3 June – 9 July, 2023

Luminous Echoes
Nato Sirbiladze

Artbeat presents ‘Luminous Echoes’, Nato Sirbiladze’s firs solo exhibition at the gallery.

The exhibition showcases a combination of works by Georgian, self-taught artist created during different periods starting from 1980s to the present day.

The artist’s multi-layered works are rich with sacred motifs, phantasmagorical signs and collective memory. The exhibited pieces evoke an imaginary portal to a transitory, liminal space, where the boundaries between profane and the sacred, between reality and imagination dissolve. Nato Sirbiladze’s creative process involves a relationship with the ‘other’, the other self that embodies both memory and serves as a catalyst for change. Sirbiladze exhibits a strong identification with various authors, translating the original artist’s images into her own artistic codes.

The artist skillfully constructs enigmatic and captivating worlds within her works. Through the introduction of dreamlike illusions, she intricately blurs the boundaries of time and space, challenging the viewer’s perception. Marine and urban landscapes frequently serve as motifs in her works. Delicate and ethereal expressions of the female form can be observed in settings like Paliastom Lake or the Mediterranean coast, where they radiate the effects of sunlight and the light blue hues. Furthermore, the artist adeptly integrates surrounding landscapes into her artistic forms, creating a dynamic fusion between the human figure and the environment.

One of the main features of Nato Sirbiladze’s work is the exploration of identity as cultural information and the subsequent infusion of vitality into this information. Sirbiladze’s works embody memories within their intricate details, drawing inspiration from various sources such as Georgian painting traditions, medieval wall painting, and the legacy of Niko Pirosmani. Through a visual-linguistic game, the artist skillfully transforms hidden coded information into a luminous matrix.

Pirosmani’s painting has become an influential symbol for Sirbiladze, as it actively involves us as participants in a secret ritual game, drawing us closer to a profound and meaningful existence.

The exhibition space has been transformed to incorporate black and white colors, found in various details, which evoke the legacy of Pirosmani. This color scheme is an essential element in structuring the exhibition space, as it combines the dual principle of white (light) and black (dark) reflection. The black wall that penetrates the space on a symbolic level mirrors the infinite black background, symbolizing eternity from which light emanates. Sirbiladze’s work appears to be consistently infused with the ritualistic nature of the “black color,” which finds a significant presence in Pirosmani’s paintings. In the depths of the night, we can perceive the presence of the sun and light in the sense of the Areopagite, where darkness is the result of an overwhelming abundance of light emanating from the divine source.

Nato Sirbiladze (b. 1955) was born in Tbilisi, Georgia and after finishing school she continued to study in the Pedagogic Institute to become a teacher. In different periods she worked at the National Library, at the Institute of Management and as a school teacher. Sirbiladze never studied art and started painting at the age of 31. Her artworks are made on paper and several hundreds of them are painted in gouache and aquarelle. Sirbiladze is an artist who has never been part of any artistic schools or groups. She has also rarely been mentioned in the narratives of the local artistic context and has continued her creative path independently. Until recently her representation in public spaces has been limited to a few occasions locally and abroad.

selected solo and group exhibitions:
2022 – ARCO Lisboa 2022 Art Fair, Lisbon, Portugal; ‘Ancient Memory Pictures’, solo exhibition, Georgian Museum of Fine Arts, Tbilisi, Georgia; 2020 – ‘Nine Lipped Goddess’, group exhibition, Artbeat, Tbilisi, Georgia; 2015 – Project of Maya Ghogheliani ‘Days with Me’; 2014-2015 – group exhibition, Folk Center; 2013 – The Literature Museum; 2000-2007 – National Library of Parliament of Georgia; 1995-2004 – Gallery Graph Haidelberg.

Text by Ana Jorjiashvili

Opening: 3 June, 16:00-19:00