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.

Friday, 21 February 2014

3 territories: more than an art contest

Hello, hello. I haven't fallen off the face of the earth yet, I'm holding on to its edge with my nails and teeth. And if you think the earth has no edges, you are quite mistaken. It has way too many. It's an edgy affair, it is. Or is that life?

Well, in the middle of this edgy love/hate affair with life that I will not write about today, art is churning out events and opportunities. That's very nice of her (I can't imagine art to be anything but a 'she', probably because the noun is feminine in Greek and I'm Greek, remember?) So, after our un-meeting with the gallerist at the beginning of the month and while I was trying to create a layout of sorts for my Personal Histories book due in August, art threw a contest our way. 'Our' as in 'our local group of artists'.

wip - the Iberians, wine and olive oil

The Iberians were the people that lived in the Iberian peninsula from the Neolithic period up to the 2nd century B.C You can find more information through the link, that will take you to a Wikipedia article on them. They occupied different parts of the peninsula and one of those parts was Northeastern Spain, the area where I live now. Their culture was not sophisticated and they were greatly influenced by the Phoenicians, the Greeks and the Romans when they successively colonized the peninsula. Among other things, they learned how to make wine and olive oil.

One of the very simple decorative patterns they used was a jagged line, coarsly engraved on their urns and other ceramic vessels.

They used archaic characters to write with but the meaning of their writings has not been deciphered yet. There are not enough bilingual documents - Iberian/Greek or Iberian/Roman - to help interpret their texts. The Iberian letters were mostly drawn with straight lines, I haven't been able to find any curved letters among them.

The art event that has been organized on this subject brings together artists from 3 neighbouring territories: the Matarranya (that's where I live), the Terra Alta and Morella. And we all have to create works inspired on the Iberians and the cultivation of vines and olive trees, that are still two of the main products of this area. Any type and number of works can be presented by each artist and what you see here is a mixed media piece that is still in progress.

Or maybe it's finished. It's still too soon to know, I need to let it breathe for a couple of days and see what it says to me.

The elements are obvious, I think. Branches of what could be a vine or an olive tree (no realistic intent here), the black beads can easily be seen as olives, fragments of Iberian writing partly covered by acrylic gesso and a ragged line beneath, deliberately embossed by hand to look rather coarse.

I would like to create two more works of a very different kind. A tall paper and fabric urn, reminiscent of the ceramic urns they used to keep in the ashes of their dead, and an artist's book that is still very undefined in my mind but will probably include collage, fragments of Iberian writing and... I'll let you know as soon as I do!

There will be a quite tempting prize for the winner, who will also need to create 4 smaller works that, in their turn, will be the prizes for the winners and runner-ups of a literary contest to be held in August. Not bad at all, right?

And a very important footnote: one of the members of the jury is... drumroll... the Un-gallerist!

No further comments.


  1. The un-gallerist?An un-jurist, perhaps? I hope all goes well!

    1. Thanks! You'd have to read my entry about 'the un-meeting with the gallerist' to understand, there is a link at the beginning of this entry.

  2. oiyveh! That ungallerist sure gets around! On the other hand I love what you've done so far on this piece. The other two to come sound wonderful.

    1. The ungallerist is on the loose, threatening to conquer the 3 Territories!

      This work fell silent a couple of days ago, it stopped 'talking' to me and I decided to let it be for a while. It's good to know that you like it, I'm in that stage where feedback can be invaluable. Thank you!

  3. What a fascinating post. Surrounded as we are here in Wiltshire by so many hints of the distant past, it was so interesting to read this. Good luck with the work and even more luck with the un-gallerist. May he approach the task with an open mind ...!

    1. There is no telling what the Gallerist Heir will do but we will not allow his long shadow to darken our vision :)

      History fascinates me too, the things that go far back in time and yet are still very much alive, like threads attaching us to the past. Thanks for your good wishes, Charlton!

  4. It's great to have something to give you focus and direction - I love working on project; but the moments come when you are no longer sure, where steps could go this way or that…the piece will talk again soon and tell you what it needs…I love the Iberian script!

    1. You do understand the process, thank you, Fiona. I am still doubting about how to go on, so I'll just wait for a while longer. The Iberian script is beautiful and even more so because it's cryptic. It's right in front of our eyes and yet mysterious.

  5. Sounds like a very fascinating contest! I wish you luck for the finding process and I hope "she" will kiss you soon. Sunny greetings from Hamburg

    1. Sunny greetings from Hamburg to cloudy, chilly Spain! Whimsical world, this one :) Thank you very much for dropping in and commenting. The finding process has its own mind, I'll just follow along to see where it takes me. 'She' can be quite whimsical too but I have faith in her anyway.


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