Elin Engelsen was born and raised in Norway, but nowadays she lives in Denmark. Her memories of the nature in Norway often play a role in her works. In relation to nature, the artist says: “In my eyes, the nature is not something out of picture postcards, but it should be taken seriously. In a blink of an eye, its forces can tear down all our strongholds.”
Elin Engelsen’s style is simple and clean, and her works often contain empty areas, so that viewers can project themselves and their imagination into the magical world which unfolds on the canvas. The colours she uses often have a blue tint and are cool like a sky and water; the mirror-like water reflecting sky’s nuanced hues. Engelsen’s works capture a completely unique Nordic light, clearly bearing a mark of her childhood in the fairytale-like, but also scary, magnificent Norwegian nature.
Merete Sanderhoff, Project Researcher at the National Gallery of Art, has said about the artist:
“Elin Engelsen perceives painting as a space where existential metaphysics – in other words, that which makes us, humans, the marvellous creatures that we are – is given a concrete form. The key word of Elin’s work is openness. Her paintings are driven by a firm belief in the imagination’s redeeming qualities, implying mental freedom and openness to life. Regarding the formal side of her work, she leaves a lot of open space in her paintings, allowing the viewers’ imagination to freely roam and fill in the blanks. Recently, her favourite motifs were children and youngsters, who in her depictions seem to be above everyday earthly limitations, such as time or gravity, and who float freely, engulfed in their own mental reality, through their dreamy, gauzy world.”