Born in a family of artists and educated in Moscow Polygraphic Institute, Varvara Shavrova moved to London in 1989 where she lived and worked for over 15 years. In 2005 Shavrova moved to China where she continued to live and work for nearly six years. During this period Shavrova worked mainly with Chinese artists and curators, and participated in and instigated a number of ground breaking visual arts projectsin different locations in China, with the main focus in Beijing and Shanghai. In 2010 Shavrova moved to Ireland where she now lives and works, with her studios in Broadstone, Dublin and Ballycastle, Co.Mayo.

Shavrova’s projects include over 20 solo exhibitions in Dublin, Galway, Sligo, London, Los Angeles, Berlin, Frankfurt, Moscow, St.Petersburgh, Shanghai and Beijing, and a number of curatorial visual arts projects, artistic initiatives and group exhibitions in Ireland, UK, Italy and China. Shavrova curated a number of international group projects, including ‘Through the Lens: new media art from Ireland’ in Beijing where she co-ordinated visual arts programme for the First Festival of Irish Culture at Beijing Art Museum of Imperial City, in 2008.  In 2005 Shavrova conceived and realised a highly ambitious international art and architecture project, ‘Map Games: Dynamics of Change’. The project was realised in 2008-2009, in collaboration with Chinese curator FengBoyi and studio OffiCina in Beijing, and represented specially commissioned works by 22 Chinese and international artists and architects reflecting on changing Beijing prior to the Olympics. ‘Map Games’ received high critical acclaim and toured from Today Art Museum in Beijing to Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery  in UK and to CAOS Centre for Contemporary Arts in Terni, Italy.

Shavrova’s recent projects include ‘The Opera’, a multi-media six screen projected installation at Espacio Cultural El Tanque, Santa Cruz  de Tenerife, in November 2011. ‘The Opera’ solo exhibition at the Gallery of Photography Ireland  openedDublin Chinese New Year Festival 2012 and toured to Limerick City Art Gallery  and Ballina Arts Centre in 2012. Shavrova participated with a solo project ‘Mirrors on the Opera’ in 2012 Pingyao International Photography Festival  in  China, and took part in ‘New Irish landscapes’ group show at the Three Shadows Photography Arts Centre in Beijing in 2013, as part of the Irish Culture  Festival, both projects curated by Tanya Kiang, Gallery of Photography Ireland .

Shavrova’scurrent projects include‘Chinese Irish Stories’,a multi-media community focused initiative exploring Chinese diaspora in Dublin. The project is supported by Dublin City Council, Dublin Chinese New Year Festival, the Gallery of Photography Ireland, and the Embassy of Ireland in Beijing, and will be premiered at the Dublin Chinese New Year Festival 2015 at a public museum venue in Dublin. Shavrova is also working on a new film based in a decommissioned Buddhist Temple complex, NianHua Si, that is currently undergoing an upheaval involving relocation of its long-term residents and a partial demolition and redevelopment. The project will be completed in 2014 and premiered next year at the Irish Culture Festival in Beijing. Shavrova is also collaborating on a poetry performance project involving British, Chinese, Irish and Russian poets and is focusing on issues of translation and live poetry readings of Seamus Heaney’s poem, Digging. Shavrova’s forthcoming solo show, The Opera, is at Patrick Heide Contemporary Art in London in January- February 2014.

Shavrova received a number of international awards and fellowships including Culture Ireland grants, London Arts Board grant, Ballinglen Arts Foundation fellowship awards and Prince’s Trust artist’s travelling award. Shavrova’s works can be found in important public and private collections, including Department of Foreign Affairs, Arts Council England, Museum of Modern Art Moscow, among others.


