Born in Athens in 1974; studied social psychology (BSc) and media & communications (MSc) at the London School of Economics, before pursuing her desire to become involved with art, first obtaining an MA in design studies at Central Saint Martins College of Art and then studying painting at the Athens School of Fine Arts, graduating in 2006. In recent years, her pursuit involves forms that emerge from the encounter of the body and flesh with the environment (urban and natural), and the resultant emergence of new spaces. She has worked in various media, mainly painting. She has participated in group exhibitions in Greece, held a solo exhibition, and a solo presentation. She has organised and curated two independent art projects focusing on opening the private to the public.
Katerina Papazissi focuses on the body and nature. For this work, it all started with the discovery of a photo of her extended family, which prompted her to bring together Metsovo’s nature and figures of the artist’s family members. Titled Ancestry, this is an oil on canvas painting, measuring 96 x 123 cm, from a new series, in which the artist intertwines the nature of Metsovo with her ancestors. The region’s landscape and nature, and the experiences and memories of the artist’s childhood all merge into a complex composition.
Discussing this work, she reveals the childhood memories that engendered it. She mentions four memories: The first one dates back to when she was a child and used to hide in a rose bush in their garden in Metsovo to play by making up stories and imaginary worlds. The second is a memory when she, along with other children, entered cavities in the plane trees in the Agia Paraskevi church courtyard. The third memory is of photos hanging on the walls of her home, of her ancestors from the Tsalmanis and Papazissi families. The fourth is a fairy tale image of the Metsovo forest, trees, moss and lichens on tree trunks, which conjure mystical, magical images in her mind. These personal memories spawned a number of the artist’s recent works. This amalgam of memories, images of her native region imprinted in her memory, along with her practice of combining human figures and nature, form the basis for the emergence of this series, in which only one drawing includes identifiable human figures and all other works are abstract.
Indistinct eyes, numberless hands, figures hidden in the foliage, tree trunks, flowers, and fruits in a unique, expressionistic, surrealistic, abstract work of psychoanalytic associations based on memory and ancestry.
The work was created especially for the group anniversary exhibition “Lands of Creation, A tribute to Metsovo”, which was inaugurated at the E. Averoff Museum in 2019.