Art projects

    Mixed media contemporary art projects Experimental researches

    Life of Icarus

    Restaurants du Cœur

    From 2012 to 2014, I volunteered at an organization named Restaurants du Cœur, which literally means Heartedly Restaurant. It is a French charity network for homeless and underprivileged people. I worked once a week distributing hot food on the street. At the same time, I worked on a creative project: at the end of the service, I drew portraits of two or three homeless people and started a conversation. At home, I recorded our discussion and finished the portrait. I made a copy and gave it to the model as a gift. The result was a series of 50 graphic portraits and a scribbled notebook of interviews.

    Saint-Petersburg - Paris: Wall's Memory, Streets' Memory

    This series of artworks is a part of an art project by Alena Vasilyeva (St. Petersburg) and Olga Kataeva-Rochford (Paris). It explores the literary links formed from the 18th to the 20th century between two cities: Paris and St. Petersburg. The graphic series takes the viewer on a poetic journey through images of Paris immortalized in the works of Russian writers, set in dialogue with those of St Petersburg, in the works of French authors. The project is conceived as a comparative approach. It allows us to question the different relationships of Franco-Russian travel writers with the foreign urban environment they discover and explore. This environment becomes the milieu and the medium of their creation. Each artwork of the graphic series focuses on one of these journeys, whose context varies from brief official visits to forced displacements that lasted for a lifetime. The montage process chosen by the artists creates a polyphony of testimonies, attesting to a great stylistic variety of images of the two cities represented by the travelling authors. In French literature, St. Petersburg appears above all in travel journals, as well as in periodicals, memoirs, epistolary exchanges, and literary works by Aubry de La Mottraye, Denis Diderot, Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun, Astolphe de Custine, Honoré de Balzac, Théophile Gautier, Alexandre Dumas père, Henri Barbusse, Georges Duhamel, André Gide, Claude Simon, etc. In the works of Russian authors, the image of Paris changes according to the different points of view. From the "outside" point of view of the enlightened travellers of the 18th and 19th centuries, we move on to the "inside" view described in the memoirs and other literary works of 20th-century writers whose destinies were closely related to France. Among them: Ivan Bunin, Akhmatova, Marina Tsvetaieva, Zinaïda Hippius and Dimitri Merejkovski, Constantin Balmont, Ivan Chmeliov, Gaïto Gazdanov… From these representative texts of Petersburg and Parisian literary reflection of the 18th-20th century, we revealed the image of the urban environment preserving the memory of the creative and personal paths of Russian and French authors. These journeys are more than migrations in geographical space-time. They also represent a process of inner transformation and artistic research. The descriptions of St. Petersburg by French writers present the city in the solemn guise of its "cult" places and the great court festivals. In contrast to this image of a brilliant capital, Paris revealed its genius loci through the works of exiled Russian writers of the 20th century. The subject of these artworks consists as well of the architectural elements that marked the travellers in each of the two cities, as of the specific places of their stays (houses, hotels), or of the characteristic urban elements that played an essential role in the artistic creation. The differences in historical context and personalities between the writers, as well as between the protagonists of their stories, have led to a stylistic variety in the graphic works offered. Viewed as a whole, they form a true urban narrative, punctuated by tenuous historical-literary links between the two countries. The collage technique plays an expressive role in its own right. Firstly, it expresses the feeling of being "homeless", of the precariousness and inconstancy of a life in exile, of the loss of reference points and the attempts to rebuild them. Secondly, the very material of these montages evokes literary creation in the difficult conditions of exile. So, the backgrounds of the artworks consist of collages from cuttings from the Russian emigrants' press and from materials found in the notebooks of writers or drawers. A reconstruction of a fragile universe glued together with scraps of paper as bits of life of these pinned writers expressing their literary creation.



    Works on paper Olga Kataeva-Rochford Dry techniques: pencil, charcoal, sepia, soft pastel, oil pastel Ink

    Maritime Drawings

    Skol Ar Mor

    French wooden boatbuilding school

    Monumental painting

    Wall art, frescoes, decorative projects


    Artworks on canvas, panel and paper by Olga Kataeva-Rochford Tempera, acrylic, gouache, collage, mixed media

    Jade Dreams

    Symbolic and philosophical paintings by Olga Kataeva-Rochford, inspired by Asian culture: China, Japan Magic realism

    Marine Art

    The theme of boats and navigation is closely linked to the artist's family history. Many of his relatives and close friends are seafarers. Some of them have sailed for many years on the waves of the whole world, and in particular in the Arctic zone, from Greenland to Canada, in the footsteps of one of their great-grandfathers, one of the last Newfoundlanders of the first half of the 20th century. Their world is one of inner freedom, responsibility and discipline, mutual aid, respect and immense love for life. For Olga Kataeva-Rochford, the theme of the seas is related to the age-old dream of exploring infinite space, where the boat is a home, a floating cathedral, a constructive human will, infinitely courageous in the face of the immense elements.

    Bisquine Granvillaise

    A study from a series inspired by the legendary bisquine La Granvillaise celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2020. A tribute to this beautiful sailboat but also the historical naval heritage of France. Working on this theme gives me a lot of emotions because it is in Granville that the story of my French family began. La Granvillaise was built in 1990 in Granville as a replica of the bisquine La Rose Marie (1897). In the 19th century, this kind of ship was characteristic of the region of Mont Saint-Michel, located between Saint-Malo and Granville in France. There I have focused on studying the relationships between the colours of the sea, the sky and the sails. It's impressive how the colours change at different times of the day, like in a kaleidoscope!

    French Ships

    Maritime paintings

    Frigate Shtandart

    A series dedicated to the frigate Shtandart, a replica of Peter the Great's admiral ship (1703) built by Vladimir Martus with a group of volunteers in 1994 - 1999 in Saint-Petersburg, the artist's home town.


    Small Seascapes

    Seascapes created during artist's journeys

    Maritime Dreams

    Symbolic and philosophical paintings by Olga Kataeva-Rochford, inspired by sea, sailors and boats

    Russian Dreams

    Artworks on canvas, panel and paper by Olga Kataeva-Rochford, inspired by folk culture, mythology and tales


    Artworks on canvas, panel and paper by Olga Kataeva-Rochford, inspired by folk culture, mythology, tales and nature

    Still Life

    Travel journal

    Paintings created during artist’s journeys








    Graphic art, engraving, etching, reproductions on fine art paper