Hanne Elf lives and works in Cologne and has been working for several years on the notion of trace. Like an archaeologist, she travels through different countries to discover testimonies of past cultures, the beginning of our civilization, the birth of painting and architecture.
At the same time she leaves her own traces,
transforms her own history, her childhood and establishes a link with
present time and with contemporary art.
Hanne Elf’s art feeds itself on multiple sources that overlap and blend.
The Past predominates in everything that the German artist undertakes and most of her work finds its inspiration in her childhood. The little girl with the matches by Andersen constitutes the starting point of the series “Eismitte”, a tale that particularly marked Hanne Elf who identified with the character. She had the feeling of living all surrounded by snow and ice. A parallel with Louise Bourgeois, who, two generations earlier, declared: “All my work of the last fifty years finds inspiration in my childhood. We must banish our past or accept it. If you can not accept it, you become an artist. “