Zorica Purlija: Statement
Fade Into You 2021.
Zorica Purlija is a photo artist with a strong personal style. Her images are uniquely her own. Over the years she has embraced landscape, portraiture and abstraction. She has manifested a beautiful colour palette, surrealism and a touch of erotica or more accurately it is an expression of being female. Her exhibition titles give a clear impression of her emotional exploration through different stages of life – Awakenings, Nebula, Transience, Emergent.
This is not the first time Zorica Purlija has blended photographs of her daughter Yumi with images of the landscape. It was the rationale behind her series Nebula in 2008. She is attracted to abstraction despite being known as a fine portraitist, memorably documenting Yumi’s growth from early childhood.
Now in her new work Fade Into You the landscape presides over ephemeral figures of youth. The location is her family’s holiday retreat at Crescent Head. The landscape was dry and thirsty after the bushfires and lush and green the following year when these photos were taken.
There is a lightness of touch in these rather fragile and dreamlike images. The figure and landscape merge into one as if this declares the natural order of things. They are a kind of a meditation posing the idea that as humans we are a part of nature and that we need to embrace and tend to nature more carefully.
Her focus is still on youth as it is young people, primarily Yumi, who are portrayed within the bush. We see Yumi alone and with others perhaps a young man suggesting the beginning of a transition to independent life through relationships other than her mother and family of origin.
In straight to your heart Yumi’s presence is large and strong like the tree and sky she is striding forwards through.
As in all her work Purlija treasures the growth to adulthood as a metaphor for the time we are most open to experiencing the beauty and poignance of things. She wants us to see ourselves in our most natural state, one of openness, vulnerability and resilience in equal measure.
‘I am a romantic, I am drawn to beauty. Youth is beautiful, it is still not fully realised. If I did not believe in beauty I would be in tears all the time’. Zorica Purlija