Russian-born artist withdraws 'nuclear' work from museum

The 104 feet high Falcon Tower crane at Norwich Castle. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The 104 feet high Falcon Tower crane at Norwich Castle. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2022

A Russian-born artist who was due to showcase her work in Norwich has agreed to withdraw it in an act of solidarity with the people of Ukraine.

Ode to Flint, a solo show by Russian-born UK based artist Yelena Popova, was due to open in Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery last weekend.

The exhibition was set to explore the connections between the United Kingdom and the atomic industry through painting, tapestry and an installation of flintstones, but it was postponed last weekend, amid the ongoing bloodshed in Ukraine and heightened nuclear fears raised by the conflict.

At the time, museum bosses said they hoped to open at a later date, with some alterations.

But now, after the artist agreed to withdraw her work members of the public have been invited to create an alternative exhibition instead.

With the artist's agreement, Norfolk Museums Service has opted against going ahead with the exhibition in favour of a gesture to show solidarity to anybody affected by the conflict.

From Saturday, visitors to the museum are invited to bring any kind of stone with them to contribute to the exhibition, which will then be gathered together as a wider tribute to the victims of the Russian invasion.

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And it is hoped the gallery can become a place of reflection and a symbol of support for anybody affected by the conflict.

Margaret Dewsbury, cabinet member for communities at Norfolk County Council, said: "We have all been struct by the horrors being faced by those affected by the war in Ukraine.

"Many people in Norfolk have already shown their generous support through donations, offers of accommodation and acts of kindness towards Ukrainians who live in the UK.

"We hope this reimagined exhibition will symbolise Norfolk's solidarity with those facing unimaginable circumstances.

"The act of placing an individual stone might be small but, together, they will make up something much bigger."

Stones can be left at Norwich Castle during its opening hours of 10am until 4.30pm Monday to Saturday and 1pm until 4.30pm on Sundays. 

Visitors to the exhibition, which will run until Sunday, April 24, will also be invited to make a donation to the Disaster Emergency Committee's Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.

This appeal has also been backed in a campaign launched by this newspaper, which to date has raised more than £10,000.

To donate, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/edp-ukraine