Land of Colorful Birds, Disobeying Gravity

On September 1, at Art Palace (State Museum of Music, Film, Theater and Choreography), the solo exhibition of Mariam Kandiashvili titled ‘Bird Land’ was opened. The exposition showcases paintings, installations, drawings and illustrations that the author has painted since 2010.

Kandiashvili is a 24-year-old artist who received her education in Visual Art and Illustration Direction in England and The Netherlands. She has participated in numerous collaborative expositions in Georgia and overseas (Florence, Budapest and Amsterdam). She is also the author and illustrator of the English-language art-book ‘A Place for Us’, which was published in 2016.

Kandiashvili’s creative mediums are painting, drawing, illustration, installation, and text. The main topics of her creativity are interpretation of dreams and visions, illustrations of world mythology, literature and poetry, Christian mysticism, phantasmagorical worlds and characters, abandoned spaces, expressive portraits and the aesthetics of Rock & Roll culture.

“This is my third solo exhibition in Tbilisi,” she told GEORGIA TODAY. “The bulk of the scenes and characters I paint on canvas come from my dreams and visions. The topics of the transcendental world and Christian mysticism are very interesting for me and I always use them in my work. I dream a lot, so I always have something to paint,” she added. For her, this is a process of searching within herself. “I don’t yet know what I’m searching for. But one of the paths for me is to paint more and explore myself in this way,” she explains.

“The Georgian Art Palace, which counts 200 years, and the museum, which is around 80 years-old, is hosting a very young but extremely talented artist, Mariam Kandiashvili,” Art Palace director Giorgi Kalandia said. “She also participated in the commemorative exhibition of the 850th anniversary of Shota Rustaveli, organized by British Council and Georgian Art Palace. I first saw Mariam’s works in a small Tbilisi gallery and at once decided to invite her to the Palace. Her works show the world as perceived through the eyes of someone with great talent who deserves a special narrative.”

The narrative, in this case, is birds and eggs.

“The egg is an archaic symbol, important in alchemy, literature, various mythologies, religions and philosophical schools of thought,” Mariam says. “It symbolizes life reborn, regeneration, the beginning, creation of the universe, a container of space, the womb accommodating a divine embryo…Birds represent the soul. Feathered, singing creatures of heaven not obeying the same laws of nature as us. With mesmerizing graciousness, they disobey gravity, living their life on earth and in the sky and some can even live in water. Birds know what we cannot.”

She also remembers a number of philosophical lines: “‘The function of the wing is to take what is heavy and raise it up into region above where the gods dwell,’ Plato said. Wings are a subject of desire for mortal human beings. Decorated with colorful feathers, wings give us a possibility to fly, a chance to be free. Bird land is the land where no airplanes are needed. It’s the place of a million songs, and dances performed by birdlike humanoids who are desperately trying to fly,” Kandiashvili says to explain her exhibition.

“It is an indisputably interesting exhibition,” said Lelo Chichinadze, art critic, Head of the Exhibition Programs of Art Palace. “It is rare for someone Mariam’s age to have so many successful exhibitions to her credit. I would point out her series ‘Land of Sparrows’. I think that these works are one of the main facts of modern culture. They represent Mariam’s phantasmagorical and psychedelic works. Gray, blue and black colors prevail, leaving viewers with strong impressions”.

The exhibition ‘Bird Land’ will last for two weeks.

WHERE: Art Palace, Kargareteli Str. 6, Tbilisi

By Maka Lomadze


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07 September 2017 19:00