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. A strong and independent spirit, she was responsible for maintaining a balanced and respectful relationship between hunters and their prey. She would keep the human appetite in check, only letting them take what they needed to eat and feed their villages.
But after Christianity spread to George, the role of the patron of hunting passed on to Saint George, the country’s heavenly protector. Unable to withstand competition with a rival that strong, Dáli starts to be depicted as an animal-like creature, a beast who posted great danger to man. This metamorphosis from spirt to animal — from goddess to monster — took place against the backdrop of the struggle between Paganism and Christianity in Georgia: 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.
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About the Artist
Andrew Kovalev is a portrait photographer from Saint Petersburg, Russia, whose work has been featured in Le Monde, Esquire, Der Spiegel, The Sunday Times, Forbes and many other international newspapers and magazines. Two years ago he came to Georgia on a photo assignment and has lived here ever since, actively pursuing his personal work about the region.
Fotografia guarantees the authenticity of our limited edition photographic art. Our limited edition prints are signed, titled, and numbered by hand by the artist. Each piece of artwork is accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity signed by the artist which attests to the quality of the print. The certificate also contains information about the format, edition number, and a date of the print.