Over 100 years ago, cult painter Hilma af Klint had a paranormal experience that changed her life.
During a séance, a spirit said to her:
You are to proclaim a new philosophy of life, and you, yourself, have to be part of the new kingdom.
Hilma's connection to the paranormal started when she was a kid. She was born in 1862 in Solna, Sweden. When she was 18, her younger sister Hermina passed away, which led Hilma to question the afterlife.
Hilma came from a religious family, but her dad was a mathematician. Back then, maths and spirituality were considered incompatible. As were maths and art. To some degree, this still hasn't changed in today's society. But to Hilma, everything was part of the same universe. In her paintings, she mixed her love of art, maths, science and spirituality.
Every time I succeed in finishing one of my sketches, my understanding of humanity, animals, plants, minerals, or the entire creation becomes clearer. I feel freed and raised up above my limited consciousness.
By the early 1900s, Hilma was a famous painter known for her avant-garde compositions. Interestingly, she didn't think they were very good at the time, but history would prove her wrong.
Even though Hilma was unconventional, she soon found people on a similar wavelength. With four friends, she founded a group called The Friday Group. They had séances, prayed and used a machine called a psychograph to send them into trances.
Hilma channelled all these experiences into her art. In fact, they were painted by a spirit beyond her.
The pictures were painted directly through me, without any preliminary drawings, and with great force. I had no idea what the paintings were supposed to depict. Nevertheless, I worked swiftly and surely, without changing a single brushstroke.
In recent years, Hilma has received an entirely new following online. The hashtag #HilmaAfKlint has been used more than 34,611 times on Instagram – and still counting.
We think she's one of the greatest abstract painters in history. And we're definitely not alone. We have no doubt that her legacy will continue to grow and evolve as more people discover the maths, mystery and magic of her art.