Elnara Nasirli Solo Exhibition | No Man's Sky: Braiding Sweetgrass curated by Farah Piriye

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1-Dec-2023 to 19-Jan-2024

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Opening on 1st December 2023, the Zurab Tsereteli Museum of Modern Art in Tbilisi presents No Man's Sky: Braiding Sweetgrass, the first major survey exhibition of large-scale immersive installations and sculptural works by the emerging Azerbaijani environmental technologist and mixed media artist, Elnara Nasirli.

Nasirli’s atmospheric installations, steeped in psychological depth, are curated to dramatically transform the spaces of the museum. The inter-disciplinary nature of the display includes towering sculptural works and novel site-specific installations. These pieces harmoniously merge Nasirli’s expertise in biotechnology with the transformative essence of therapeutic art expression. The intertwined narratives highlight the profound bond between Georgia and Azerbaijan.

The title "No Man's Sky" questions societal limits and geopolitical confines, highlighting the immense depths of human consciousness and our shared journey towards healing. Furthermore, her creations draw inspiration from the grounded insights present in Robin Wall Kimmerer's influential piece, "Braiding Sweetgrass".

Elnara Nasirli says, “My large canvas series represent skins I've shed to capture the fleeting moments of my constantly changing physical and emotional states. The determination in my artistic practice can be compared to the tenacity of a flower that defies the odds, managing to grow and bloom even through the toughest of obstacles, such as stone. This metaphor symbolizes not only my ability to overcome personal challenges and adversity but also the potential for others to do the same, allowing creativity and spirit to flourish despite hardships encountered.”

Farah Piriye, the exhibition’s curator, states: “Within Elnara Nasirli's oeuvre, we navigate through therapeutic art, biotechnology, and personal resilience—landmarks marking her journey from environmental technologist to accomplished artist. At the heart of "No Man's Sky: Braiding Sweetgrass” lies an open invitation. It guides visitors towards self-discovery and creative growth, underscoring our joint commitment to both nature and one another. In this space, highlighting the legacy of the Caucasus, Nasirli's research- driven installations and expansive canvases offer a playful yet provocative exploration of societal constraints. These artistic endeavours engulf viewers, drawing them into a singular and complex mind, all while serving as a reminder that consciousness is fundamentally a biological process.”

Visitors can expect a curated selection: five multi-sensory installations, commissioned and realized in 2023, seamlessly juxtaposed with several Nasirli's earlier masterpieces. Enhancing this experience is an evocative soundscape, reminiscent of a cinematic score, deepening the audience's immersion into the artist's universe.

Nasirli’s works, crafted from unconventional and organic materials sourced from the streets of Baku, eclectic flea markets, and online auctions, radiate a dedication to therapeutic art expression, environmental mindfulness, and personal stories, culminating in this soulful opus.

© Artwork: Within cells interlinked, 2022 by Elnara Nisirli

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Elnara Nasirli Solo Exhibition | No Man&