1985-90          Studied painitng and drawing with Dmitrii Leon and at Moscow Polygraphic Institute

1989-2005      Lives and works in Hackney, London and Ballycastle, Co.Mayo, Ireland

2004-05          Public Art & Design NVQ, Freeform Arts Trust, London

2005-2010      Lives and works in Beijing, China

2010-present   Lives and works in Dublin and Ballycastle, Co.Mayo, Ireland

Awards & fellowships

2013              Culture Ireland award, New Irish Landscapes group exhibition at Three Shadows Photography Arts Centre in Beijing curated by Tanya Kiang, Gallery of

                     Photography Ireland

2012              Culture Ireland award for the Mirrors on the Opera, curated by Tanya Kiang, Pingyao International Photography Festival, Pingyao Ancient City, Shanxi

                     province, China

2008,2009     Culture Ireland award for the Untouched exhibitions in Beijing and Shanghai

2004-2006     Residency at Shovel Down art andarchaeology project,Dartmoor National Park, Devon

2002-2003     Grant to Individual Artists, London Visual Arts Fund,London Arts

1999,00,02    Ballinglen Arts Foundation   Fellowship Award, Ballycastle, Co.Mayo

2003,2004     Ballinglen Arts Foundation   Fellowship Award, Ballycastle, Co.Mayo

2000             CillRialaig Project, Residency Award, Ballinskelligs, Co.Kerry

1994             Go & See Portugal   The Prince’s Trust Artists’ Travelling & Working Award, Portugal

1993             Openning Up Spaces   Travelling & Working Award, European Artists’ Workshop @ Ettesburg Castle 

                     & ACC Gallerie, Weimar, Germany

1990-1993     Studio Award  The Florence Trust Studios, London.

Solo exhibitions and projects

2014             The Opera, Patrick Heide Contemporary Art, London

2013             Windows on the Hutong, La Camara Gallery,Fotonoviembre 2013 Photography Festival, StaCruz de Tenerife, Spain

2012             The Opera,  Gallery of Photography Irelandand Dublin Chinese New Year Festival 2012, Ireland

                    The Opera,Ballina Arts Centre,Ballina, Co.Mayo, Ireland

                    Untouched ,Ballina Civic Offices, Ballina, Co.Mayo, Ireland

2011             The Opera special commission  and installation, Espacio Cultural El Tanque, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain

2011             Windows on the Hutong, Patrick HeideContemporary Art, London

2010             Windows on the Hutong, Gallery 49 presented by Pekin Fine Arts, Beijing, China

2009             Untouched, Galway Arts Festival 2009, Galway, Ireland

                    Untouched, Irish Arts Festival, Irish Culture Centre, Shanghai, China

                    Between the Borders, Morono Kiang Gallery, Los Angeles

                    Borders, RichMix, London

                    Untouchedprojections,Gallery of Photography Ireland, Temple Bar, Dublin

2008             Borders, Patrick Heide Art Projects at GalerieMorgen, Berlin 

                    Untouched,   Beijing Art Museum of Imperial City, Beijing

                    Marriage Proposal project,  Intrude 266,Zengdai MOMA, Shanghai

2007             Borders,  Moscow Museum of Modern Art &Rumiantsev Palace, Museum of History of St.Petersburg

                    Borders,  project presentation at the Asia-Pacific Forum of Russian Diaspora, Embassy of Russia, Beijing

2006             Walls  (with Wu Hugong), Dong-Xi Gallery, curated by MADA SPAM, Jade Valley Mill ,Lantian, Xian, Shaanxi Province, China

2006             Interferences  OffiCina Studio, Factory 798, 3rdDashanzi International Art Festival, Beijing, China &Dartmoor Gallery, High Moorland Visitors Centre,                    

                    Princetown, Dartmoor National Park, Devon, England

2006             Landscapes Fossilised: From Ballycastle to Beijing, National Day Reception, Embassy of Ireland, Beijing

2005             New Arrivals-Two Dimensions (with Ben McMillan) Centre for European Art in China, East End Art Zone, Cao Chang Di, Beijing, China

