Elena Ternovaja

b . Ukraine. Lives and works in Berlin.


Alchemy not only deals with the transformation of base metals into gold and silver but contains a deeper psychological component as well. It always deals with human transformation as well – with the alchemist’s search for himself. It serves as a metaphor for spiritual as well as material transformation.
Elena Ternovaja deals with these issues in her series “Alchemy Of Thoughts.” Her works contain transformations on several levels: the material in her selection of ingredients and chemicals that are constantly changing under the influence of light; the spiritual as she transforms her conscious and subconscious thoughts about daily life, situations and sometimes loud and draining memories into landscapes and delicate images and calligraphies; and finally the visual, as she draws the viewer into her process by turning the unique expressiveness of her materials into replicable experience.
The resultant images – chemigrams – are based on photochemical reactions caused by the addition of developer, fixing agent and other ingredients on photographic paper. Chemigrams are among the most radical forms of abstract photography, bordering on the non-photographic. Its focus is the fixed course of a guided reaction of light and light sensitive materials. Ternovaja experiments with light on her self-built table, glass plates, chemicals and other, partly plant based agents. She creates a complex and unusual work with the tension between chemical random reactions and conscious guidance of chemical processes, connecting the aesthetic and interior structures occurring on the smallest possible scale.
This process of transformation of thoughts and memories aides her own consciousness in either letting them go or improving her ability to cope with them. The images have a strong resemblance to paintings in their nuanced scale of greys and colors. Their subtle, almost impressionistic play of light and shadows is striking.


  • 7. May.2017 „Vergessene Menschen und Pflanzliche Analogien“, Atelier 336, Kunst- und Kreativhaus Rechenzentrum, Potsdam
  • 2017 „Die Alchemie der Gedanken“, BrotfabrikGalerie, Berlin
  • 2016 "Die Verstrickungen der Zeit. Im Archiv der Erinnerungen und der Gedanken“, Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung, Berlin
  • 2016 "Light Remembers. Analoge Fotografie in sieben Techniken“, Galerie Bernau, Bernau at Berlin
  • 2015 - 2016 "The Changing City Dreams. Fantasien einer Stadt", Ricam Hospiz, Berlin
  • 2014 „Silber und Salz, Eier und Eisen – pflanzliche Analogien“, Fotopioniere Berlin
  • 2013 „Fotogramme, Potsdam
Group Exhibitions:
  • 2017 “Umlaufbahnen“, Kunst- und Kreativhaus Rechenzentrum, Potsdam
  • 2016 “Nervöse Systeme: Foto-Variationen. Interpretationen des quantifizierten Lebens“ , Fotopioniere Berlin
  • 2016 „UrbanISTanbul“ Berlin Group Exhibition of the Exploring Urban Istanbul Project (2015-2016), Bethanien, Berlin
  • 2015 „Die STARTSCHAU“, Kunst- und Kreativhaus Rechenzentrum, Potsdam
  • 2015 „Standpunkte - 3. Mitgliederfotoschau der GfF“ Freizeitforum Marzahn, Galerie, Berlin
  • 2015 „Frühlingsgefühle“ – spring groupshow, Galerie Kunststück, Berlin
  • May 2013 - May 2014 Exhibition of Photoaward "100 Bilder des Jahres 2012" der Gesellschaft für Fotografie e.V. Berlin
  • June 2013 - June 2014 Exhibition of Photoaward "6. Landesfotoschau Berlin-Brandenburg" der Gesellschaft für Fotografie e.V., Berlin
  • 2013 "Fotogramme", Wissenschaftszentrum am Telegrafenberg, Potsdam
  • 2012 „20 Jahre Lomography“, Lomography Gallery Store Berlin
  • Awards
    • 2017 Grant from Amt für Weiterbildung und Kultur, FB Kunst und Kultur, Bezirksamt Pankow von Berlin for Exhibition “Die Alchemie der Gedanken”,
    • 2015 International Photography Award, Winner (Honorable Mention) in Categorie „Flowers: Serie “Poem about flowers“
    • 2013 "6. Landesfotoschau Berlin-Brandenburg" der Gesellschaft für Fotografie e.V., Berlin
    • 2012 "100 Bilder des Jahres 2012" der Gesellschaft für Fotografie e.V. Berlin
    • Journal Photoklassik No. 1, 2017 Portfolio „Elena Ternovaja. Ich spiele gerne mit dem Licht”

To: Elena Ternovaja

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Works by Elena Ternovaja

by Category
by Artist