Land and Sea – New exhibition

Varvara Shavrova 'Land & Sea' exhibition teaser from Varvara Shavrova on Vimeo.

‘The Land and Sea’ series of graphite drawings was created during the Summer months in 2009 when Shavrova was still living in Beijing and was spending three months living and working in her Ballycastle studio in Kilbride. Looking over the West Atlantic coastline from her studio window, Shavrova noticed that the dynamic changes of the light typically associated with this landscape and often attracting artists was largely dependent on the rapid movements of weather fronts coming from the ocean. ‘The Land and Sea’ series of drawings intends on capturing this dynamic power contained within the cloud formations that often resemble more solid matter in the landscape, namely the mountains and the sea. In fact, in her drawings the power structure is complexly usurped by the clouds that take the centre stage in Shavrova’s works, thus subtly undermining the title that features land and sea, but not the actual key elements, the wind and the clouds. Accompanied by a sound piece that Shavrova created more recently, during the past couple of working periods in her Ballycastle studio, Shavrova’s installation creates an atmospheric portrait of this unique landscape at the farthest edge of Western Europe.

Originally from Moscow, Shavrova first came to Ballycastle as a Fellow of Ballinglen Arts Foundation in 1999, and since then was a Returning Fellow in 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003. In 2003 Shavrova acquired a derelict cottage in Kilbride, that was restored, and a separate studio building was built ion site, where Shavrova started working in early 2004. Over the years Shavrova created a number of landmark projects that engage with North Mayo landscape and history include ‘Inscriptions: Painting the Line’, exhibition of paintings and drawings from North Mayo at Stanley Picker Gallery, Kingston University, and touring to James Hockey Gallery,  University of Surrey, UK; Model Arts Centre Sligo, Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar and Courthouse Gallery, Ballinglen Arts Foundation (2000-2001); ‘Landscape Fossilised’, exhibition of vitreous enamels, drawings and paintings at Patrick Heide Art Projects, London and touring to Mayo General Hospital and Ceide Fields Visitor Centre (2004). Shavrova’s internationally acclaimed multi-media project ‘Untouched’ (2006-2009) includes photography installation, book publication and a documentary film looking at unlikely connections between rural communities in Ballycastle and in Old Beijing; the project was supported by Culture Ireland and exhibited at the Beijing Museum of Imperial City as part of the First Festival of Irish Culture in Beijing held during Beijing 2008 Olympics, at the St.Patrick’s Culture and Arts Festival in Shanghai, toured to City Museum and Art Gallery in Galway during Galway Arts Festival in 2009, and to Ballina Arts Centre in 2012. Shavrova was invited to curate the exhibition of Mary Robinson’s Archive in Ballina Library in 2015. Shavrova lives and works in Dublin, London and Ballycastle, and is currently studying for her MFA postgraduate degree at Goldsmiths College London.

The ‘Land and Sea’ exhibition is the premier of this series, and is the first return of Shavrova’s work to Ballinglen Courthouse Gallery since 2001.