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Georgian Painter Mako Lomadze Finds Refuge in the ‘Middle of Nowhere’ cover

Georgian Painter Mako Lomadze Finds Refuge in the ‘Middle of Nowhere’

Latin for “no one,” the name Nemo crops up in more than a few aquatic adventure stories. When his ship blew off course, Odysseus adopted the name as an alias to deceive a man-eating cyclops. In the 19th century, Jules Verne used the name for the megalomaniacal captain of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. Pixar famously swiped the name from Verne’s novel for their film Finding Nemo, which sees the titular character lost at sea in dangerous waters.

The name also lends itself to the most remote location on Earth. Located in the South Pacific, at more than 1,000 miles from civilization in all directions, Point Nemo is known as the “oceanic pole of inaccessibility” and the “middle of nowhere.” In the grand tradition of introspective adventurers, Georgian artist Mako Lomadze pilfers the name for her latest solo exhibition, Point Nemo, on view at Corridor Gallery through May 5, 2024. “The atmosphere depicted in [these] works mirrors [Point Nemo’s] seclusion,” says Mako, who transforms the remote point into a private sanctuary where she can heal from past traumas.

‘Point Nemo’ installation view; photographer: Sera Dzneladze
In her solo show, ‘Point Nemo,’ Mako Lomadze transforms the most remote location on Earth into a private sanctuary where she can heal from past traumas.
‘Untitled’

Much of Mako’s work is set in the forest, a place where she feels safe from nightmares—either real or imagined. “I consider the jungle as a pleasant place, a place where I feel myself familiar,” she says. “This kind of nature reminds me of the western Georgia, where I had been spending most of my summertime as a child. It was [my] favorite place to be, and [I] felt very calm and protected.” Mako experiments with her emotions by painting these safe spaces as inherently threatening. In “Land of the Invisible Bugs,” she imagines a particularly haunting nightmare—“I had a feeling of bugs sharply rising on my body”—infesting the safety of the forest.

Moving through her subconscious with clear-eyed curiosity, Mako flips the isolating effects of trauma on its head in her latest work. While life at Point Nemo might be a hellish, watery prison sentence for most of us, Mako sees solitude as an entry point into the wildest, bravest parts of her mind.

“The atmosphere depicted in [these] works mirrors [Point Nemo’s] seclusion.” — Mako Lomadze

‘The Bird’s Death’
‘Untitled’
In her solo show, ‘Point Nemo,’ Mako Lomadze transforms the most remote location on Earth into a private sanctuary where she can heal from past traumas.
‘Untitled’
‘Untitled’
‘The Bird’s Death’
‘Untitled’
In her solo show, ‘Point Nemo,’ Mako Lomadze transforms the most remote location on Earth into a private sanctuary where she can heal from past traumas.
‘Untitled’

Mako Lomadze: Instagram | Facebook

All photos published with permission of the artist(s).

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Morgan  Laurens 

Morgan Laurens (she/her/hers) is NOT REAL ART’s editor in chief. Morgan is an arts writer from the Midwest who enjoys saying “excuse me” when no actual pardon is needed. She specializes in grant writing and narrative-based storytelling for mission-driven artists and arts organizations. With a background in printmaking, pop culture, and classic literature, Morgan believes a girl’s best friend is the pile of books on her bedside table.

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