Chris Berens


mixed media on panel
26 x 18 cm 2022

Olena is the Commander in Chief of New Dawn, the special unit of The Hug Squad.

She is known as the gentle warrior. Although she prefers things to be solved peacefully and with diplomacy she is known to chase away many Kikimora’s and Baba Yaga’s and to chop a couple of heads off a Zmei. Olena has fought many battles over swamps, forests and steppe. She is not afraid to get her clothes wet or her hair in disarray and just when there seems no hope left, she takes out the big guns and makes her creatures rise above themselves, inspiring them to do the greatest of things.

Olena is also known to protect the children. She sees the power in their innocence and she takes care of them, making sure they eat right, get enough sleep and get good education and have fun. She sings them songs and tells them tales about knights and dragons and when she is old she will sit down and write a tale of a particular unpleasant Leshy who was defeated by the fierce creatures she protected a long long time ago.

OLENA is fierce but gentle. She is tough, but only when she needs to be, compassionate when she can. She is willing to sacrifice her own private freedom for that of the future generation.

Download factsheet

Would you like more information about this artwork?