Yelena Popova

Yelena Popova born in USSR lives and works in Nottingham.

While on year long residency at Girton College 2016-2017 Yelena started to use soil and wood ash from the college fires as pigments.

This is one of the first paintings from her still growing Post-Petrochemical Paintings series.

‘My ongoing interest in the materiality of painting has led me to forage my own pigments. I’ve discovered that wood-ash and soil are the easiest to obtain and work with. They are the most primal (and primitive) painting materials: ochre, umber, sienna, terracotta are different shades of iron rich soil, used for cave paintings. My post-petrochemical painting series started in 2017 and was an attempt to revisit medieval painting recipes and materials, but also an eco-conscious decision not to use products of the petrochemical industry in my work. The lithic term ‘sedimentary’ could be applied to my paintings – layers upon layers of matter, a slow and organic growing process: a composition building itself through a course of precise gestures’