Ode to a Flint

Saturday 19 March - Sunday 12 April

Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery

On Saturday 12 March Ode to a Flint, a solo show by Russian born, UK based artist, Yelena Popova, was due to open in the Timothy Gurney Gallery at Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery. The exhibition explored the connections between the UK nuclear industry, landscape and the passage of time through painting, tapestry and an installation of flints.

In response to the war in Ukraine, Norfolk Museums Service has decided not to go ahead with the exhibition in its original form. Yelena, in agreement, has withdrawn her works and instead, invites members of the public to bring stones to place in the gallery as a gesture of solidarity with all the people affected by the current conflict.

In this way, we and Yelena hope that the gallery will become a place of reflection and a symbol of support for everyone affected by this humanitarian and political disaster.

Councillor Margaret Dewsbury says: ““We have all been struck 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 make up something bigger.”

In keeping with the spirit of this collaborative installation, we will be encouraging our visitors to donate to the Disasters Emergency Committee’s Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal: www.dec.org.uk/appeal/ukraine-humanitarian-appeal

The installation will open on Saturday 19 March and close on Sunday 24 April.

Placing a stone in Ode to a Flint: Further information

Members of the public are invited to place any small stone around a new iteration of the original flint installation, which will be displayed in the centre of the gallery:

  • Visitors wishing to leave a stone in the exhibition gallery without wanting to visit the rest of the museum will be granted free admission
  • Visitors can leave a stone during Norwich Castle opening hours, Monday – Saturday 10am-4.30pm and Sunday 1pm-4.30pm, last admission 4pm
  • Visitors will also be able to leave a message of support in the exhibition gallery’s comments book.
  • Visitors can leave any kind of stone, it doesn’t have to be flint
  • We will not be providing stones – visitors will need to bring their own
  • We ask that visitors to the Ode to a Flint installation respect the gallery as a place of reflection and ask that they refrain from taking pictures
  • Norfolk Museums Service will be unable to return the stones to individuals once they have been placed and is currently considering options for the stones at the close of the installation. We may wish to accession some of them into the collection. We will invite suggestions of what to do with the rest.

Tickets booked through Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery

Important information


Tickets: Free with Norwich Castle admission ticket

Image Credit: Yelena Popova Keepsafe I and II 2019 Jacquard Woven Tapestry © Yelena Popova

This exhibition is supported by Arts Council England, East Anglia Art Fund, The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Norfolk County Council, Norwich City Council and Pangaea Sculptors’ Centre

Festival Futures – Arts make life better

Norfolk & Norwich Festival brings tens of thousands of people together in celebration – it has been doing this for 250 years. Through our May festival and our arts education work, we lead and support celebration, creativity and curiosity in communities across Norfolk.

This year we launch a giving campaign, Festival Futures, to help ensure we continue this work for future generations.

2022’s campaign focuses on ‘Tomorrow’s World’ – the participants, audiences and artists of the future. We aim to raise £20,000 towards our Take Part: Schools programme and towards a range of programming at 2022’s Festival that provides participation and showcase opportunities for young people and early-career artists.  We believe that participation in the arts can increase confidence, creativity and academic results and that by creating performance and commissioning opportunities for the next generation of artists, we are ensuring the future of Norfolk & Norwich Festival. We need your support.

Make a Festival Futures donation to Norfolk & Norwich Festival.

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