Gallery Artbeat hosting exploration of safe space and memory in works by artist Tamuna Chabashvili

  • Using textile material and varying elements ranging from alphabet letters to mapped networks, Chabashvili explores questions of layered memory and "alternative voice" outside conventional archives dealing with the past. Photo via Gallery Artbeat., 27 Sep 2021 - 15:58, Tbilisi,Georgia

Tbilisi's Gallery Artbeat space is hosting an exploration on the themes of safe space, traces of memory and displacement through works by artist Tamuna Chabashvili, with exhibits ranging from textile items to signs dealing with layered histories.

On show since earlier this month, the works by the contemporary artist function to present clues to personal origin points and create an immersion of "home away from home", as they deal with questions of conveying a story for its preservation form disappearance.

Titled Guda-nabadi, in a nod to the Georgian term for personal belongings that signify a departure from  home, the exhibition highlights works created during Chabashvili's residency at the Amsterdam-based AGA LAB artist-run studio, supported by the Dutch public Mondriaan Fund.

Taking the vulnerable position of a displaced person as her starting point, the artist’s work revolves around the idea of a ‘safe space’ in the form of a portable home

- Artbeat summary for the display

The display comes from the artist known for her practice in exploring archives and traces, showcased last year in Missing Monument, a digital exhibition dealing with experiences and feelings of people whose relatives and loved ones have gone missing.

Featured in the latest show, Chabashvili's works originally stem from the "void" of spaces that left open questions on both society and personal memory following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the artist told Indigo media platform.

In her summary for Guda-nabadi, the artist said the archive of works served to "fill this void", also noting her interest in providing space for "alternative or individual voice beyond the principal archives" dealing with the past.

Bringing together the concept with her long-term artistic project around cape texture - "connected to a certain status, home, or shelter [in its essence]" - Chabashvili has opted to use elements of textile, alphabet signs and "intersection" for the display.

These include a Soviet-era collar piece with varying styles of lace that represented a rare individualised element in school uniforms, blanket pieces bearing "mental maps", and letters on a textile piece, representing connection to the origin point of the womb.

Guda-nabadi runs parallel to the ongoing Oxygen Biennial, a contemporary art display by that brings together dozens of Georgian and foreign creatives for exhibitions, talks and educational events in Tbilisi.

The display of Chabashvili's works will be on show at Gallery Artbeat, located at 14 Pavle Ingorokva Street in Tbilisi, between Tuesday-Sunday through October 24.