The arts are crucial to the culture and society of today’s world. Nowadays, more than ever, strong and successful women excel in the arts - from fashion, to jewelry, to film, to art design. We’ll talk about a few of the most popular and influential women creatives here today.
Elsa Pereti is most known for her jewelry design collaboration with Tiffany and Co. Prior to designing jewelry, Elsa was an interior designer, architect, and model. Her partnership with Tiffany and Co. started in 1971 on this very day.
Chloe Zhao is a Chinese filmmaker, known for her work on independent American films. Chloe earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science before studying film production at NYU Tisch School of the Arts. She is the first Asian female director to win “Best Director” at the 2020 Golden Globes for her film Nomadland. She is currently directing the upcoming Marvel cinematic universe movie Eternals.
Ingrid Mwangi, also known as Mwangi Hutter with her husband, is an artist that focuses her work on climate change. Born to a Kenyan father and a German mother, Ingrid has lived in both Germany and Africa, thus incorporating both cultures into her work. She uses art to explore the intersection between humankind and nature, drawing awareness to the world around us and how we are all interconnected.
Judy Chicago attended the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of California, Los Angeles in the US. Starting out with minimalism work, she then started focusing on feminist content in the 1960s. She saw the need for female artists in the field and was inspired to do her part. In 1970, She created the first Feminist Art Program at California State University, Fresno. The following year, she co-founded the Feminist Art Program at California Institute of the Arts: Valencia, with artist Miriam Schapiro. Judy uses her art to explore the role of women throughout culture and history. She is most known for “The Dinner Party” installation, where 39 female figures throughout history, from goddesses of the Roman Empire to women in American History such as Susan B. Anthony, were given a seat and dinner setting at a triangular table. “The Dinner Party” was aimed to "end the ongoing cycle of omission in which women were written out of the historical record.”
As you can see, women in this current day and age are highly successful and have made their place in leadership and influential roles in the arts, as well as empowering one another to grow and learn.
(Wikipedia): The Ikorta church of the Archangel, commonly known as Ikorta (იკორთა) is a 12th-century Georgian Orthodox church located at the outskirts of the village Ikort’a in Shida Kartli region of eastern Georgia. The church was originally a part of Ikorta castle, from which only the citadel and the church remain.
The Ikorta temple is currently located in territory occupied by Russia.
The leaders of the Kakhetian uprising of 1659, Bidzina Cholokashvili, Elizbar and Shalva Eristavi, are buried in the Ikorta Cathedral. They were tortured to death in Iran, and several years later, their remains were secretly transported to the temple of Ikorta.
According to sitting archimandrite Vakhushti Bagrationi, “This is with a window of Mount Orbodzli, inside the mountain slope of Ikorta, the monastery is large, domed, well built, a good place." In the early 19th century, after Georgia joined Russia, many monasteries were abolished. In 1811, the Ikorta monastery also became an ordinary village church. There had to be a refectory, a priest's residence, monks' quarters, ancillary buildings, a fence and much more around the church for monasteries built in the 12th century; unfortunately, even traces of these buildings are nowhere to be seen.
At present, only the ruins of later buildings remain around the monument. As follows from historical sources, the monastery belonged to the Xan Eristavs from the late centuries. They even turned it into a stronghold. Around the church there is a fence with rectangular towers in the eastern corners. To the west, on a hill, there was a rather complex citadel. Nothing remains of the fence, only the ruins of the southeastern tower - 4-5 meters high. The citadel is badly damaged. Historical sources have not preserved any information about the creation of the Ikorta monastery or the construction of this temple. The only mention of the building survived within the walls of the monument itself. There were several inscriptions on the walls of the church, one of them with a date - on the right side of the western facade, at the gate. M. Brose saw this inscription in 1848, and a few decades later saw the same inscription in Jordan. Secondly, the inscription with the names of the founders is well preserved; it is located under the horizontal shoulders of the decorative cross on the eastern facade. The first inscription gives the date of construction of Ikorta - 1172.
The author of the "Monument to Eristavta" provides interesting information about further history of the temple: "Then the great throne of Ikorta, the Archangel Micheles, was demolished, and they began to build it." The author does not report the reason for the demolition of the temple; the restoration work was carried out by John Ksani Eristavi. The chronicle does not indicate the exact date, but it seems that it happened in the second half of the 14th century.
