Elselien van der Graaf (1949) studied monumental design at the Utrecht Art Academy (now HKU). Her early works tended towards the figurative, then came a long series of abstract works. In recent years her sculptures have been organic in nature. Combining the figurative and the abstract, they exhibit dynamism, power and expressiveness.
Between 1977 and 2017 many of her sculptures were installed in public spaces. The most famous of these are Vrouwe Justitia (Lady Justice) in front of the Utrecht Law Court (De Rechtbank), the sculpture T’OM outside the Public Prosecution Service (Openbare Ministerie) in the Hague, the sculpture group Superkarren (Supercarts) in Lelystad, Three Figures in Vechtzoom Park, Utrecht, Flying Swans in Maarssenbroek, Cows in Zegveld and Man Without Dog in Noordwijk. She also creates sculptures commissioned by companies and organisations such as BNN (a Dutch broadcaster), ING Bank and Boer & Croon Management.
In her uncommissioned work she sometimes chooses a theme (such as hand and head, or metamorphosis and dance) which engenders a series of sculptures. Her current work is more personal in nature. Most recent are the sculptures Vertwijfeling (Despair) and Keerpunt (Turning Point), inspired by the theme of dance. On request she also works for private individuals, who can discuss their specific wishes and possibilities during a visit to her studio.