Whether you've reached this blog willingly or by force I'm happy to have you here.
ersi marina's workroom is always open to the public, even when I am not in. Sometimes I need to sleep.
And to paint.
And to play with my four cats.
My name is Ersi Marina and I live in Spain though I was born and grew up in Athens, Greece. I kept it all very Mediterranean.
This blog is a means to share my work and snippets of my life, as well as to be in contact with you all. I hope you'll enjoy your visit.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

undocumented but true

I got a surge of emotion this morning when I opened my inbox and saw a message from Nuria, the friend who photographed the opening of the 'paper homes' exhibition.

'hogares de papel' is paper homes in Spanish and below is the name of the Greek-Spanish association that promoted the exhibition. This vinyl sign is the first thing visitors see when they come out of the elevator (the Hall is on the third floor of the building).

And this is me talking about my work and thanking the organization. It was about a quarter past seven in the evening, still lots of light outside, as you can see.

And? Where are the other photographs? What happened to them? Nuria doesn't know what went wrong but they just weren't there. There must be an evil genie involved in this, because it's not the first time it happens. Serves me right for spending the evening talking to people and enjoying the event instead of taking the darn photos myself!

I promise there is in fact an exhibition and I promise next time I'll take the pictures myself. (An emoticon for frustration would be nice here.)

To spice things up a bit, I am posting some photographs from the area where I live. Some of them were meant for the Roy G Biv - Green contest and I had them ready for last Saturday but my Internet connection refused to work all day long, so more frustration here. I must definitely locate that obnoxious evil genie and shut him in a lamp!

poppies under the snow - 28 April 2013

We had a rather mild winter this year, with the exception of some harsh winds and heavy rain. We never got to -16ºC as in previous years and didn't get much frost either. And then, just as we thought spring was coming, we got our first snow on 1 March. It was thick and heavy, it broke branches almost off all trees in the area and it lasted for about 5 days. But that was not so surprising as the snow we got on 28 April! The fields were covered with poppies and wildflowers, and tender almonds were growning on the almond trees. Poor flowers. A great occasion for unusual photographs though.

poppies under the snow - 28 April 2013

Aren't they beautiful? When the snow melted they stood tall and bright again, resilient little things.

lilacs under the snow - 28 April 2013

And a lovely branch of lilacs leaning to the ground under the weight of the snow. They didn't die either, as delicate as they are, they survived the cold.

a rainy day - May 2013

The snow was followed by rain... and more rain... and more rain. It has been raining practically every day since the beginning of May and the temperatures are really low for this time of the year. At night they go down to 6 or 7 ºC and I still need to use the central heating. I was able to capture the rain falling down on the leaves here, you'll see it better if you click on the image.

a rare sunny day - May 2013

Some days are sunny though and I grab the occasion whenever I can. This is just an oak tree in the middle of nowhere but I loved the composition, it reminds me of a classical painting.

a rare sunny day - May 2013

I fell in love with this cypress, it looked like something out of a fairy tale. I wouldn't be surprised if tiny elves peeked at me through the exuberant branches.

I'm in an introspective mood lately, haven't made much sense out of it yet. Could it lead to a new creative period? I hope so. I'm toying with the idea of a fun artist's book/journal, I only need to figure out the binding.

Monday, 13 May 2013

paper homes - the works

'paper homes' is not a realistic representation of a house. Using handmade paper, a noble though fragile material, it means to express the feelings that tie us to our home, a place of intimate experiences rather than a physical space. Delicate and potentially precarious, like paper.

Each piece of the series focuses on the subtle structures of the relationships that grow with and within our home. Relationships that are sometimes broken or maintain an unstable balance. The loss of our home is the loss of a vital point of reference, that place where we can always go back to. In the distance that separates us from our lost home nestle the uncertainties and the anxieties of the emigrants, the refugees and the evicted.
Successive layers of paper, memories and time. Blocked windows, holes that fail to sustain an order, stitches escaping from the seams. The white paper like a blinding sun -or an absence. What remains is the silent mark of the home that was, held in place with string or with thin twigs. Some photographs deconstructed by oblivion and a loose thread of home-sickness deep inside, where all to often we don't want to look.

The time has finally come! I can now show you my works for the 'paper homes' exhibition that opened on Wednesday 8 May at 7pm.

home number 1

On Monday 6 May I went to Zaragoza to set up the exhibition. Luckily, I had very little to do in this department, just decide the placement and the order of the works. All the drilling and actual hanging were done by a whistling and efficient worker. It was almost time for me to start relaxing.

home number 2

This is the one that was used on the poster, as some of you may have read on a previous post. I thought it would be number 1 but it definitely wanted to be number 2 on the wall.

home number 3

The golden splashes are gold leaf applied in a deliberately grungy manner. They represent the preciousness and fragility of our feelings for home.

home number 4

I think no description of the technique is generally necessary, the materials and procedures are obvious.

home number 5

I was in two minds about using rust and finally couldn't resist the temptation. This one is the only rusted paper in the series. As you can see if you click for the large-size view, there are two pieces of pearced tracing paper below the strips of twine.

home number 6

Who says brochette sticks can't be used for artistic purposes? Τhey look a bit like wooden stakes and that was the idea. Some homes can be hostile.

home number 7

This is actually my very first paper home -and the most puzzling. The finished work stood there for weeks while I tried to sort through my doubts. Intimately I knew it was finished but my mind didn't dare accept it as it was: an all-white, simple artwork. I'm glad I finally refrained from adding anything more to it.

home number 8

In case you can't tell, there are two persons in that deconstructed photograph: my father and I (age five).

home number 10

Ok, the series of numbers goes a bit whimsical here. The Centre had printed self-adhesive labels with the titles, sizes, etc. but some of them just refused to peel off their backing. So I decided to just skip them. Home number 9 is missing but why should I follow a strict numbering order? This is art, after all, it's supposed to defy order?

home number 11

home number 15

A square! My favourite format, probably, and yet almost completely missing from my homes. There must be something about the idea of a living space that ties it to verticallity in my mind. Oh, and of course more rebellious labels were discarded.

sometimes, outside

This is an older work some of you may remember. I decided to include it in the 'paper homes' series because it is really based on the same idea. The loss of home and growing new roots some place else. It is also the only work that has a title.

I originally meant to create 20 works for the exhibition but I wasn't able to. A book translation came my way at the same time (you know how jobs have a habbit of getting in the way) and it took up many, many hours of my time. And then of course I had to deal with the difficulties of the work itself. It was a tough excercise on stripping things down to the essential, leaving out things that bordered the essential but didn't quite make it inside, allowing the paper to play the leading role in every instance. Those empty white areas represent the absence, the silence, the yearning and the loss.

I'll write another entry on the opening itself, to avoid making this one too long. I really felt like sharing my work with you first. After the opening I went down with a bad cold, that I probably caught because I was so tired and nervous. I didn't take any pictures at the opening, a friend did, so I'll post them as soon as she sends them to me. Because I think I can now safely say that my presence online will go back to normal again.

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