Elena Hüning: bodies from flat to kinetic

Densely square stylized 2D bodies, in bright pink, purple and yellow is the signature style of artist Elena Hüning. Initially doing a BA in Architecture at h_da, she moved to Leipzig over four years ago for her MA at HTWK. Gradually, she realised creating printed illustrations, mainly from life drawing sessions, put into stories and books was her passion. She masterfully adds her own character to each figure. They have angles reminiscent of bricks and squares, and happy faces, exuding joy and confidence.

Interactivity and context

The interaction between her art and the public is what Elena finds to be one of the most interesting parts of exhibiting art and making prints. She has always found it important to place her drawings in context by using visualisations of the environment. She admits, it comes from studying architecture, that she found using models to be the most important way to convey the message of potential projects. This gave potential future scenarios and a better understanding of the project to a customer. The possibilities of the future through imagining urban spaces without cars, body positivity and feminism are the most interesting themes for book illustrations for her. 

images by PILOTENKUECHE or supplied by the artist

While creating illustrations, she most enjoys spending time noticing all the peculiarities and specificities of the human body. It shows in the illustrations as well – the mood of the figure, mustaches, tattoos and tiny little details making every illustration special. Briefly describing the process, she first mentions creating proportions and shapes. After, comes colour choice and environment completing the entire illustration.

Elena takes time to perceive the details

Not knowing much before about local artist’s residency program PILOTENKUECHE, Elena applied to participate in the residency as a way to get out of her usual home office surroundings and find connections with other artists from around the world. She says it has worked in unexpected ways, pushing her to expand outside of her typical print media. Now in the residency program, she creates kinetic figures, letting the viewers interact with her art. “The figures have become more movable and alive. Initially I thought of videos, but sculpture provides more interaction for the viewer. And I have much more ideas of developing my art practice, even going into designing toys for kids.”

written by Kintija Avena


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