Monday 20 April 2015

INTERVIEW | Nana Gogaberishvili :: Sculpture is about creating something that might last longer than you

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Tuesday the 21st of April 2015 - Nana Gogaberishvili is a young yet promising Georgian sculptor who came to Greece to work in the Greek Marble Initiative premises for sometime, independently to our symposiums, putting into marble some of her ideas for sculptures. Thus we met a very dynamic artist, which we present today. Nana Gogaberishvili, is a Graduate from the Tbilisi State Academy of Fine arts, specifically the Faculty of sculpture with a Master’s degree, studies she completed  in Tbilisi the years 2001-2007. In addition she has done three month drawing course at Bologna Academy of Fine arts, in Italy (2010), and has been working as an art manager in the art gallery "Vernissage" for 5 years; also, she has an active working experience of decoration manager, graphic designer, art teacher and illustrator painter for kid's book. She has shown her works at various group exhibitions (including “Sunbury Shores Arts and Nature Center”, Saint Andrews, Canada, 2014), Group Exhibition devoted to Marc Chagall 100 anniversary, representation of Jewish in Georgia house, 2007, Group Exhibition of Sculpture, exhibition hall of Tbilisi state academy of fine arts, 2006 etc.). Her artworks can be found in private collections at Saint John, Canada.  Palm Beach, USA. Edinburgh, Scotland. Bologna, Italy. Tbilisi, Georgia.

Interview & Text: Paris Kapralos
Field Photos:  Eleni Tzotzi

When did you realize you want to be an artist?
I used to paint in my childhood, as most children do. I was participating in several exhibitions organized for kids. I remember, once I draw my parents, and, my father, who is a sculptor, liked it so much, that he recommended me to choose a profession of an artist. All this influenced me to enter the academy of fine arts.

I have found out in your CV that you practically have sampled almost any kind of visual and applied arts. I read about graphic design, painting, sculpture -of course- but also curating exhibitions, decoration, and illustrating of books; have you concluded to focus in a single form of art or you rather continue in a more multi-facet approach?
I think the experience I gained while working in many visual or applied art, will help me in different stages of life in future. I consider sculpture and graphic design to be my main professions, where I am going to become more and more professional.

What is the material you are focusing on in sculpture? What properties of the material is that you appreciate most?
I would like to experiment in different material. This period I work on stone and I enjoy the language and the energy of this material.

People tend to think marble/stone sculpture as a rather hard work anyway, especially for a woman. Taking apart the obvious sexism in these views, does contemporary marble sculpture need a really excellent physical condition? Is it / can it be a dangerous practice?
It is considered as a rare profession for woman, but nowadays more and more women are becoming sculptors. When I entered the academy of fine arts, we were three girls in one group of sculpture and this quantity was like a new record for the academy. Our profession covers both intellectual and physical participation and it is no so easy, but nowadays we have many new tools and physical work is becoming not so hard. In old times sculptors used to work manually.

So, how do you actually work? You use preparatory drawings, draw directly onto the volume, something else, use models, something else?
I use to draw concepts for sculptures, but when I find a material, for example stone, the details sometimes change and I begin to adjust stone to my idea. Of course the main concept doesn't change.

What are the main concepts / contexts your art discusses/falls into? Does this context change in account to what media you are using?
The ideas are coming while working as well, it is interesting to improvise. Nowadays I am experimenting and I am gaining new and new ideas from my working process.

Do you think there are things to be gained by your contact with other artists? How about your experience in sculpture symposiums... 
I think that's the most intriguing part of being a contemporary sculptor in marble....
It is important and interesting to share art with the sculptors from the different countries. You get more information what is going on in the contemporary sculpture worldwide and even enjoy your colleagues company. It is great that international symposiums give you this opportunity.

Do you think the role of sculpture in public places is important?
Public art is a dialogue between public and art. I find the role of public sculpture quite important.

How familiar are the people of your country with sculpture? Do they welcome the contemporary forms of sculpture? What is the degree that the tradition of your country influences your work?
The contemporary sculpture in my country is developing step by step, slowly, because of the geopolitical problems. Most of Georgian contemporary sculptors work abroad. Regards to my art, I try to give new values and modern thinking to my work.

What would be your advice to a teenager who would tell you he/she wants to be a sculptor?
I would tell people interested to choose this profession, that the sculpture demands dedication and efforts, but it is a nice feeling, that you create something that it might last longer than you.

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