Elena was born and raised in the former USSR country Moldova but found a new home in Yorkshire when she moved to Harrogate 26 years ago. She gained an MA in Art and Design at Leeds Metropolitan University in 2002.
Since 1995, she has travelled extensively and draws on her experiences from this period as her main source of inspiration.
Some of Elena’s cityscapes are derived from her travels and first-hand observations, and some are from images found on the internet, mirroring how specific locations are drawn together by their similarities, which are surprisingly bigger than the differences.
She combines traditional painting techniques with less conventional methods: laser etched drawings and grid-system structures applied over pre-painted surfaces. Through the rendering of colour, texture and composition, she focuses on atmosphere, memories and connections. Her preferred media are painting, mixed media and ceramics.
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Representation and abstraction coexist in my work. Places and architecture are essential to my practice; experiences inform the content. My work exists between the real and imaginary, past and present. I used to paint only places where I had travelled, but I found it a little restricting. When traveling, I take a lot of photographs and pick up all sorts of odd objects – from menus, postcards and local newspapers to small antique and collectable objects, anything that will help to conjure a memory or spark my imagination. I love the energy and buzz of the cities and visiting new places, there’s always so much happening and so much to inspire me. My photography allows me to document and record my experiences of the places I’ve travelled to. I try to work as spontaneously as possible to maintain life and energy in my work. In my paintings I explore beauty, chaos and predictability of urban landscape built up gradually over time.