Zheni came to England in her early 20s and studied
Fine Art Painting at Norwich School of Art. She exhibited
continuously at Elm Hill Contemporary Art in Norwich 1998-2005.
From the late 1990s Zheni's paintings were inspired by poetry: the sweeping imagery
and haunting visions of Dante’s Divine Comedy; Seamus Heaney’s translation
of ‘Beowulf’ and more recently by poems of John Keats, T S Eliot,
Byron and W B Yeats.
Her painting is not a literal
interpretation but a general response to the poem as
The works are mixed media on canvas and
on board, and her richly coloured and glazed surfaces
have been described by a French critic as having “...the
colours of Rubens and the rhythms of Bartok”. For
others they are ‘a concerto in colour’ and ‘deliquescent jewels’.