In the olden days, Georgians spoke of a mythical patron of hunters and animals, a pagan goddess of forests and mountains. Named Dáli , she was often depicted as a young woman of blinding beauty.
Each month Fotografia features one of the artists we represent. This month we invited Andrew Kovalev to discuss his new series, Dáli.
Tbilisi-based photographer, Andrew Kovalev, spent nearly a year planning a series of mythical images depicting the Georgian pagan goddess Dáli. According to Andrew, Dáli was responsible for maintaining a balanced and respectful relationship between hunters and their prey. She would keep the human appetite in check. Dáli’s role as the patron of goddess of hunting was ultimately usurped by Saint George after Christianity spread to Georgia. From that time forward she started to be depicted as a monster.
This metamorphosis from goddess to monster, Andrew contends, “took place against the backdrop of the struggle between Christianity in Georgia.” Which he sees as, “an epic conflict between old gods and new Saints, between primeval feminine magic and male-dominated religion, Nature and the unchecked expansion of human ambition.”
In the contemporary context Dáli takes on added meaning in challenging patriarchal society and inviting us to question the imbalance between nature and humanity.