Invisible paintings get new life at Upton

Baking legend and much-loved presenter of Great British Bake Off Mary Berry opened the new exhibition at Upton House & Gardens yesterday (Thursday). NNL-150506-163147001
Baking legend and much-loved presenter of Great British Bake Off Mary Berry opened the new exhibition at Upton House & Gardens yesterday (Thursday). NNL-150506-163147001

During the recent work to transform the presentation of Upton House, artist Yelena Popova created a series of ‘invisible’ paintings.

These paintings are based on the pieces ‘missing’ from Lord Bearsted’s collection at Upton.

Much of the house’s art collection was removed during the Second World War by Viscount Bearsted to protect it from the risk of damage caused by enemy action.

That chimed strongly with Yelena and was a powerful influence in her desire to undertake a collaboration.

Yelena is from the Urals in Russia but studied MA Painting at the Royal College of Art in 2011 and is now based in Nottingham.

She is a painter who also works in film and is fascinated by the implications of the act of hanging a painting.

It is a process that she overtly expresses in public through a ‘performative hang’.

She takes inspiration from the sense of absence which arises when a painting is removed from a wall.

Her completed works, along with her video installation, opened in the Squash Court Gallery to the public from Saturday.

There will be an accompanying guide for visitors and a programme of workshops and lectures.

Upton House Collections Manager Rachael O’Connor-Boyd said: ‘Invisibility is a powerful idea for Yelena and, in a world where we’re bombarded by imagery, she’s created paintings that help us, as viewers, slow down and really look.”