3 June 2021

Q&A: PATARA [Tbilisi]

Kathryn Zazenski
Patara Gallery current location - Ruska Badriashvili exhibition view
Q&A: PATARA [Tbilisi]
Patara Gallery current location - Ruska Badriashvili exhibition view

This Q&A column focuses on the indeterminate borders between off-/project-/artist-run spaces and the people that keep them going [#Off Space Q&A]

PATARA gallery is an artist-run gallery in an underground passageway founded in 2017 by Gvantsa Jishkariani and Nata Kipiani. PATARA is located in a tiny window shop beneath an underpass in central Tbilisi. In 2019 the gallery had to move to a new location – still in an underpass but now 3x’s times bigger, with a large skylight and a fountain above it (still some crazy magic, indeed).

PATARA gallery is giving a rotating cast of artists the chance to create installations that people can stumble on as they navigate the city. A visual surprise for those who come across the underpass and into its cavern of tiny shops, beauty salons and kitsch nightclubs.

PATARA gallery is a darling of the local art scene, and has been the sparkle that has started a whole new “artist-run” and contemporary art gallery boom in Tbilisi, and has brought international interest to young Georgian art. This is a place for trying new ways, materials and languages to create art and to communicate with the viewer, which, in our case, is the most broad, from all social classes and interests – as we bring art to the public space – exhibitions are visible 24/7 from our mega large vitrine.

Gvantsa Jishkariani is a multimedia artist and curator, co-founder of PATARA gallery and The why not gallery. Fascinated with craftsmanship, she likes to investigate traditional crafts and then employ knowledge to create her art.  Humor and elements of play are paramount to her practice, she often employs the tone of lightheartedness to convey some of the most painful and vulnerable experiences. She is preoccupied with questions of popular culture and taste and how these are illustrated in everyday life.

If there’s something missing, no need to wait for others to make it, one can create that something themselves.

Openness to failure, drive to thrive, and flexibility in the era of fast changes is the light she follows.

Pataragallery.com @pataragallery
Gvantsajishkariani.com @naivesuperstar


Ana Chaduneli exhibition at Patara gallery current space, 2021

Was it a good idea?

Of course! Making ideas happen – is always a good idea.

Who has held you up?

My guts saying it is important to do. It being fun to do. Seeing how PATAR has changed things for the artists and things for the scene.  My own personality that is always seeking discomfort and change and being unable to stop. And most importantly LOVE and faith in this tiny space and its ability to offer – everything in exchange of, maybe, sometimes – nothing.

Are you a link or a node?

Call me what you want.

What do you need?

Unlimited travel miles and any (ANY) funding for coming exhibitions )))

Digital or physical?

Physical, cause you can squish it.

What do you measure?

Motivation for the new creations and length of my nails.

Ani Gurashvili exhibition at Patara gallery old space
Camille Lévêque and Lucie Khahoutian - SUMMIT MEETING

What are the known unknowns?

I don’t know.

What time is it?

Not to waste o’clock.

Is it an animal, vegetable, or mineral?

It is a cat. Black cat.

Why now?

Because I said so.

And what about the unknown unknowns?

Oh, sis, I don’t know this either.

Are you prepared?


What were you given and what did you take?

I was given nothing. I built everything.

Is it enough?

never enough.

Gvantsa Jishkariani, 'Formal Moral', Embroidery on re-worked soviet tapestries, 2020
Gvantsa Jishkariani, 'I Recycle My Tears', installation view, wallpaper, mosaics of Marble, Onyx, Travertine, tuff, diabase, mounted on Brass and wood, 2020
Gvantsa Jishkariani, 'Institute of Virginity', Embroidery on re-worked tapestry, 2019
Gvantsa Jishkariani, 'Turquoise beads and pink land, Purple hills and gold sun', 2020
Lou Andreas solo show 'LAZY FIRE' at Patara gallery first location
Qeu Meparishvili exhibition at Patara gallery old space


Place / venuePATARA, Tbilisi, Georgia

See also