(Image: Clemens Mayer)

Elena Helfrecht (*1992) is a visual artist based in Bavaria. Her practice revolves around the inner space and the phenomena of consciousness, emerging from an autobiographical context and opening up to the surreal and fantastic, at times grotesque. Interweaving memories, experiences, and imagination, she creates inextricable narratives with multiple layers of meaning, characterised by a visceral iconography. Within her work, photography serves as a direct connection between the internal and the external realm. Through this process, she relates individual experiences to a collective history and turns personal involvement into a shared understanding. She is influenced by the folklore and landscapes of her home and her passion for Art History and Psychology.

Elena’s work has been shown in group and solo exhibitions internationally, at institutions and festivals such as South London Gallery (UK), Galleria Civica Cavour (IT), The Benaki Museum (GR), Villa Kebbel (DE), Photo Vogue Festival (IT), Encontros da Imagem (PT), FORMAT Festival Derby (UK), and Palácio das Artes (BR).

She is a recipient of the British Journal of Photography International Photo Award, as well as the Sony World Photo Award, the Camera Work Award and the AOP Student Award. Among others, she was also selected as one of the Bloomberg New Contemporaries and nominated for the FOAM Paul Huf Award. Recently, she has been selected as one of the Futures Photography Talents by VOID. Her images have been featured and reviewed in numerous publications such as The New Yorker, ZEIT Magazin, Financial Times Weekend, The Guardian, British Journal of Photography, Der Greif, and Source Magazine.

She has given lectures and talks at institutions such as the London College of Communication, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, the University of Brighton, Arts University Bournemouth, and the University of Europe. She is a member of the German Photographic Academy, and VG Bildkunst. Elena’s work is held in private and public collections.