Biography

Born in a family of artists and educated in Moscow Polygraphic Institute, Varvara

Shavrova lived and worked in Moscow, London, Beijing and Dublin where she is
currently based. Shavrova is currently studying at Goldsmiths College MFA post-
graduate course.
Shavrova’s projects include over 20 solo exhibitions and curatorial projects in
London, Dublin, Los Angeles, Berlin, Frankfurt, Moscow, St. Petersburgh,
Shanghai and Beijing. Shavrova received a number of awards, including
Fellowship from Ballinglen Arts Foundation in Ireland, British Council Visual
Artist’s Award, Dublin City Council Visual Arts Award and Culture Ireland
Awards for individual artists.
Shavrova’s solo projects include ‘The Opera’, a multi-media six screen projected
installation commissioned by Espacio Cultural El Tanque, Santa Cruz de Tenerife,
Spain, in 2011. ‘The Opera’ explores complexities of life and work of traditional
Peking opera actors and gender fluidity associated with this art form, juxtaposed
with harsh reality of living in modern day China. 'The Opera' project was shown
at the Gallery of Photography Ireland, Limerick City Art Gallery, Ballina Arts
Centre, Pingyao International Photography Festival in China, in 2012. In 2014
'The Opera' was presented at the Venice Biennale of Architecture and at The
First Biennale of Photography and Video Art in Chongqing, China. ‘The Opera’
Three Transformations’ video installation was created specially for its premier at
MOMENTUM, a non-for profit platform for international video art based in
Berlin, during Galleries Weekend in May 2016, and toured to Temple Beijing,
supported by Culture Ireland.

Shavrova's multi-media project 'Borders' was exhibited as part of Galway
International Arts Festival 2015, and includes paintings and video works based
on her exploration of the theme of borders and territories between Russia and
China. ‘Borders’ video, drawing and photography installation was shown at
Moscow Museum of Modern Art (MMOMA), Museum of the History of St.
Petersburgh, RichMix London, and Morono Kiang Gallery in Los Angeles.
Shavrova continues to develop the theme of borders and migration in her
current works, and will be exhibiting at a number of prestigious international
platforms dedicated to examination of current worldwide situation in the human
rights, migration and borders issues.
Shavrova curated a number of international visual arts projects, including
‘Through the Lens: new media art from Ireland’, at Beijing Art Museum of
Imperial City (2008) and ‘Map Games: Dynamics of Change’, international art and
architecture project curated in collaboration with Feng Boyi and studio OffiCina
and exhibited at Today Art Museum in Beijing, touring to Birmingham Museums
and Art Gallery in UK and to CAOS Centre for Contemporary Arts in Terni, Italy
(2008-2009). In 2015 Shavrova curated exhibition of the selected objects from
the archive of the former President of Ireland Mary Robinson.
Shavrova is represented by Patrick Heide Contemporary Art and she is currently
studying for her MFA degree in Fine Art at the Goldsmiths College, University of
London.. Shavrova’s works are in a number of prestigious contemporary art
collections, including Museum of the History of St. Petersburg, Russia; Ballinglen
Arts Foundation, Ireland; Department of Foreign Affairs, Ireland; Minsheng Art
Museum, Beijing/ Shanghai; MOMENTUM Collection, Berlin. Forthcoming shows
in 2017-2018 include Mapping Fates project at the Lenin’s apartment museum in
St. Petersburg, Russia, participation in the ‘Mursara Mix’ international video art
festival in Jerusalem and curatorial project and an exhibition on the theme of
migration and borders at the York City Museum in the U.K.
www.varvarashavrova.com

Portrait by Marion Galt

Education and Teaching Experience 

EDUCATION
1985-90 Studied paintIng and drawing with Dmitrii Leon and at Moscow Polygraphic Institute
2004-05 Public Art & Design NVQ, Freeform Arts Trust, London
2016-2019 MFA (Fine Art) Goldsmiths College, University of London

TEACHING EXPERIENCE
1999-2005 Lecturer in Fine Art, Heatherleyts School of Fine Art, London
2000-2005 Visiting Lecturer, undergraduate and postgraduate fine art courses, Leeds University, University of Surrey, Kingston University, Tsing Hua university, Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) and Renmin Beijing Normal University, National College of Art & Design, Dublin (NCAD).