2005             Landscape Fossilised:From Ballycastle to Beijing Patrick Heide Art Projects, London

2004             Landscape Fossilised Mayo General Hospital, Castlebar, Co.Mayo, and Cross Gallery, Dublin

2004             Landscape Fossilised  PatrickHeide Art Projects, Frankfurt

2003             Mapping an Island  (with Nicola Rae), Patrick Heide Art Projects, London

                    Landscape FossilisedAnniversary Exhibition,Ceide Fields Visitors Centre, Ballycastle, Co Mayo

2002-2003    Sound of Colour (with Alyson Brien), Dean Clough Galleries, Halifax, Yorkshire

2002             Inscriptions and other works   InsideSpace gallery, London

2001-2002    Inscriptions: Painting The Line TouringExhibition in UK & Ireland curated by Reyahn King:

                    James Hockey Gallery, Surrey Institute of Art & Design, Farnham

                    Aston Hall, Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery, Birmingham

                    Stanley Picker Gallery, Kingston University, Kingston-upon-Thames

                    Model Arts and Niland Gallery, Sligo

                    Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar

                    Ballinglen Arts Foundation, Ballycastle

2001             Monotypes and Other Prints 1996-1999, Vital Arts at The Barts Hospital NHS Trust, London

1998             Passion Grace and Fire, Blains Fine Art, London

1996             Porthleven,  Curwen Gallery, London

Selected group exhibitions

2013             New Irish Landscapes ,curated by Tanya Kiang , Three Shadows Photography Arts Centre, Beijing, China

2012             Mirrors on the Opera, curated by Tanya Kiang, Pingyao International Photography Festival, Pingyao Ancient City, Shanxi province, China

                    Tense,curated by Helen Carey, group exhibition at the Limeric City Gallery of Art

2011             The Opera screened atTHE LEAP/Shanghai Contemporary Video Program, curated by Phillip Tinari

2009-2010    Eye World DRAWER EXHIBITION curated by Emily Chen, New York

2009             Sale, Patrick Heide Contemporary Art, London

2008-2009    ‘Beijing Map Games: art and architecture from Beijing’ international touring exhibition curated by FengBoyi, Varvara Shavrova and offiCina(Beijing),             

                    Today Art Museum, Beijing; Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery, Gas Hall, Birmingham UK; Terni Centre for Contemporary Art (CaoS), Terni, Italy

2008             Elemental video commission, GreenPix Media Wall, Xicui entertainment complex, Beijing

                    Through the Lens: New Media Art from Ireland, Beijing Art Museum of Imperial City, Beijing

2007             Borders screenings, Photoquai festival of non-European photography and video, Theatre Claude Levi-Strauss, Musee du Quai Branly, Paris

2007             CEAD Irish Art Exhibition, curated by 411 Gallery, Shanghai and Beijing

                    Irish Artists in China, exhibition and Irish arts & cultural forum, Beijing Institute of Graphic Communications

2006             Portraits and Still Lives  installation at China- Chai-na exhibition at 706 Space, 3rdDashanzi International Arts Festival, Factory 798, Beijing

2005             6×6 For Ireland Showcase 2005 touring exhibition, Hangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing

                    Summer exhibition, Taylor galleries, Dublin

                    Sense and Sensuality, Inaugural Blind Art exhibition, Royal College of Art, London

2004-2005    Group show, Lexicon Partners, Dixon Russell Fine Art, London

                    30×30, Group show, Vertigo Gallery, London

2004             Surface, Group show, Vertigo Gallery, London

                    ART’Frankfurt 2004, Patrick Heide Art Projects

                    ART’2004, Vertigo Gallery and White Space Gallery, Business Design Centre, London

2003-2004    30×30, Group show, Vertigo Gallery, London

                    Artists from the Linenhall Arts Centre at the Mayo General Hospital, Castlebar, Co Mayo

                    Group show, Art First, London; Group show Taylor Galleries, Dublin

2003             Drawing and Sculpture, Ashford Gallery, Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin

2002-2003    Group show, Vertigo Gallery, London

                    Heaven on Earth, Rubicon Gallery, Dublin

2001-2003    Jerwood Drawing Prize 2002, exhibition of shortlisted artist, University of Gloucestershire, Cheltenham and touring to London, Birmingham, Glasgow,                    

