Elena Helfrecht

‘Inwards’ is a series of photographs examining the lockdown in London, focusing on symbols and representations of the world within and around me.

Self-isolation and quarantine changed the concept of inside and outside. I am forced to retreat inside in a double sense: into the house and into myself, as being secluded from the outside world and all its distractions is an irrecusable invitation for introspection. Moreover, I am hiding inside because I fear something from the outside might inhabit me. Outside and inside are reversed, humans are pushed back into their shelters, and nature reclaims the space.

The house protects us like a caring mother, but losing the choice to step outside makes it difficult to enjoy the warmth it provides, and its bosom slowly begins to feel like a cage.

Especially now, the camera becomes more than a tool. The lens turns into a door, the mind spills into its surroundings. Walls dissolve. The inner and the outer world blend into the image and create a new reality to explore.

Artist biography

Elena Helfrecht (b. 1992 in Marktredwitz; based in Bavaria) is a visual artist working with photography.

She completed her MA in Photography at the Royal College of Art in 2019 with Distinction, after studying Art and Image History at Humboldt-Universität from 2016 to 2017 and receiving her BA in Art History & Book Science from Friedrich-Alexander-Universität in 2015.

Elena’s work revolves around the inner space and the phenomena of consciousness, emerging from an autobiographical context and opening up to the surreal.

Her work has been exhibited and published internationally.