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.

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.



  1. Very impressive, Ersi.
    It is not always easy to convey a sense of place in a collection of work, but you seem to have managed it,perhaps because you have stayed within your "white boundary."

    1. Thank you! That 'white boundary' was very useful and also very challenging. I'm so pleased you like the work.

  2. Hello Ersi. So very lovely to see more of the work. I really think you captured your concept for Paper Homes. The pieces draw you in and make you wonder what you are trying to say .... and yet they don't reveal easily which means there is plenty of scope for the viewer to form their own impressions of what is being said. I love art like this - I am not a great one for having everything apparently translated. I like a little mystery ....
    Was grand looking at the works in the larger format too. Still think No. 2 which I saw in the flesh is my favourite but nudging that, almost equalling, is the one I am so glad you included and left as it was/is .... home no. 7.
    am looking forward to the next instalment about the opening. xsusanx

    1. Thank you, Susan! I think the simplicity of the results does not begin to convey the difficulty of creating them. Stripping down to the essentials was hard work. I'm so pleased you like them! I still feel tired and unable to create new work but that's natural, isn't it? I'd like to have a go with artist's books soon. XX

  3. Congratulations Ersi, what a beautiful,cohesive collection of work with paper. I too like its abstract nature that allows you to interpret and relate to the work more personally. I'm sure the work is even more stunning in real life and hope you do really well.

    1. Hello Jack, thanks very much! They do look nice in real life though maybe a bit intimidating. Some people find it hard to interpret and project their thoughts on an artwork. I know colours help take things in but I am living in a white artistic universe now.

  4. Really beautiful work ersi, I hope your exhibition is a great success.

    1. Thanks, Helen! The exhibition seems to be going quite well as far as visitors are concerned. I'm very happy you like it.

  5. This is my 4th or 5th visit and I'm no close to being able to leave a semi-intelligent comment than on my first visit when all that could be heard were my oohs and aahs and quick inhales as my breath caught at first seeing each new piece. Your houses are quite exquisite, yet #1 and 7 keep calling to me. And then, of course, there's the rusty one...

    1. Well, your oohs and aahs are a joy to my ears, Jennifer! Thanks very much! I meant to make more than one rusty piece but ran out of time. Also I must say that 20 artworks (as was my intention) would have been too many for the Hall. Let's see if I can post the opening shots soon.

  6. Congratulations Ersi they are stunning! i hope the exhibition is a big success and I look forward to hearing more about it. Each of these pieces speaks quiet words, most of them gentle and nurturing - yet others leave questions. 1, 2, 7, 8...are all favourites. And I love how the numbers went random! Brilliant. Go well.

    1. Fiona, thank you so much! It's wonderful that you like them. And I wish I had deliberately mixted up the numbers from the very beginning, that was chance going creative on me :)

  7. Congratulations, Ersi! What a thoughtful & evocative body of work you have created. And I can appreciate what you said in your reply to Susan, about how "the simplicity of the results does not begin to convey the difficulty of creating them." I can only imagine! In some almost magical kind of way, I think that gives them more presence & gives the viewer more to contemplate.
    I love what happened with the numbering, and how it just took on a life of its own. After all of the decisions you faced as you created each piece, it seems only fitting that their numbering sorted itself out on its own!
    Bravissima! Now try to enjoy a quieter time as you allow your creative well refill...

  8. When some numbers were lost I felt so amused! It seemed like my homes had a naughtly, playful nature of their own. They contributed their share of creativity. It was also interesting to see how some people completely overlooked this detail while others were disturbed by it and needed to know why.
    I am indeed trying to enjoy a quieter time at home with my cats. I haven't created anything new since the opening though I have been jotting down some ideas. The urge to create can become quite impertinent!
    I am happy you like my homes, thank you so much, Lisa!

  9. Hi Ersi- I am home and finally having the time to sit with your evocative works! I enjoyed viewing them together in the larger format. They are exquisite. You and white are so simpatico. I can understand the time it must have taken to peel away all the unnecessary parts to get to the essential. You certainly deserve a respite to regroup and get ready for the next creative endeavor.

    1. It is so good to know that you like my works, Julie. Thank you! I keep finding new possibilities in white, my eyes seem to have developed a 'white vision' filter. I think maybe I should create a series based on what white means to me. Another soul-draining task, probably. Enjoy your home now that you are finally back!

  10. Hi Ersi, I'm so glad to connect with you. I love this series and have enjoyed reading through your blog. My favorite piece is home number 7. And I'm eager to learn more about the last piece sometimes, outside ... stunning!

    1. How great to have you here, Kathryn, delighted you dropped in! I am also very pleased that you like this work. The first time I saw your 'foreclosure quilts' I was fascinated by your work and by the story behind it. I felt so close to someone so distant!

      The 'sometimes outside' piece was created for a group exhibition last summer. You can read more about it here:
      and also here:

      Thanks for dropping by and 'see' you in your blog!

  11. Ersi, I thought I'd replied here but I'm having a lot of commenting problems so please know I thought this was a really beautiful post. Your homes are really exquisite, such a wonderful achievement. Congratulations!

    1. Thank you for the lovely comment and for taking the time to re-write it. Blogger can be a nuisance sometimes. Your words about this series are very touching and I appreciate them deeply.


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