She works inspired by Tibetan poetic, mythological and philosophical texts. Her central focus is the equality, mutual permeation and interchangeability of profane and sacred themes.

Elke Hessel is a collector of found objects, both material and immaterial. For the most part, almost abstract, mystically enraptured collages that are also architectonic in appearance arise on wood, on pigmented surfaces, drawings, and papers that are then covered with semitransparent daphne paper from the Himalayas, waxed and polished.

Elke Hessel takes up the idea of the sacred Mount Kailash as a mandala or mystical palace during the journey. Following the Buddhist conception of the four gates at the four cardinal directions that lead into the inside of the mandala, she made drawings, collect objects and documented the process.

Elke Hessel studied a the Düsseldorf Academy of Fine Arts, among other things the integration of art and architecture under Prof. Megert, and Classical Tibetan at the Institute for Central Asian Studies of the University of Bonn.

She is a painter and author.