Elysium  Oil, acrylic on canvas, 200 x 250 cm, 2021.

Elysium Levan Songulashvili
Triptychos – solo exhibition, The National Gallery, Tbilisi, Georgia, 2021.

The year 2020 was a crucial moment in both personal and creative life as the world grappled with the effects of the global pandemic. Isolation had a profound impact on a large number of individuals, leading a portion of the population to feel helpless, demoralised, and dispirited. In the aftermath of losing my mother, I channeled my emotions into creating a monumental expressionistic painting titled “Elysium” (2020-2021).

Compared to my previous paintings, “Elysium” has a unique approach that brings together different stages of my deeply personal and transformative journey, marked by significant milestones in my life. The process of creating this painting  was a cathartic for me, began before my mother was diagnosed with her fatal illness, and continued until she passed away. After taking some time to grieve, I was eventually able to complete the piece for a solo exhibition “Triptychos” (2021) at the National Gallery Tbilisi, in commemoration of her anniversary.
In ancient Greek mythology, Elysium was the afterlife, a place where the blessed dead lived in happiness. In my painting, I have taken this concept and given it a contemporary twist, exploring the idea of humanity as a collective entity undergoing a continual process of transformation. “Elysium” is an abstract-figurative work that depicts the dynamic, kinetic circulation of human metastases through its use of bold brushstrokes and a vibrant colour palette. The pixelated figures in the composition create a puzzle-like representation of the universe seen from a bird’s-eye view. This perspective emphasises the interconnectedness of humanity and highlights the cyclical nature of life. The painting serves as a visual meditation on the timeless themes of birth, death, and renewal, and invites the viewer to reflect on their own experiences and the ways in which their lives are intertwined with others.