Veronica Smirnoff is a British artist of Russian origin. Her paintings evolve out of close and intimate study of pre-Renaissance art, from ancient topography to icon painting. The artist’s mystical narratives are inspired by Russo-Asian folklore and Eastern story-telling, her vast landscapes depicting unchartered territories haunted by often solitary female figures; gatekeepers, perhaps, or prophets.
Mixing pigments from ground semi-precious stones, wine and egg yolk, and painting on oak panels blessed in a Russian monastery, Smirnoff’s textured surfaces appear as ancient as the tales they depict. Water is instrumental to her method, the medium’s fluidity dictating a way of working flat on the studio floor. In this series of paintings, particular attention is paid to water’s nature as a medium and its potential as pictorial motif, illustrating the distance of oceans and the division of seas, and signifying transformation, purity and the source of life.