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Levan Chaganava

Levan Chaganava

Levan Chaganava

Tbilisi, Georgia

Calligrapher, miniaturist, icon painter, font designer, graphic and web designer, Chairman of the Painter-Calligrapher's Union of Georgia

Calligraphy fest in Tbilisi

On April 14th Georgia is celebrating the Day of the Georgian language. On this day the prizewinners of calligraphy contests were named at the National centre of manuscripts of Georgia. Both prizewinners and nomination winners were announced.

Calligraphy fest in Tbilisi

The “Georgian calligraphy” was started in February 2010 by Georgian Ministry of education and science, National centre of manuscripts and the Nongovernmental organization “TSAMI”.

The contest aims at developing the culture of writing among pupils and revealing their creativity. All the 5th-12th grade pupils in Georgian schools, also some immigrants, took part in this contest.

The contest’s judges included, apart from artists and fine art experts, three calligraphers: Elena Machavariani, research officer of the National centre of manuscripts, she has a 50-years experience in researching and copying ancient manuscripts; Lasha Kintsurashvili, icon painter, and Levan Chaganava, calligrapher, chairman of the Artists Union of Gerogia, participant of the International exhibition of calligraphy who reports on the events.

So, the holiday began. In the first round the contestants were supposed to make a handwritten text of no less than 100 words.

Organizers have received more than 10,000 artworks from all over Georgia, and also from Turkey, Iran, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia, the USA and Europe.

The judges had to meet four times to choose the best work. Finally they chose 290 contestants who were invited to Tbilisi for the second and third rounds.

Calligraphy fest in Tbilisi The Director of the Georgian National centre of manuscripts Buba Kudava
Calligraphy fest in Tbilisi Elena Machavariani – research officer of the National centre of manuscripts
Calligraphy fest in Tbilisi Lasha Kintsurashvili, icon painter
Calligraphy fest in Tbilisi Contest artworks
Calligraphy fest in Tbilisi The judges choosing manuscripts

The second round of the contest took place in March at the National centre of manuscripts. Now, the rivals were to write an original manuscript within three hours by copying a printed text, and then decorate it with initials and such stuff.

To make the task better all they had was a pencil, a ruler, eraser and a pair of capillary pens – red and black.

It suddenly turned out that the Organizers had complicated the task without any notice to the judges. Now the contestants not only had to copy a printed text, but to imitate a medieval manuscript style.

The judges started to protest, but the children happened to do the task easily. The “storm” slackened.

Well, a composition of a capillary pen and a 160 gram paper came up to all expectations and everything was all right. More over, the children perfectly used the special paper properties to show the beauty of the Georgian script. The inks slept of the mat surface that helped the contestants easily vary thickness of lines.

What wonderful artworks they are. It is a real great pleasure to watch how a child’s thoughts appear and materialize on paper, how the pen slides on the paper. Organizers were trying not to interfere with the creation process. Some photos depict the live moment:

Calligraphy fest in Tbilisi Calligraphy fest in Tbilisi Creating a calligraphy artwork
Calligraphy fest in Tbilisi Calligraphy fest in Tbilisi Calligraphy fest in Tbilisi Calligraphy fest in Tbilisi The work of a young calligrapher

The third round was held on March 29th, and 118 young masters participated in it. They were supposed to copy an ancient manuscript imitating the style and skills of an ancient writer, and to keep the general composition of the document. And that was hard too! The judges voted several times, but with one and the same result. In the end, there are two second place winners in the upper group. All in all there were seven prizewinners including the younger group.

And the winner was known at last. The winners were given valuable prizes from the Georgian Ministry of education and science, Georgian National centre of manuscripts, Nongovernmental organization TSAMI, Union of artists and some commercial organizations. Among the winners immigrant children and Georgian citizens.

The Georgian Union of calligraphers was represented in the person of Lasha Kintsurashvili , a miniaturist widely known as an icon painter, who presented the winners with their prizes. They also received presents from Elena Machavariani, an honourable member of the Georgian Union of calligraphers, Doctor of Art history.

The contest artworks are now on display at the Georgian National centre of manuscripts. It will last for ten days and will show how children love their homeland scripts.

Levan Chaganava writes: “Well, the children did it excellently. We are proud of the winners. We are happy and sure the next generation will step masterfully into the beautiful and mysterious world of Georgian calligraphy”.

Yes, Georgia has a reason to be happy and to be proud. We heartily congratulate our Georgian colleagues.

Calligraphy fest in Tbilisi Calligraphy fest in Tbilisi Calligraphy fest in Tbilisi Calligraphy fest in Tbilisi Calligraphy fest in Tbilisi Prizewinners’ works
Calligraphy fest in Tbilisi The winner, David Maisuradez, gets his prize from the Director of Georgian National centre of manuiscripts Buba Kudava.

After Levan Chaganava’s reports
Photo: Levan Chaganava

Contest video: www.youtube.com

Author works

The Troparion of St. King David the Builder

Paper, tempera, brush, ink, pen, nib, 13.5x29.7 cm, 2010

The Troparion of St. Queen Tamara

Paper, tempera, brush, ink, pen, nib, 13.5x29.7 cm, 2010

The Troparion of the Holy Cross and the Prayer for the Homeland and People

Paper, tempera, calligraphic pen, 19x16 cm, 2010

Our Father

Paper, tempera, brush, ink, nib, 14x24.6 cm, 1994

I Believe. The basics for a calligraphic souvenir with computer graphics

Paper, pencil, ink, pen, nib, 14.5x29.7 cm, 2010

Avtandil's Prayer taken from the Poem by Shot Rustaveli – the Knight in Tiger's Skin

Paper, ink, pen, nib, 18.3x29.7 cm, 2010

Ode to the Patriarch. Sheet 1

Verse in the 18th century style written in capital letters: Christ, praise Elijah
Paper, tempera, ink, pen, nib, 16.4х29.7 cm (х3), 2010

Ode to the Patriarch. Sheet 2

Verse in the 18th century style written in capital letters: Christ, praise Elijah
Paper, tempera, ink, pen, nib, 16.4х29.7 cm (х3), 2010

Ode to the Patriarch. Sheet 3

Verse in the 18th century style written in capital letters: Christ, praise Elijah
Paper, tempera, ink, pen, nib, 16.4х29.7 cm (х3), 2010

The First Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians 13:7

Paper, tempera, calligraphic pen, ink, pen, nib, 17.8x22.2 cm, 2010
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