Inspection of the monument shows that the renovation at that time was likely not large-scale. A later reference to the temple is again provided by an inscription on the wall. As M. Brose notes, new construction began in 1672 during the reign of King Shah Nawaz (1658 - 1675). Judging by the inscription, Yase Ksani Eristavi did a great job. His hand also touched the temple and enriched the ensemble with monastery buildings. To date, none of these buildings have survived. The bell tower was converted in 1739 by an enemy army that entered Saeristavo. The temple fence was also demolished at the end of the 18th century. King George XII wrote about this to his son John in 1800: "The head of the Ikorta monastery will not leave the church lands to the neighbors of the Chivi monastery. I told them to go to the house of the Sahasian peasants, because this is their shrine." What was done as a result of this order is unknown. In addition to the above passages, there are no other historical references on Ikorta. Also noteworthy is the fact that in recent centuries the anchorites were a noble crypt. Elizbar and Shalva Eristavi, and Bidzina Cholokashvili, who sacrificed themselves to Georgia, are buried here. It is known that two years later the leaders of the Kakheti uprising of 1659 were tortured to death in Iran. Subsequently, after some time had passed, their remains were secretly recovered and buried in the temple of Ikorta.
After the August 2008 events (the Russian-Georgian war), the village of Ikorta also became part of the territory occupied by Russia.
The central domed temple of Ikorta is enclosed in an elongated rectangle, with entrance only from the west and south. The interior space is quite complex. The dome rests on the slopes of the eastern sanctuary and pylons to the west. The dome contains 12 arched roof windows spaced at regular intervals. The main space of the temple is formed by walls erected in the form of a cross. To the east of the coats of arms of the cross is the apse; the other sides are rectangular. The apse ends in a shell, but the rest of the beams are overlapped by arches. Above the sacristy are the so-called caches, and the pentagonal design of these vaults repeats the outlines. On the lower floor, the boats are covered with two transverse arches, and on the upper, cylindrical arches. The interior decoration of the church, in addition to the dome windows, is illuminated by the windows located in the arms of the cross. The inner walls of the temple were intended for painting; therefore, hewn stone was used only in critical places (on capitals, etc.), and the bulk of the walls were erected from flat stone and brick. The walls at one time were covered with frescoes, but over time they were badly damaged. Even the restored part has been preserved fragmentarily.
Sections outside the temple have lost their integrity over the centuries. The only Western Gate, which brings dissonance to the overall ensemble, clearly seems late. The arched system is the main decoration element of all four facades of the Ikorta temple. Each side has individual niches and personality. The western facade is better decorated.
The finishing cornice of the lower building has been restored to its original form. A very small fragment of a carved cornice has been preserved on the southern, northern and western pediments.
Hundreds of years have passed since the first enamel jewelry was made. During this time, designers created enamel jewelry inspired by previous enamellers. However, in their enamel artistry, they not only used past experience but also incorporated their own innovations and ideas. Each period has greatly shaped enamel craftsmanship. It’s interesting to learn about the history of enamel jewelry and different trends that characterized each period.
Egypt (4000-345 BC)
Byzantine enamel jewelry (395-1453)
Thanks to the knowledge and experience from ancient Egypt, enamel technology has improved greatly and reached its height in the 4th century during the Byzantine time, when blue coating was primarily used. During this period enamel jewelry became more beautiful and popular even in Europe. Subsequently, copper enamel jewelry replaced gold, hence reducing manufacturing costs.
Renaissance (14th-17th Century)
Rococo (18th Century)
Asymmetric forms and bright colors were dominant during the Rococo period.
New Art Movement (19th Century)
The end of the 19th century marks the beginning of the cultural exchange and interaction between western civilizations and China. Craftsmen started exploring new motifs, mainly nature with all its components. That’s why it doesn’t come as a surprise that a lot of enamel jewelry was made based on motifs of nature.
If you are someone who is looking forward to exploring the culture of the small country located between the Black Sea and Caspian Sea, this blog is designed for you.
Right in the middle of Georgia there is a small settlement called Tserovani, where every visitor can enjoy Georgia's traditional culture and long-lasting history, and can become a part of and fall in love with Georgia even more.
