I am very happy you are here, and I hope it is the beginning of a beautiful friendship (or at least an interesting conversation).
My name is Elena (Lena) Maslova-Levin. I am an artist with a philosophical bend, an insatiable love for poetry and solitude, and a wicked sense of humour (which I do my best to direct only at myself). I am also a linguist — that’s how I spent the first half of my work life, and this is what shapes the way I observe the fascinating co-existence between humans and their languages.
Or between languages and their humans, depending on one’s vantage point…
When I was about ten or twelve years old, I wrote a poem (in pentameter no less) about how I die, and meet God, and he asks me whether I believed in him while alive. I briefly answer that I had my doubts (doing my best to be polite), and without missing a beat, proceed to barrage him with a series of questions about the paradoxes and glaring inconsistencies I had observed in the world by that time (and this is how I looked back then… can you picture this conversation?)
I never completed the poem, because I couldn’t come up with any interesting answers on his behalf.
Eventually, I found my answers in painting. Not because it resolves any paradoxes, but because, to use William Blake’s famous words, it cleanses the doors of perception: It opens our eyes, minds, hearts to reality behind all paradoxes, behind the veil created by the mind and its urge to give name to everything, and to decide what’s right and what’s wrong.
Painting is my path of insight and freedom.
In 2011, this path led me to the “Sonnets in colour” series: painting “translations” of all 154 of Shakespeare’s sonnets.
When I decided to start this series (the decision which seemed absurdly audacious to me at the time), I had no idea where it would lead me. I just had a vague feeling that there is a space where there is no difference between painting and poetry, where they are still one, and I wanted to find and explore this space. (If you are intrigued, have a look at selected sonnet paintings…)
And I also desperately wanted to find and sustain a deeper connection with Shakespeare, without really knowing why.
But the world that has been opening to me through this series is more wonderful, beautiful and meaningful than I could have imagined in my wildest dreams. It is a world of ever-present resonant synergy between all of Art, across time, space, and art forms. Read more…
All I want to do now is to go deeper and deeper into this world, and to share its beauty and wonders with everyone.
If this is something you are interested in, please consider joining my Sutra circle to receive updates on any new events, paintings and insights, explore a variety of self-guided “unfolding exhibitions”, or simply join the conversation.