I’ve gone for a wander through the great rooms of The National Gallery many times for inspiration. Absorbing the atmosphere of each room as much as the paintings themselves. The architectural details, the discerning backdrops of colour. And while I’ve frequently seen people keenly sketching, mainly students, I’d never discovered someone working from an easel before.
Until I met Yuliya Lennon.
There she was, in front of Velazquez’s ‘Portrait of Archbishop Fernando de Valdes’ (in Room 30, for your visit), recreating a version of the masterpiece with every element of technical expertise and artistry as the original. I was far too intrigued not to find out more…
Yuliya is a member of the oldest artistic institution in the UK, The Painter Stainers’ Guild of London. She has studied under Rosa Branson and been a member of the Worlington Movement, a group that aims to bring traditional skills and Renaissance values back in to painting.
Absolute in her dedication to employing the approach and materials of the Old Masters, Yuliya composes the painting, layer by layer, detail by detail.
By replicating the original masterpieces at the The National Gallery, using their restoration notes and materials, she was searching for the formula that allows oil paintings to last for centuries. A kind of longevity to admire.
A couple of years later, almost to the day, while walking in the park, Yuliya popped back in to my head. I’d been musing on how I might translate authentic technique to the packaging of my collection.
With the back-story of New Order’s Power, Corruption & Lies in mind (which I’ll explain in a later post), and a series of photographs I’d taken close to home, I asked Yuliya to create a painting for me.
Her knowledge and passion for her work is intriguing and inspiring; utterly in tune with the feeling I wanted to convey…