Artist Talk: Elen Deliss on the Healing Nature of Art 

Elen Deliss

Elen Deliss is a Russian multimedia artist who explores various mediums and art forms, ranging from painting and sculpture to poetry, music, and fashion. Her passion for discovering cultures, lifestyles, religions, and spiritual practices has led her to travel the world extensively.

Through her art, she seeks to gain a deeper understanding of both our physical world and the one beyond our perception. Fine Art Shippers interviewed Elen Deliss about how art can serve as a tool for emotional healing.

Artist Talk: Elen Deliss on the Healing Nature of Art

Let’s begin with your creative pseudonym. How did you come up with it? What does it mean? 

After my first trip to New York about ten years ago, I started actively practicing various mindfulness techniques, such as hypnosis, various types of healing, and meditation. I also began teaching meditation classes, which have become an essential part of my life. My pseudonym reflects my spiritual experience and my aspirations. “Deliss” means joy and the pleasure (enjoyment) of life. When choosing my name, my mentor and I spent a long time considering the selection of letters and their meaning. We kept my given name but changed my last name. 

Painting by Elen Deliss

The experiences of our lives play a role in shaping our psychological profile, aspirations, and desires. How have the circumstances of your life, both good and bad, affected you?

Although I have faced many challenges (close to death), I have always found a way to overcome them. I believe in the higher power that teaches me and other people. I’ve always had a feeling that even in difficult times, I am looked after. Music, practices, and meditations help a lot. There is more to our existence than just what we perceive with our senses. Interaction with this other, parallel realm, something beyond the tangible, is an integral part of my everyday life.

Do you follow a specific religious tradition?

I was baptized as an Orthodox Christian, and during my childhood and teenage years, I painted icons in Sunday school. I wear a cross and have icons at home, but I believe that all religions essentially teach the same principles. While they may be expressed in different words, the concepts of love, forgiveness, and tolerance are universal. For example, many religious traditions feature angels. Among other things, I explore these questions in my art, and I have even created an entire series of angels. It’s fascinating to try and visualize them. They might be mere pieces of energy and light, but in many cultures, angels are often depicted as winged creatures that come to people’s aid at critical moments.

Another thing about spirituality is the sensation of connectedness to a source that transcends me when I am creating art or writing poetry. It feels like tapping into a stream of consciousness where I am merely a mediator being guided from above. It’s a profound emotion.

Please tell us more about your angels series and other themes you explore. 

As for angels, they are kind of abstract concepts and leave a lot of room for interpretation and imagination. It’s interesting for me to think about how they can be depicted in various forms, from traditional iconography to more abstract representations like energy, points, or geometric shapes. Another theme I explore is our place in the universe and the idea of multiverses. It’s humbling to think about the grand scheme of things and the bigger world we are part of. Astrology and the ancient myths associated with it are also a great source of inspiration for me. Through my art, I aim to create visual images that reflect the energy of planets. And of course, I’m fascinated by the origin of the soul – where it comes from and who or what created it. Conveying these ideas through my visual art is my way of philosophical and spiritual contemplation, which I think is often overlooked in our daily routines. 

Elen Deliss in the studio

You also create sculpture from recycled materials. What is your approach to this art form? 

I create installations, such as the “Angel Wing,” which is made of recycled materials, mostly plastic. I would like to encourage people to think about their consumer habits and minimize the unnecessary use of plastic materials. I created the “Angel Wing” installation first in Moscow and then again in Istanbul, and I hope to continue the theme in different locations worldwide, with different scales and using the same type of recycled materials.

Speaking of the formal aspects of your artwork, such as the visual techniques and subjects you choose – how has your education at the British Higher School of Design influenced you? How did it shape your artistic skills and understanding of visual aesthetics?

While studying at the British Higher School of Design, I specialized in interior design. It didn’t have a significant impact on my use of graphic techniques. However, it did instill in me a passion for well-balanced compositions and harmonious designs in terms of lines, proportions, and overall composition. These are important aspects of interior design, and I believe it has carried over into my artistic style. Over the years, I have experimented with various styles, from impressionistic works to figurative pieces. Recently, I have found my own unique style that I enjoy and that allows me to express my ideas and concepts freely. 

Painting by Elen Deliss

Photo courtesy of Elen Deliss