Georgian Dark - Stories of Masculine Georgian Women Told through Bold Gothic Artworks


The ironic-Gothic series of ‘Georgian Dark’ represents a conceptual series of drawings done in the Gothic style, showing Georgian women from a new perspective. The images tell stories of Georgian women yet can be applied to women worldwide and perceived globally. These stories include everything but prove nothing. The fascinating and impressive graphic artworks drawn with ink on vellum might be coined as conceptual vintage, incorporating elegant aesthetic and minimalism with deep meaning and subtle hints, marked by monumentality yet recognizing the delicacy of the figure.

The long-awaited exhibition named ‘Georgian Dark’ by Georgian artist Tina Tskhadadze, was hosted by Dedicace Gallery in a historic part of the capital. “I can say this is the turning point in my career. I was creating works of fine art and now through my new project I came up with a fundamentally different type of artwork,” the artist says.

Indeed, the paintings are equally marvelous, weird, psychological and spiritual, urging one to think out of the box and encouraging women to take risks, fight till the end and try new things that they have not done before.

Aside from the recent Tbilisi exhibition, the artist counts a number of exhibitions, both in Georgia and beyond, in the UK, Germany, Iran, Ukraine and others. Her artworks have been sold in many countries and are kept in private collections.

GEORGIA TODAY was taken on a personal tour of the Tbilisi exhibition by the artist herself.

“I worked two years on this project. It started when I was having a hard time and began to look at my thoughts more deeply. As a result of self-exploration and recalling my past, I created the first sketch of Georgian Dark that eventually expanded into a series of Georgian women clad in traditional clothes and national headdresses, ‘chikhtikopi,’ engaged in various activities that as a rule are typical to men,” Tskhadadze told us.

The artist also teaches at the Tbilisi Academy of Arts has gained a lot of attention with her latest series, seeing both local and international interest and buyers. Women clad in traditional Georgian clothing play polo, go fishing, smoke cigarettes, dance Khorumi (the national war dance); some play chess or hunt. Why can’t women do these things? Why can’t they make wine or play the drums? And if women were given the chance to do these things…or maybe they did but we didn’t know? The artist poses such questions through her works. “All these abstract stories are just another reason to show the special character of Georgian women.”

“These images incorporate many things: the faces of my ancestors, grandma, mother, friends and strangers I met on the street and whose appearance and characteristics affected me, even some scenes from old Georgians movies. I tried to artistically generalize this data in my artworks. The drawings are eclectic, since they carry different conditional stories and at the same time incorporate contemporary elements. I played a lot with my imagination and used such themes as Medea, witchery, masculine functions, Georgian aristocracy, glamor, arrogance: I merged Georgian traditions with modern elements in a way not done before. They are tangible and simultaneously abstract. That’s why I think these drawings are ephemeral. The paintings are full of signs, so they can be read and perceived in many ways. It is difficult to catch one concrete idea in the drawings,” Tina explains.

Tina’s artworks are unusual, sophisticated and simultaneously extremely modern. When looking at her artworks, you see that these are the women who haven’t chosen a peaceful path, but instead an adventurous and challenging one. These women are courageous and daring, with strong personalities.

The author says the project unites what lies in the depths of our unconscious mind.

“I aim to transfer those experiences, feelings and discoveries that I have made in an aesthetic and sophisticated way. I like to express deep, dramatic narrative through gentle forms. I decided to portray strong women with aesthetic minimalism who combine masculine functions and features on a transparent paper, vellum, to give more lightness,” the artist noted, adding that the drawings, perhaps to some extent, subconsciously reflect the faint melancholy of the unrealized energy of women.

“I’m planning to expand this series and incorporate design elements like art deco, in the Georgian context. But I don’t want to lose the concept of the project. I also plan to create portraits of men in the future. These will be solely androgenic portraits on large canvases. Like the paintings of women with masculine features, with the men I want to play with the gender theme and show hidden traits of their personalities.”

Tina Tskhadadze’s next exhibition will be in October.


Image: “Akido” by Tina Tskhadadze

13 June 2019 18:44