                    Manchester & Hull

                    Two-person show, Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw, The City of London

                    Women Who Draw, Sherbourne House, Dorset

                    Drawings, Vertigo Gallery, London

                    New Works on Paper, Fenderesky Gallery, Belfast

                    Drawings, Sarah Myerscough Fine Art at Reid Minty, London

                    ART’2002, Vertigo Gallery, Business Design Centre, Islington, London

2001-2002    Square Route, Sarah Myerscough Fine Art, London

                    Heaven on Earth, Rubicon Gallery, Dublin; Group show Taylor Galleries, Dublin

2001             The Jerwood Drawing Prize 2001, Cheltenham and touring to London & Hull

2000             New Images from North Mayo, Courthouse Gallery, Ballycastle, Co.Mayo

                    Hidden Art of Hackney, Hertford Road Studios, London

                    ART’2000,Blains Fine Art, Business Design Centre, Islington, London

1999             Hidden Art of Hackney, Hertford Road Studios, London

                    Summer exhibition, Blains Fine Art, London

                    ART’99,Blains Fine Art @ Contemporary Art Fair, Business Design Centre, London

1999             Group show, Blains Fine Art, London

1998             Fever, Painting  show, Blains Fine Art, London

                    War Child &UNICEF ,  Art Auction for the Children of Sudan, Bernard Jacobson gallery, London

                    East End & Whitechapel Open Exhibition, Hertford Road studios, London

                    Nine Past, Nine Present , Artists from the Florence Trust studios curated by Angus Broadbend, The Gallery  in Cork Street, London

                    London Business School,  Group show curated by Dickson Russell Fine Art

1997             Christmas Show  curated by Tamar Arnon, Collier Bristow gallery, London

                    Animal, Vegetable or Mineral  curated by Dickson Russell Fine Art, Hammersons,London

                    Art @ Work, curated by Dickson Russell Fine Art, Addison Wesley Longmans Publishers, Harlow

                    Exhibition in aid of Imperial Cancer Research Fund, The Mall Galleries, London

1996             Two Painters, The Salthouse Gallery, St.Ives Festival, St.Ives, Cornwall

                    Cross Currents,  Reed’s Wharf Gallery, The Barbican Concourse Gallery, London

                    Sense of Scale, Curwen Gallery, London

                    Glasgow Art Fair, Hirschl Contemporary Art, Glasgow

1995-96        Natural Forces, Reed’s Wharf Gallery, London

1995             Summer Show, Purdy Hicks Gallery, London

Curatorial projects

2008             Through the Lens: new media art from Ireland, Irish Arts and Culture Festival, Beijing Art Museum of Imperial City, Beijing, China

2005-2009    Map Games: Dynamics of Change, multi-media visual art and architecture project involving 24 Chinese and international artists and architects, curated                    

                    with FengBoyi, and realized in collaboration with offiCina(Beijing). Touring from Today Art Museum, Beijing to Gas Hall,  Birmingham Museums & Art                     

                    Gallery and CaoS (Centre for Contemporary Art), Terni, Italy




2013             ‘New Irish Landscapes’at Three Shadows Photography Arts Centre,  Arts& Culture Review, Beijing, China (March 20)

2012             ‘The Opera’  exhibition at the Gallery of Photography Dublin, review by Gemma Tipton, Arts Review (Feb)

2011             ‘The Opera’  installationat Espacio Cultural El Tanque, Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Nov)

2011             ‘Windows on the Hutong’, exhibition calalogue published by Patrick Heide Contemporary Art, London

2010             ‘So bad, she is good’ by Sheng Taotao, Global Times, Beijing (March 22)

2009             ‘Capturing decay in Beijing and Mayo’ by Aidan Dunne, The Irish Times (July 22)