Awards & fellowships


2015-16 Culture Ireland Award for ‘Opera’ project at MOMENTUM Berlin
2015 MART project space collaborative residency
2014 Culture Ireland Award, ‘Opera’ installation at Arsenale, Venice Biennale of Architecture, Italy
2013 Visual Arts Award, Dublin City Council, Irish Chinese Stories, Ireland/ China
Culture Ireland Award, New Irish Landscapes group exhibition, Three Shadows Photography Arts Centre, 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 and archaeology project, Dartmoor National Park, Devon
2002-2003 Grant to Individual Artists, London Visual Arts Fund, London Arts
1999-2004 Ballinglen Arts Foundation Fellowship Awards, Ballycastle, Co.Mayo
2000 Cill Rialaig 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

2017 Reflections on Haw Lantern, site-specific installation at Seamus Heaney birth place, HomePlace, Bellaghy, N.Ireland
2016 The Opera, MOMENTUM Berlin and Temple Beijing Cultural Centre, Beijing, China
2015 Borders new works, Galway International Arts Festival, Galway, Ireland
Miniature Suicides new works, Fotonoviembre 2015 Photography Festival, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
2014 The Opera, Patrick Heide Contemporary Art, London
Windows on Dublin and Beijing, Open House Dublin in collaboration with Broadstone studios, Dublin
2013 Windows on the Hutong, La Camara Gallery, Fotonoviembre 2013 Photography Festival, StaCruz de Tenerife, Spain
2012 The Opera, Gallery of Photography Ireland and 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 & site specific installation, Espacio Cultural El Tanque, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
2011 Windows on the Hutong, Patrick Heide Contemporary Art, London
2010 Windows on the Hutong, Gallery 49 presented by Pekin Fine Arts, Beijing, China
2009 Untouched, Galway International 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
Untouched projections, Gallery of Photography Ireland, Temple Bar, Dublin
2008 Borders, Patrick Heide Art Projects London & Galerie Morgen, 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,Shaanxi Province, China
2006 Interferences OffiCina Studio, Factory 798, 3rd Dashanzi International Art Festival, Beijing, China & Dartmoor Gallery, High Moorland Visitors Centre, Princetown, Dartmoor National Park, Devon, England
2005 New Arrivals-Two Dimensions (with Ben McMillan) Centre for European Art in China, Cao Chang Di East End Art Zone, Beijing, China
2003-2006 Landscape Fossilised: From Ballycastle to Beijing National Day Reception, Embassy of Ireland, Beijing
Patrick Heide Art Projects, London; Mayo General Hospital, Castlebar, and Ceide Fields Visitors Centre, Ballycastle Co.Mayo; Cross Gallery, Dublin; Patrick Heide Art Projects, Frankfurt
2003 Mapping an Island (with Nicola Rae), Patrick Heide Art Projects, London
2002-2003 Sound of Colour (with Alyson Brien), Dean Clough Galleries, Halifax, Yorkshire
2002 Inscriptions and other works InsideSpace gallery, London
Inscriptions: Painting The Line Touring Exhibition in UK & Ireland, curated by Reyahn King:
James Hockey Gallery, Surrey Institute of Art & Design, Farnham; Aston Hall, Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery;
Stanley Picker Gallery, Kingston University, Kingston-upon-Thames; Model Arts and Niland Gallery, Sligo; Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar, County Mayo; Ballinglen Arts Foundation, Ballycastle, County Mayo, Ireland

Selected group exhibitions

2018 The Sea is the Limit, group exhibition by international visual artists, York Museum, York, UK
Conspiracy of the Real. Artistic Perspectives in a Post-Truth Climate , one day event, Tenderpixel, London
2017 New tapestry works at Patrick Heide Contemporary Art, Art Basel Miami Beach, Florida, USA
10 Years, anniversary group exhibition of gallery artists, Patrick Heide Contemporary Art, London
Mapping Fates installation at Lenin’s apartment, St.Petersburg, Facts and Fictions ProArte 14th Festival of contemporary art in traditional museum curated by Katryn Becker, NBK Berlin
Deptford X festival, Goldsmiths MFA studios, Deptford, London
Claremorris Gallery at the VUE art fair, Royal Hybernian Academy, Dublin
MursaraMix video art festival, Jerusalem
2016-2017 The Sea is the Limit, group exhibition on migrant crisis, Patrick Heide Contemporary Art, London
2015 UnFold exhibition curated by Peter Prendergast, MART projects space, Dublin, Ireland
2015 The Opera installation at Inaugural Chinjiang Chongqing Biennale of Photography and Video Art, Chinjiang Contemporary Art Museum, Chongqing, China
2014 The Opera installation at ‘Across Chinese Cities: Beijing’ collateral project exhibition, Arsenale, Venice Biennale of Architecture curated by Rem Koolhaas
Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London
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, Limeric City Gallery of Art, Limerick, Ireland
2011 The Opera screened at THE LEAP/Shanghai Contemporary Video Program, curated by Phillip Tinari, Shanghai
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 Feng Boyi, 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, 3rd Dashanzi International Arts Festival, Factory 798, Beijing

