Travels in Svaneti
As part of my travels in I went on a trip to the Caucus mountain area of Svaneti with a group of Georgian artists, UK artist Bruce Allan and Japanese-Australian artist Yoko Kajio. This area of Georgia has a very special place in the hearts of all Georgians. It is a remote area that has never been tamed by any ruler and so has retained its traditional way of life. Svaneti’s emblem is the defensive stone tower designed to house villagers at times of invasion. Around 175 towers, most originally built 9th – 13th century still survive today. During invasions of Georgia over the centuries icons, art and religious artefacts from elsewhere were brought here for safekeeping. Svans speak an unwritten language that broke away from Georgian four millennia ago and is largely unintelligible to other Georgians. It is breathtaking scenery of snowcapped mountains, waterfalls and lush green valleys with fruit trees.