                    ‘From Beijing to Ballycastle’ News in Brief, Western People (July 28)

                    ‘Temple Bar Square Project’ The Ticket, The Irish Times (January)

                    ‘Between the Borders’ exhibition catalogue published by Morono Kiang Gallery, Los Angeles 

                    Review: ‘Varvara Shavrova at Morono Kiang Gallery’ by Leah Ollman, Los Angeles Times (February 5)

                    Short List: LA’s Gallery Shuffle by Jeannine A. Denholm, Pics/ Artform (February 2)

                    Exhibition review, THE LA’s monthly magazine for the arts (February)

2008             ‘Map Games: Dynamics of Change’ exhibition catalogue published by offiCina, Beijing

                    Untouched exhibition catalogue published by Timezone8, Beijing

                    IntrudeArt ( Issue 04 2008)  published by Zengdai MOMA, Shanghai

                    RTE News, TV interview, (July)

                    Through a Chinese Lens by Clifford Coonan, The Irish Times Weekend Review (April 5)

                    Untouched exhibition review, Time Out Beijing (March)

                    Surprising similarities by He Jianwei, Beijing Today, Center stage (March 21)

2007             ‘Tales of the City’ Interview for Beijing Radio 774

                    Varvara Shavrova ‘Borders’, newspaper catalogue, published by Agey Tomesh, Moscow, Russia

                    Varvara Shavrova ‘Borders’, Time Out St.Petresburg, exhibition review (May 18-31)

                    ‘Meetings on Italianskaya Street’ Interview for St.Petersburg radio

                    ‘Borders’, Mezzonin lifestyle magazine (April)

                    ‘Cosmopolitain’s View’ Kultpohod art guide magazine (April)

                    ‘Everything on the Map’ ELLE Décor Russia (April)

                    ‘On the Border’, Domovoi magazine (April)

                    Beijing/ Background, Monograph, published by Thinking Hands & Timezome 8 Editions, Beijing, China

2006             Jade Valley Mill, Domus China ( Dec issue )

                    Beijing/ Background, DIAF 2006 catalogue edited by Huang Rui

                    Interferences at offiCina, exhibition preview, Beijing City Guide (May 11-24)

                    Solo Exhibition: Varvara Shavrova, exhibition review, Art Events, That’s Beijing magazine (May issue)

                    Interferences: Varvara Shavrova Photography Exhibition, Time Out Beijing (May)

2005             A New Space by Xiao Changyan, Beijing Weekend, China Daily ( May 20-22 )

                    Time to Talk, interview for Beijing Radio ( May 10 )

2004             Varvara Shavrova at Cross gallery exhibition review by Ciara Healy, Circa Magazine ( issue 109 Autumn)

                    Off the Wall exhibition review of Cross gallery show, Sunday Tribune, Dublin ( 04 July)

                    Old Friends  FX Magazine (November issue)

                    Giving Art the Cold Shoulder by Nicole Swengley, How to Spend it, FT Magazine (November issue)

                    Lyric FM Ireland, interview from exhibition at Mayo General Hospital  (6 April)

                    Landscape Fossilised Exhibition at Mayo General Hospital , Connaught Telegraph (7 April)

                    Landscape Fossilised, Exhibition catalogue with essaye by Dr.Seamas Caulfield (March)

2003             Varvara Shavrova at Patrick Heide by Sue Hubbard, The Independent (21 Oct)

                    Anniversary Festivities at Ceide Fields, Western People (10 Sept)

2002             Women Who Draw, exhibition catalogue sponsored by Jigsaw

                    Jerwood Drawing Prize 2002, Exhibition catalogue

                    The Ticket , Exhibition reviews by Aidanne Dunne, The Irish Times, (9 Jan)

                    ‘Rattlebag’ RTE Irish radio interview from ‘Inscriptions’ exhibition with Brian Lally, (9 Jan)

                    Major new show at the Linenhall by Ian Wieczorek, Western People (2 Jan)

