During her childhood, Elena frequently moved from place to place within former Yugoslavia and then to Australia as a refugee in the 1990s. Elena discovered painting and drawing as a tool to help navigate through the discomforts of migrating around a war-ravaged homeland.
The last few years have been all about learning and experimenting for Elena. Leaving her busy city lifestyle working as an interior architect/project manager and casual social worker, Elena took on scuba diving in the south coast and painting has naturally become a dominant part of her lifestyle.
“More recently I have been using acrylics and water-based oils on canvas, pastels, and watercolours on paper. The works vary dependant on brief, mood, curiosity, and surroundings.”- Elena Bijelic.
“I hold a lot of fascination for spaces involving collision or intersection. An example could be places where the ocean collides with rock formations or people and myself jumping into the water. There is something so powerful about these spaces of junction. Migrating to Australia as a refugee in the 90s felt a little like a collision, arriving and crashing into a new culture, new language. Going from one very familiar environment to a completely unfamiliar one – moving from Western Sydney to the CBD, followed by the south coast have been reminders of this intensity. Recent works explore this idea of encountering the ambiguity – using acrylics on canvas, the paintings illustrate people encountering predominantly abstract interpretations of some familiar landscapes – colliding, interacting, diving, exploring fear, anxiety, excitement, and love for life.” – Elena Bijelic.