The FINANCIAL -- International print festival “Life-N-Style” is being held in Georgia for the third time. The purpose of the festival is to promote the development of one of the most unique and ancient directions of modern visual arts – handmade printing (which includes Silk screen print, chilography, etching, lithography, and engraving), and bringing commercial value to it.
The festival opened on 8 August in Tusheti and successfully ran a workshop as the first part of the project. “Do or do not” is the slogan of this year’s festival which has brought together over 100 prominent Georgian and foreign artists of different generations.
Within the framework of the first part of the festival, artists, performers, designers and photographers listened to old Tushetian legends from Eter Tataraidze, the Georgian folklorist and poet. Participants inspired by the mythical characters of the legends will create works based on them which will later be printed on textiles and exhibited at the festival’s final event. Participating Georgian artists include: Irakli Dzneladze; Zaira Nadirashvili; Vakhtang Megrelishvili; Toko Mzarelua; Romanizi; Uta Bekaia; Mari Ataneli; Dato Koridze; and Teo Gardapkhadze, amongst others.
According to Nana Kirmelashvili, Director of the Life-N-Style festival, handmade printing is one of the leading directions in the art and creative businesses industry on the global market. The development of digital technology has replaced this ancient technology, but nowadays handmade print art is very fashionable and tradable.
“Handmade Printing has a unique technique which makes it possible to create several (10-12) copies of a particular work, and for all of them to be original. This is precisely the attraction of this technology, which thus ensures its mass distribution and availability,” Kirmelashvili told The FINANCIAL.
The second part of the festival will take place in Batumi from 22 August. Over the next 10 days visitors will have the opportunity to discover Georgian as well as foreign collections, enrich their knowledge of fine prints, and buy their favourite works at affordable prices.
“Our goal is to showcase to modern society the full range of handmade printing capabilities in the direction of synthesis with different media. We are presenting printing technology to society as video art, photography, installation, and performance – all in the form of contemporary art,” Kirmelashvili said.
The festival is sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports of Adjara, Ministry of Culture of Georgia and TBC Bank.
The FINANCIAL is a general media partner of the Life-N-Style festival.
Kirmelashvili has been working on this project for a couple of years. Accordingly, she sees a bright future for this direction of art in Georgia. Whereas 3 years ago handmade printing had been all but abandoned in Georgia, year after year since then the numbers of interested artists have been growing rapidly. In the nearest future Kirmelashvili plans to found ‘Print House’, where visitors will be able to study, create, commission, or buy their favourite works of handmade art.
“Next year I’m planning to invite handmade printmaking artists from different countries to share their experience and achievements with talented Georgian artists,” she said.
Next year Kirmelashvili also plans to participate in the Print Biennial 2019 in China.
“Our collection gives us the opportunity to acquire an international level of merit no less appreciated and valued than other participant countries,” she said.
The participants are from different countries: Armenia; Azerbaijan; Turkey; Russia; Lebanon; Canada; Israel; Spain and Switzerland. Well-known curators from Georgia and different countries are invited to work for the festival: Vakhtang Megrelishvilli, Tamaz Varvaridze, Tandila Tavartkiladze, Marina Yeremyan, Jimena Flores, Denizhan Ozer.
The final event of the Print Festival will be launched in Tbilisi mid-October at a grandiose event where the most talented artist will be awarded a special prize.