2001             Varvara Shavrova. Model Arts and Niland Gallery, Sligo by Ian Wieczorek, The Irish Times (30 Nov)

                    Out of the West by Lorna Siggins, The Irish Times (31 Dec)

                    Painting the Line, Artist’s Story by Varvara Shavrova, AN Magazine (July)

                    Pro I Kontra (For and Against), BBC Russian Service radio interview (10 July)

                    Inspirational Exhibition by Ian Griggs, Kingston Informer (05 July)

                    Indepth Arts News by, Birmingham (14 Apr)

                    Russian takes to the Hall, Evening Mail, Birmingham (12 Apr)

                    Exhibition finds a warm welcome, Birmingham Post (1 May)

                    Inscriptions:Painiting the Line, Surrey County Magazine (Feb)

                    Inscriptions…, Creative Futures, newsletter of Surrey Institute of Art & Design (5th edition, winter 2001)

                    Inscriptions:Painiting the Line by Eric Buesnell, newsletter of Surrey Institute of Art & Design (Feb)

2000             Russian-born artist with Tom Jones’ seal of approval, Farnham Herald (15 Dec)

                    Inscriptions: Painting the Line, Catalogue Essay by Reyahn King

                    Inscriptions and the Art of Not Forgetting, Catalogue Introduction by Varvara Shavrova

                    Inscriptions: Painting the Line, Catalogue Foreword by Charles Ryder and Jaqui Thomas

1999             Printmaking in the Potteries by Varvara Shavrova, Printmaking Today  (Vol 8 No1, Spring)

                    Breakfast News, BBC1, featuring  ‘The River’ Public Art commission (July 6)

1998             Why Painting  by Varvara Shavrova, Catalogue Essay for Passion Grace and Fire publication

                    Debut Exhibition at Blains Fine Art: Varvara Shavrova by Kate Pierrepont, B3 magazine (Summer)

                    Listed Londoner Interview  on Robert Elms show, Greater London Radio, BBC (Sept 21)

                    Argument , BBC Russian Service radio interview (Sept 22)

                    Critic’s Choice  by Zoe Williams, Hot Tickets, Evening Standard (Sept 22)

                    Showcase  by Ria Higgins, What’s On in London (Oct 7-14)

                    Critic’s Choice by Tim Lusher, Hot Tickets, Evening Standard (Oct 15)

                    Georgia on my  Mind  by Joe Warwick, Saturday Times (Sept 12)

                    Get a Life: Give it up by Sari Johnston, Evening Standard (Oct 26)

                    Printmaking Residency at The Potteries Museum by Varvara Shavrova, AN magazine  (Oct)

1996             Porthleven by Sue Hubbard, Catalogue Essay for Porthleven publication

                    Critic’s Choice by John McEwan, Sunday Telegraph  (Oct 20)

                    Critic’s Choice  by Nicholas Drake, Hot Tickets, Evening Standard (Oct 17)

                    Fast Forward, TNT  Magazine (Oct 7)

                    Briefs, The London Financial News (Oct)

                    Blood, Guts and Abstract Connotations  by William Packer, Financial Times  (Jan 9)

1995             Natural Forces by Iain Gale, The Independent (Dec 15)

                    Degrees of Importance by Rebecca Hicks, Art Review  (June )


Public collections include

Department of Foreign Affairs, Dublin , Ireland

The Embassy of Ireland, Beijing, China

Mayo General Hospital, Castlebar, Co.Mayo, Ireland

The Ballinglen Archive, Ballinglen Arts Foundation, Ballycastle, Co.Mayo, Ireland

Euston Tower, British Land and Mapeley, London

North Staffordshire NHS Trust Keele University, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire

Brewery Trust, Romford, Essex

Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw, The City of London

Ove Arup, London

Nucleus Designs, Thames Ditton, Surrey

Warnford General Hospital, Oxford

ICE Securities, London

Pocock & Co Advertising, London