Slow painting artist hosts a talk in Leeds ‘just by luck’

Yelena Popova hosting her talk in Henry Moore lecture hall.

A Russian-born artist says she feels privileged to have her exhibition held in Leeds Art Gallery.

Yelena Popova, one of nineteen slow paint artists said: “All exhibitions are just pure luck, somebody looks at my work and mentions it to the curator – it’s still a mystery to me, it just happens that people get in touch.”

‘Slow Painting’ is an exhibition of paintings that take their time, and invite us to do the same.  Popova does not give any answers in her work but rather just states the questions. 

“The show in my mind is like a theatre”

Her paintings are intended to be looked at for a long time and from the different points of view, they can’t just be passed by the viewer with a quick glance.

Yelena said “The show in my mind is like a theatre, I want people to come and see it.”

Her evaporating paintings make use of the light and movement of the viewer to present themselves. 

Curated by the writer and critic Martin Herbert, the exhibition features 19 artists, primarily British or UK based, whose work spans a myriad of styles and applications, from figuration to abstraction.

Graduated from Moscow theatre school, the idea of audience is engraved in her thinking

Yelena tells of her love for the Russian education system: “we had an art school which was like an after-school club and I went to art school 3 times a week and I also went to music school.”

“The music school was quite difficult, and I had to choose, and I chose art, by my mid 20’s I become a full time artist.”

Lisa Simpson who is part of the exhibitions committee at Leeds Art Gallery said: “We hold these lunch-time talks purely because they are convenient for people who are busy in the day with work or studies, they can just come down on their lunch break and listen.”

There is going to be another two slow painting talks in Leeds art gallery.


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