Marissa Elvira Georgiou


My mother taught us how to card wool, spin thread, and weave when we were children. I was never very good at these. I lacked the patience. My mother would talk about the importance of maintaining the right tension throughout a project. She would say that you could see the day’s frustration in the tightness of the weave. Everything shows up in the work.

There’s an internal logic to weaving. It adds up. My work pulls from the textile traditions of my bi-cultural upbringing. My mother began weaving in the 1970s, traveling across the country to visit communes with her lap looms and drop spindles. Later, she acquired a hulking floor loom by mail-order, and moved it with her across different apartments, houses, state lines–disassembling and reassembling it each time. In my father’s home village in Cyprus, elderly villagers and academic researchers maintain the textile tradition of Fythkiotika. We have cabinets full of these fragile tapestries, woven artifacts with complex geometries. These objects are separated from their original context by decades of time, oceans and continents. I can’t replicate them with my hands or describe them in the language of their makers.

In cover letters, I say that I’m “detail-oriented,” but I don’t get every detail right. I am just inclined to ruminate on the details of the work. When I make these paintings, hundreds of little marks follow an internal logic. It’s not perfect. I lack the patience, but I try. If you keep going, it adds up.

Marissa Elvira Georgiou is an artist and art educator based in Philadelphia. Marissa completed a Masters in Fine Arts degree in The Studio for Interrelated Media (SIM) at Massachusetts College of Art and Design in 2011. Since 2014, Marissa has worked as an academic counselor for fine arts students at Tyler School of Art and Architecture. Marissa is now studying to become an Art Therapist through the Masters in Counseling program at Pennsylvania Western University.