waves that gently flicker across the flat surface, rising and falling like the rhythms and patterns of the Swedish landscape surrounding her life.
Originally from Gothenburg, Hallback worked in fashion for several years before training and working as an interior designer, a path that led her organically towards the production of art. Now working as both interior designer and artist, the two strands of her practice undoubtedly shape one another, and she is often asked to create art works on commission in a range of sizes for the clients she works with. Her hope is that her art, big or small, brings greater order and tranquility into these spaces. “I want my art to have a central role in my customers’ home and interior,” she observes, adding, “it should create harmony and an austere feeling.” Bringing art into her interior designs also allows Hallback to introduce a human touch to the spaces she works with, as she comments, “I think the final touch for creating a beautiful home is adding light and art. I feel that my customer is longing for something handmade and unique.”
Hallback currently lives in a house in Gothenburg, set amidst the Swedish countryside, not far from what she has called “the beautiful and barren archipelago of the Swedish west coast.” This surrounding landscape undoubtedly informs the imagery of her art, which mirrors the constantly shifting ebb and flow of water as it moves through and shapes the land, while titles allude to this source material, such as Wave, Line, Dune, Row and Structure. She notes, “I find my inspiration in many things and situations but especially from the Scandinavian nature and sea. There I see my patterns form.” Hallback harnesses these meditative repeat patterns in her understated art, allowing them to infuse into the very walls of the space surrounding them.
Hallback also cites Sweden’s heritage for clean, pure, minimalist designs as a powerful influence on her practice, informing the light, ephemeral delicacy of her colour schemes. Her early-career experiences with the fashion industry also shape the nature of her art, with its draped fabric and calm, neutral colour schemes recalling the classic designs of Celine and Toteme. But ultimately Hallback enjoys the intuitive process of making, uncovering unexpected surprises along the way. “An inspiring day is when I can explore and experimenting with new patterns and colours,” she writes. “I can put all my time on the creation of new art. I also always enjoy delivering a unique artwork to a customer and see a perfect fit in that customers’ home.”