A photographer and artist, Natela Grigalashvili made a name for herself with personal photo projects depicting her own life memories and feelings and photo reports about the closed communities of the border regions of Georgia.
Grigalashvili became interested in photography after she graduated from the Mose Toidze Art School in 1984 and started working as an artist-decorator in the State Theater of Miniatures.
She studied photography independently initially using the rented camera. Later, over the years, she had been hired by several media companies to make documentary photography.
In 2007, Natela Grigalashvili was awarded the Alexander Roinishvili Award for her contribution to Georgian photography.
Grigalashvili’s images and photo series almost always represent reportage photography. They are accompanied by narrative titles or short texts to tell stories. The photo series “The Dukhobors’ Land” depicts the daily life of the Dukhobors living in the village of Gorelovka, Javakheti region. The members of the Russian protestant orthodox sect preaching pacifism and gender equality settled in Georgia in 1840 and still, they form a closed border region community. The photo series “Women of the Pankisi Valley” is about the lives of women of ethnic Chechen and Ingush communities compactly settled in the Pankisi Valley. Grigalashvili’s photo series “The Village of the Mice” represents the memories of the photographer’s native and currently almost deserted village of Tagveti. The series “The Book of My Mother” is again dedicated to the native Tagveti village and the artist’s relationship with her mother. In this series, the photographer conveys the pain of a distant and unaffectionate relationship between mother and daughter.
In 2015, Natela Grigalashvili founded Kontakt Photos, the first photo agency in Georgia, And in 2014-16, she established photo clubs in Javakheti, Pankisi Valley, and Adjara regions.