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Born in 1996, Elena Hartley is a visual artist primarily working on paper, using drawing to distort and blur timelines; endlessly collecting present day moments with past memories, fictional musings, and historical findings . Her work sits between figuration and abstraction, mythical yet quietly confessional. With an emphasis on mark making, colour, and line, Hartley’s work is ambiguous yet humorous, intuitively allowing forms to emerge on paper and canvas. Narratives appear, not only between the viewer and the work; the mediums and subject; the past and present; but with Hartley and the many versions of herself she presents to the world. 

Through this continuous application of drawing, printing and painting, Hartley also challenges ideas of high and low culture. Previous bodies of work have seen Hartley draw parallels between Angela Carter’s novel: The Passion of New Eve, Jungian archetypes and The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Other subjects include Middle Age penance, internet chatrooms, Tony Soprano, Italian Renaissance art, and her local pub’s karaoke night.


Elena Hartley graduated from BA Hons: Drawing and Printmaking from the University of the West of England, Bristol in 2023. She recently held a studio at Jamaica St Studios. Hartley is currently travelling South East Asia.