Curatorial projects

2018 The Sea is the Limit (Guest Curator), group show on migration, borders and refugee crisis, York Museum, York, UK, in collaboration with Patrick Heide Contemporary Art, London
2014 Giving Voice, (Invited Curator), exhibition of Mary Robinson’s archive, the Ballina Library, Mary Robinson Foundation, Ballina, County Mayo, Ireland
2008 Through the Lens: new media art from Ireland, (Exhibition Curator), Irish Arts and Culture Festival, Beijing Art Museum of Imperial City, Beijing, China
2005-2009 Map Games: Dynamics of Change, (Exhibition Curator), multi-media visual art and architecture project involving 24 Chinese and international artists and architects, co-curated with Feng Boyi, 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

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

Selected Bibliography and Publications

2018 10 Years, anniversary publication, Patrick Heide Contemporary Art, London
Art of Exodus, feature by Yvette Huddleston, the Yorkshire Post Magazine (July 14)
The Sea is the Limit interview for That’s TV York (July 20)
The Sea is the Limit exhibition reviewed in The Independent, The Big Issue, Aesthetica Magazine, Platforma, Refugee Week, The Church Times, Fairtrade Week, ArtRabbit, ArtFund, The Yorkie, York Press, York Mix (May-June)
2016 Beijing Radio interview from the ‘Opera’ exhibition in Temple Beijing, China
Russian Radio
2015 ‘Border Strangeness and a Fraught Relationships’ by Aidan Dunne, review of ‘Borders’ exhibition at Galway International Arts Festival 2015 (July 22)
Interview from the ‘Borders’ exhibition, Galway Matters, IrishTV (July)
‘Borders’ exhibition review by Gemma Tipton, ArtForum (July)
Exhibition Caltalogue, Inaugural Chinjiang Chongqing Biennale of Photography and Video Art, Chinjiang Contemporary Art Museum, Chongqing, China
2014 ‘Across Chinese Cities’ exhibition catalogue , and Venice Biennale of Architecture 2014 official Biennale catalogue
Summer Exhibition 2014, exhibition catalogue, Royal Academy of Arts, London
Russian London: Summer Exhibition 2014 at the Royal Academy of Arts, London
Interview from the live poetry performance ‘Digging’ in Beijing for ITAR-TASS, Russian news channel network (March 12)
2013 ‘New Irish Landscapes’ at Three Shadows Photography Arts Centre, Arts & Culture Review, Beijing, China (March 20)
Fotonoviembre 2013, exhibition catalogue, International Biennale of Photography, Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Nov)
‘Look into the Windows’: Varvara Shavrova at Fotonoviembre 2013, exhibition review by Anastasia Aralova, art section, ‘Icarus’ magazine for the Russian diaspora in Tenerife (Nov)
2012 ‘The Opera’ exhibition at the Gallery of Photography Dublin, review by Gemma Tipton, Arts Review (Feb)
2011 ‘The Opera’ installation at 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
‘Varvara Shavrova at Morono Kiang Gallery’ review by Leah Ollman, Los Angeles Times (February 5)
Short List: LA’s Gallery Shuffle by Jeannine A. Denholm, 944.com 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’ photobook 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); ‘Tales of the City’ Interview for Beijing Radio 774
2007 Varvara Shavrova ‘Borders’, Time Out St.Petresburg, exhibition review (May 18-31)
Varvara Shavrova ‘Borders’, newspaper catalogue, published by Agey Tomesh, Moscow, Russia