Elizabeth Pulie Biography

Sydney-based Elizabeth Pulie's practice intersects art and craft to examine the ontology, commodification and aesthetic value of decorative arts and female labour. Working with textiles, wood, metal and acrylic paint, Pulie is known for her large-scale, graphically patterned, two-dimensional works.

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Pulie has been exhibiting since 1989, and for 15 years was working steadily on a formalistic painting practice called the 'Decorative Painting Project'. During this time, Pulie investigated the relationship between art, decoration and capital.

With an interest in relational and alternative art practices, Pulie has also organised a number of collaborative projects. From 2002 to 2003, she co-directed a project space called Front Room from her house. The space became a hub for her peers to present and test ideas. From 2002 to 2005, Pulie turned to publishing and distributing her own magazine—called Lives of the Artists—as a platform to highlight alternative artists and practices that exist outside the 'official' art world. She also established the artist group Sydney Ladies' Artist's Club (2005–2006) as an inclusive space for women artists to get together and share their work through events, publications, exhibitions and performances.

Pulie has experimented with processes and materials such as weaving, hessian, linen, political banners, collage, wall painting and embroidery. Her use of utilitarian fabrics like hessian sit in an ambiguous state between function and art, challenging the aesthetic value of commodity objects. This use of materiality is part of a broader feminist critique around the aesthetic value of female labour, which was contextualised when works from this period were included in the exhibition Unfinished Business: Perspectives on Art and Feminism at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne (2017).

Pulie's ongoing theoretical research extends from feminism to a much broader critique of the nature of contemporary art. This critique culminated in a doctoral thesis titled The End of Art and Contemporary Practice, completed in 2016 at Sydney College of the Arts (University of Sydney). This philosophical project is extended in Pulie's work as she experiments with medium, style, form and subject matter to direct attention towards concepts of adornment as a provocation against the impulse to inject art with ideological function. By merging arts and crafts aesthetics with a post-conceptual approach, Pulie pushes her work towards its endpoint: a purely decorative form.

Pulie is part of the 2018 One Year Studio Artist program at Artspace, Sydney. She has exhibited widely across Australia including Redlands Konica Minolta Art Prize 2018 at the National Art School Gallery, Sydney; T__he National: New Australian Art at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney (2017); and Fabrik: minimalist and conceptual approaches to textiles at the Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne (2016).

Elyse Goldfinch | Ocula | 2018

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