Portrait by Marion Galt


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.

Portrait by Marion Galt

Education and Teaching Experience 



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

2005-2010 Lives and works in Beijing, China

2010- present Lives and works in Dublin and London




1999-2005 Lecturer in Fine Art, Heatherleyts School of Fine Art, London

2000-present 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 forOpera’ 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

    1. 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

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

Claremorris Gallery at the VUE art fair, Royal Hybernian Academy, Dublin

2017 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 ‘Opera’ installation at Inaugural Chinjiang Chongqing Biennale of Photography and Video Art, Chinjiang Contemporary Art Museum, Chongqing, China

2014 ‘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

2018 HomoSovieticus, (Co-curator), group exhibition of artists with Post-Soviet heritage, Goldsmiths college, London

2014 Giving Voice, (Invited Curator) of Mary Robinson’s archive exhibition at the Ballina Library, Former President 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