A little about internally displaced artists
Just about 10 years ago this little village, with identically sized houses, didn’t even exist, but in 2008, after the Russian occupation, 8,000 Internally Displaced People (IDPs) were settled. It was a long period of dark hours, but unexpectedly, enamel art became a solution. First, IDPs began to study this kind of art, and after hard work and strong will, the enamel studio Ikorta opened. Enamel art became a way for people to share their stories, thoughts, pain and joy. This became a motivation for others. Artists began creating jewelry, and they began to teach visitors enamel art. Meanwhile, Tserovani and Ikorta became a desired place to visit. Attend the workshop they provide and explore enamel art and its unique beauty.
A little about enamel art
It is remarkable that the art of Georgian cloisonne enamel has existed for no less than 1,200 years. It is the ancient technique of decorating metalwork objects, mostly used for jewelry and small fittings for clothes, weapons or similar small objects decorated with geometric designs, with thick cloison walls. The largest enamelled work of art in the world - Khakhuli triptych - was made by Georgian and Byzantine enamel artists.
Fortunately, Georgia cloisonne enamel art is still trendy; old technologies with a modern attitude became the next stage for Georgian enamel art to spread.
So here is where the journey begins...
Tourists who are looking for an intercultural experience in art and also enjoy DIY attend special enamel jewelry workshops at Ikorta. They become time travelers with enamel artists, people who have lost everything and found their path again, full of motivation and hope. Artists tell the history of ancient art and culture of Georgia. Visitors make their own jewelry and find bliss and joy, while participating in a unique cultural exchange. They feel connected to the Georgian culture, which becomes an unforgettable life-long memory.
Almost everything in Georgian culture is related to centuries-old history. So, if you desire more involvement in the culture while visiting Georgia, try to prepare a Georgian dish or handmade crafts, which will create unforgettable memories. Do you wonder what is worth trying and what will become a heartwarming memory? Then follow us!
Georgian cloisonne enamel art
Georgian traditional cloisonne enamel art is an ancient technique for decorating metalwork objects, mostly used for jewellery and small fittings for clothes, weapons or similar small objects decorated with geometric designs, with thick cloison walls. The Khakhuli triptych, a large gold altarpiece with over 100 Georgian and Byzantine plaques, dating from the 8th to 12th centuries, is said to be the largest enamelled work of art in the world. Nowadays, Georgian enamel art is still popular and you can make your own jewelry in special studios and, besides being fun and relaxing to make, it is one of the best ways to explore and get familiar with old Georgian culture.
Georgian ceramics has a millenia-old history, which is confirmed by archaeological research. Even now, this culture is favoured and used in making pitchers, tiles, and various vessels. Georgian ceramics has a distinctive style of painting that will help you understand our cultural peculiarities.
Felt is one of the oldest methods of creating and processing tissue fabric. Felt can be used to make carpets, rugs, clothes, hats, shoes, Georgian traditional chokha and burka. Historically, felt processing reflected family traditions and folk handcrafting and was very laborious. Nowadays, felt culture is still admired and it is a legacy of Georgian folk art.
Georgian bread baking
Kakhetian Shoti is a Georgian bread - one of those unforgettable flavors associated with the Georgian table. Skilled bakers will teach you how to put the dough in a hot clay tone (big baking boiler) and how to bake Kakhetian Shoti bread.
Vintage, grapes and churchkhela
Wine and grapes are one of the strongest symbols of Georgia. Picking the grapes with your hands, then standing in the wine extractor (“Satsnakhelil” in Georgian ) and pressing the grapes, is a pleasurable experience. You will never forget the churchkhela-making process - nuts threaded with string, immersed in badagi (thick grape juice), with a taste that's impossible to forget.
They observed the workshop, and now some of our jewelry is in their private collection.
So earlier this year, I took an enamel class at the Embassy and wrote about it here. Sometime late spring, the CLO office (which coordinated the class), switched to an organization from the Tserovani IDP settlement.
An IDP settlement is for Internally Displaced Persons. Tserovani is a settlement for people displaced from the Tskhinvali Region area of Georgia during the 2008 War. About 7000 people live in this settlement (note the red roofed houses go on practically forever).