Marina Emphietzi Harris
My work explores issues of time, life and memory. Through painting I channel life experiences to create works of art.
I grew up in a house by the sea in Famagusta, Cyprus, a home I lost in the trauma of war, and, although I didn’t set out to produce art about anything specific, as my portfolio developed over the years I realised that the pleasure and energy I was getting from painting was when I focused on water, boats, beaches, marinas, wet stones and rocks, subjects emanating from childhood memories of my early life by the sea. Using strong tonal forms and a vivid colour palette my paintings are visual representations of conversations and inner feelings. Infused in time and space they act as a reminder of what has happened in the past. These moments become pathways for understanding the connections we share as humans with each other and with the natural world that surrounds us.
My influences: The artist I most admire is J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851).
I have travelled extensively in various parts of Europe encountering its people and their languages; I have also lived in one of Africa’s ancient cultural centres and in the Gulf, a coming together of the new and old worlds. I believe that this rich cultural diversity influences my work.
My working process and challenges: My style and compositions show the natural forms of a real world in a semi abstract, expressionistic and /or conceptualistic way. My work has been described as “a reflection and celebration of life in a symbolic manner.” I create paintings with a vivid colour palette usually, many textures, robust energy and a playful style. Creating in strong tonal variations, I constantly challenge my own talent by trying to experiment with subject matters and techniques for new creative effects.
While I use a variety of processes in each project, I mainly work in oil on canvas although I often like to work with acrylics or mixed media. Each project often consists of multiple works, grouped around specific themes and meanings. During research and production, new areas of interest arise and lead to the next body of work. The subject matter of each body of work determines the materials and the forms of the work. Before I start painting, I draw read and study as much as I can about the specific project I am exploring. I do not merely develop artwork with my brushes. I paint from inside out. I create artworks that are meant to speak to me and to others.