Georgia to Gulf: Mariami Simashvili of First Wish Art Gallery speaks on art - GulfToday

Georgia to Gulf: Mariami Simashvili of First Wish Art Gallery speaks on art

Mariami Simashvili 2

An artwork by Mariami Simashvili.

Muhammad Yusuf, Features Writer

Mariami Simashvili hails from Telavi, Georgia. A pediatric doctor at Aversi Clinic and an artist by passion, since 2021, she has been a part of First Wish Art Gallery (FWAG), where she also serves as a co-owner and managing partner. She handles the gallery business and is now growing it in Europe. Besides being a doctor, she is prominent in Georgia life as a talented visual artist. Colours are all for her and she believes every sensation has its own colour. Oil painting and acrylic artwork are her most favourite mediums. First Wish is currently on a Mission World Tour Exhibition Project, about which more below. Mariami Simashvili speaks to Gulf Today from Georgia

Is there a link between pediatrics and art?

At first glance, pediatrics and art might seem very different, but they actually have a lot in common and enrich each other. Medicine requires discipline and hard work, just like creating art. Artists need to experiment, be creative and think differently, which are also important skills in medicine, especially since every patient is unique. Working with children, who are tender and innocent, a doctor must show empathy, patience, and love during the healing process. My deep passion for art, whether it’s painting, dance or music and my strong desire to help people, led me to become both a doctor and an artist. It’s our dreams and determination that make such a blend possible.

Is art the best medicine?

Art is an ultimate remedy and is also a therapeutic instrument. Today, the primary instigator of numerous ailments is stress and discord within oneself. Art, in its role as an embodiment of beauty, love and peace, offers solace, nurturing us both on mental and physical planes.

Mariami Simashvili 1  Mariami Simashvili co-owns First Wish Art Gallery.

Why did you name your gallery First Wish?

The gallery’s founder is my husband, Irshad Husain, who founded it in 2020. As we know, many artists struggle to showcase their talent to the world due to various challenges and obstacles. So, finding the right gallery for them is crucial. I and my husband exactly intended to create a platform where artists can perhaps achieve their first dream. We have provided numerous opportunities to young and emerging artists, and they have obtained their first international certificates by collaborating with us. Our gallery slogan is “Your First Wish Is Our Unique Art Gallery”.

How does Georgia, located between art rich countries such as Turkey, Russia and Azerbaijan, prove itself in art?

Georgia is a country rich in culture, where the love and talent for art are part of the peoples’ heritage. We have traditional folk songs and dances that have captivated audiences worldwide. Georgia has produced and continues to nurture great artists recognised by experts globally. Among them is Niko Pirosmani, whose work impressed even Picasso, inspiring him to paint Pirosmani’s portrait. Other notable artists from Georgia include Lado Gudiashvili, Gigo Gabashvili, Elene Akhvlediani and Petre Otskheli. Georgia’s significant contributions to art ensures it remains a prominent cultural landmark, not overshadowed by its neighbouring countries.

FWAG exhibits a lot of art from the Emirates. Why does it do so?

First Wish Art Gallery extends its support to talented artists from every corner of the globe, including those hailing from the United Arab Emirates. We rejoice in discovering art treasures and are confident that many more countries and regions await us, each deserving our unwavering support and encouragement. Our exhibitions stand as vibrant tapestries of multiculturalism, celebrating diverse cultures united by the universal language of art and love. For instance, in 2023, we hosted an international exhibition at the Historical Museum of Telavi, graced by visiting local Arab artists and residents of Dubai. Coinciding with the National Day of the United Arab Emirates, we came together in a celebration of art, featuring an award ceremony, exhibitions, workshops and presentations of tokens of appreciation for our visitors. The flags of Georgia and the Emirates waved side by side proudly in the esteemed halls of the State museum.

Can you detail the Mission World Tour Exhibition Project? What does it hope to achieve?

The World Tour project aims to organise 30 exhibitions in 30 countries. We’ve already completed successful physical exhibitions in seven countries, namely, Georgia, India, UAE, Japan, Italy, Jordan and Turkey. Looking ahead, we eagerly anticipate hosting the remaining 23 exhibitions. Our goal is to discover less known talent and bring it to the global stage. With more resources available, we can now showcase artists on a bigger scale.

What type of art do you like personally?

I gravitate towards expressionism, abstract expressionism and symbolism; thus my favourite artists include Gustav Klimt, Amadeo Modigliani, Jackson Pollock and Wassily Kandinsky. In their works, beauty intertwines with technique and freedom, creating a mesmerising dance of creativity and expression.

How do you decide your plans, for example, which artist to exhibit?

First and foremost, we confirm the artists’ passion and interest. Subsequently, they submit their portfolio, which undergoes careful scrutiny by our gallery’s team of seasoned experts. The artworks deemed most fitting for presentation in specific countries and exhibitions are meticulously selected, ensuring each piece receives the spotlight it deserves. We have offered free-of-cost solo exhibitions to 20 artists from the UAE to promote them in Georgia at our physical gallery space for a week’s duration. Additionally, we organise workshops and master classes so art school children can join and learn artistic techniques from UAE artists.

Related articles