Calm Before the Storm

Russian Orthodox Monk and Video artist, Jane Shkenina Portrays Access to Other Worlds

The music of strong winds, the river, and the wind blowing through trees, are all sounds that can induce deep thinking, allowing us to meditate on the things that really matter.

Russian creative, Jane Shkenina, combined these sounds with calming sights of the river, trees and clouds in her home of city of Nizhniy Novgorod, resulting in a potential moment of enlightenment for the watcher.

As a Russian Orthodox monk who also works as a video artist and part-time gardener, Jane has long been accustomed to feeling herself a part of the wider universe.

‘I have the experience of feeling and knowing about the presence of other, more subtle worlds,’ she told us. ‘My video art is a way to portray what I see and hear, to keep contact with these worlds, to travel there.’

Jane’s video art has seen her work with Nizhniy Novgorod Art gallery “Cosa-in-se”, and with Slava Polunin on two videos, including his famous SlavaSnowShow. She also made the accompanying clip for the composition “La Grande Dune” by Lemongrass.

We found out more about her work:

The Plus: As well as studying a range of courses in the past, you are also currently working as a landscape designer and video artist.
Jane Shkenina:
In a way my landscape design education helped me out. I started working part-time as a gardener. It would be too hard to describe the situation here, in Russia, Nizhniy Novgorod, but it’s a miracle I manage to survive and proceed with video art. I keep hoping that if I keep moving forward, one day I’ll have the chance to change the situation.

TP: What does ‘Through’ mean to you?
To me it’s a travel through parallel worlds. I’m obviously into fantasy, but it includes minimalism, close attention to very vivid, strikingly fascinating details: like the flickering reflection of bridge structures in water, vibrations, and the flailing of a basketball net in the wind. I think it’s a feeling familiar to everyone – when the heart aches with feeling the presence of another world nearby, when some sound or image sends you elsewhere.

TP: What do you hope the audience comes away with after watching?
Just the same things I felt when shooting the video, when shaping it into narration – an ability to travel, to follow a path through parallel worlds