Nino Khundadze is a painter, photographer, writer and mother.
I was born in Tbilisi, Georgia, during the Soviet Union time. I have witnessed its end as a child. I was totally into art from early childhood. After school, I went on to study at Art Academy. I finished my Master’s degree in architecture and worked in several architectural studios for a few years. After this, my life changed and transformed from the usual one into something different, full of adventures, full of stories that one might not even believe were real. Life got me back to art. There is so much I want to tell. There is so much I want to write in words and paint with colours, that sometimes I think one life is not enough. So here I am, doing my best for this moment, sharing through my art and my words.
Art is everywhere and in everything. It is part of our everyday life, and it speaks a language we all understand. Art has no beginning or end, there is no such thing as a border letting you say art starts here: after this line, in this frame, on that canvas, on that paper, in that photo.
Everything around is art, but somehow, many people miss it. That’s where we who notice and are called artists, start to colour, paint, draw and document things, so it becomes more noticeable, stop those who miss it and help them to see it.
For me, the world around is an amazing place. I love to explore. I love to capture the world through my eyes with my camera. I want to show the beauty that surrounds us and make it noticeable for everyone. I love to capture emotion, atmosphere. My photos are not just shots. They are like stories, like pages from a book, that can take your mind into the moment when a shutter closed, and make you share the emotions and feelings from that very moment.
My photos are attempts at showing that even a simple view or a thing that one passes by every single day can be transformed into a piece of art. It can brighten up someone’s grey day and help them understand that every one of us, everything that exists, is a beautiful piece of art in a huge mosaic, in great artwork.
My drawings and paintings are like a game between lines and colours, connecting and disconnecting, depending on the mood of the viewer. I love to paint and draw more abstractly because, like that, I let the viewer become part of the creating process. They see what they want to see, not what I want them to see. As I believe art is the best therapy, it's like a mirror.
My writings are mostly thoughts, feelings, pain, joy and all that one can experience poured on paper through words. I’ve been told that when people read my writings, they can kind of hear me saying those words. I usually try to use this to get important things and messages to readers hearts and souls.
My life is a constant creation. I love to improvise. I take whatever I have and make something out of it. I believe that art does not end on canvas. Art is in everything, everyone and everywhere.
Art has always been a big part of my life. My mother still tells us a story that I was asked to draw a person during a pre-school check every kid goes through before starting school. When I did, the woman said I would be an artist.
As a kid, I would take my father’s old film camera without permission and would spend hours going around shooting without the film in it. I loved the sound of the shutter and the process.
Life was not easy during my childhood and adulthood, so art was always there, even though not as the main thing. I remember I enjoyed writing so much, but once I wrote something from my heart about my feelings while looking into my cat’s eyes when she was giving birth and after I read it to my mother, she said it was stupid. It broke my heart. I burned all my writings, except the one that my mom did not like because I really loved it and I still like it very much till this day. That was the end. I stopped writing.
During the following six years, I was studying architecture in an art academy. I almost stopped doing any art besides drawing for several hours in a week during classes. With the money I got from the very first paid job I took, I bought a digital camera spending every cent I earned. I have never been out without my camera since that moment. I spent hours reading about photography and watching documentaries and videos online.
Then I met my ex-partner, the father of my son, and my life got crazy and hard. I might write a book with all those crazy stories from my past one day - stories that one might think are not real. I have never had high self-esteem, but my art, the ability to draw, paint and take photos have saved us many times. Those years of emotional abuse I was going through never let me think good about it. It was just something I could do well, but never well enough. I did not have time to get deeper into it.
Life has its own ways. Somehow I ended up as an asylum seeker in Germany in 2015. I spent three and a half years there, got a job as an architect, as an artist, but I was not allowed to work. So first time in my life I had time - time for myself - while we were waiting. I started meditating. I started painting and drawing again. Found a group called the Munich Artists and started doing weekly challenges and projects with them. I also participated in group exhibitions, met like-minded people, and my works got published. I found myself. Working on one project in collaboration with writers made me realize how much I missed writing. I participated in that project both as an artist and a writer, and I got back to writing since.
Finding myself and taking my time in the mornings shifted my self-esteem. One morning, I realized I have a choice. I realized I don't have to be in toxic relationships. I don't have to do anything unless I chose so. I made my choice. The same day I ended my relationship. I came back to Georgia as a single mother and started living my life. A life of working hard but spending every spare minute creating, participating in art projects, drawing, painting, doing digital works, writing while organizing creative writing meetings, photo walks, sketching meetings, eye contact experiments and many other things in my city, Tbilisi. Art is like fresh air. Life without creating does not make any sense.