This latest body of work was generated as a response to my habit of taking photos of windows. A window can reflect the outside world or provide a glimpse into an interior whilst reflecting dual spaces simultaneously. Reflective surfaces invite a speculative response, where a viewer is compelled to move around in order to distil what they perceive.
A window can also act as a frame - a portal into another version of reality. Various devices can obscure our perception of reality and for me, I am constantly drawn to curtains and screens to represent this. The diaphanous nature of a curtain and the way it morphs in response to light or a breeze feels parallel to the nature of mind and the way in which it constantly reacts, creating its own version of reality.
In painting I am drawn to a representation that is changeable - that is, the painting changes as the light or viewer shifts position. Exploiting multiple viewpoints in a painting feels similar to the view from a window - the reflections constantly change, nothing stays the same. By using reflective pigments and transparent layering the paintings respond to the changing lighting conditions that surround it and prompt an engagement that is new upon each encounter. Continuing from Einstein’s revelation that space and time are relative, so is our experience of reality - in these paintings I hope to activate in the viewer an awareness of the act of perception and how changeable and subjective this experience can be.
Marisa Purcell 2019
For Marisa Purcell, paint acts as a medium between the empirical world of knowing and a release into the unknown. As she works, her method stretches paint’s physical qualities by combining thinly veiled layers of colour, allowing paint to pool and dry slowly. Through this she builds strange relationships of shape and scale while marking graphic rhythms at varying speeds and densities, risking awkward crises that stand as metaphors for everyday life.
Purcell employs her depth of experience with oil, acrylic, watercolour, and drawing media to conjure an internal landscape at symbiotic play with notions of micro and macro cosmologies. She says, “the most beautiful thing occurs when discord is integral to the resolution of a painting: there must be something at stake, or you haven’t pushed your own sense of what you’re capable of doing”.
Marisa holds a Master of Visual Arts from Sydney College of Arts, University of Sydney and a Master of Art Administration from the University of New South Wales, College of Fine Art. Her work is exhibited and collected nationally and internationally and she has received numerous awards, residencies and fellowships. She was recently a finalist in the Sulman Prize at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in 2021.
Marisa Purcell is a finalist in the 2022 Fisher's Ghost Art Award with her work 'Yesterday's Song' (image below).
The Award is an annual art prize inviting artists to submit works in a variety of artistic categories and mediums. Now in its 60th year, there is $72,000 in prize money to be won. The Open Award is acquisitive to the Campbelltown City Council collection and in 2022, in celebration of the 60th Anniversary; the award is valued at $60,000.
Marisa Purcell is a finalist in the 2022 Mosman Art prize with her work 'Hovering Overhead' (image below).
Established in 1947, the Mosman Art Prize is Australia's oldest and most prestigious local government art award. It was founded by the artist, architect and arts advocate, Alderman Allan Gamble, at a time when only a small handful of art prizes were in existence in Australia and the community had very little support and few opportunities to exhibit their work.
As an acquisitive art award for painting, the winning artworks collected form a splendid collection of modern and contemporary Australian art, reflecting all the developments in Australian art practice since 1947. Artists who have won the Mosman Art Prize include Margaret Olley, Guy Warren, Grace Cossington Smith, Weaver Hawkins, Nancy Borlase, Lloyd Rees, Elisabeth Cummings, Adam Cullen, Michael Zavros, Natasha Walsh and Salote Tawale.
The 2022 judge of the Mosman Art Prize is Rhana Devenport ONZM.
Marisa Purcell is a finalist in the 2021 Sulman Prize with her work 'That Time of Day'. Administered by the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the prize was first awarded in 1936. Each year the trustees invite a guest artist to judge the competition.
Marisa's work 'That time of day' considers those moments between day and night, where the last burst of blue lets itself dissipate into the darkness. These transitory spaces are intrinsic to human experience everywhere.
The painting contemplates layers of light and colour and the affect it can have when you are surrounded by it. Supported by a warm ground of raw linen and pink, veils of transparent colour shift in and out of perceptibility, activating an awareness of looking. This is a human-scaled painting, intended as an opportunity to feel and connect with this shared human experience.
Through the Margaret Olley Art Centre, the Tweed Regional Gallery offers a unique experience of Margaret Olley’s home studio, provide insight into Australian art history and practice, and honor the artist’s legacy of mentorship and patronage. The Nancy Fairfax Artist-In-Residence (AIR) studio program encourages arts practice and creative engagement between artist, community and place.
The AIR studio will extend and complete the re-creation of Margaret Olley’s home studio at Tweed Regional Gallery. Throughout her professional life, Margaret Olley supported many artists through mentorship and financial assistance. To Margaret, the most productive ways of supporting artists were to encourage the public exhibition of an artist’s practice and to encourage sales. It is widely known that Olley mentored a number of younger artists and encouraged their representation in public and private collections. She actively supported artists and advanced their careers through purchasing works for collections or offering artists the opportunity to further their development through fellowship programs.
The AIR studio program will offer artists an opportunity to stimulate their practice in a creative environment. The Gallery will administer and promote a program which will see at least two invited artists participate in funded residency programs at TRG annually. The artwork resulting from these residences will be included in the Gallery’s exhibition program and displayed in the Friends of the Gallery.
Marisa Purcell has been awarded a Kedewatan Residency in Ubud which she will take up later in 2019.
The Kedewatan Residency Program was established by artists as a space for professional contemporary artists, writers, curators, dancers to make work, while providing the opportunity to immerse themselves in the vibrant community of Ubud. The studio residency offers a private residence for both the research and creation of new work.
Marisa Purcell's work Tesselate has been selected as a finalist in the Redland Art Awards.
This is a biennial contemporary painting competition open to all Australian artists. Redland Art Awards 2018 features four prizes, totalling over $20,000.
Now celebrating its 31st year, the competition is presented at the Redland Art Gallery in Brisbane. Opened in 2003, Redland Art Gallery is a vibrant cultural destination with a varied exhibition program of innovative and traditional works.
Sunday 2 September - Sunday 14 October 2018. Read more HERE.
Marisa Purcell is a finalist in the 2018 Ravenswood Art Prize with her work 'Cage'. More than just an art prize, The Ravenswood is a visual art movement championed by women.
Approximately 70% of art school graduates nationally are female. However, female artists are significantly underrepresented in gallery exhibitions and prize recipients. ‘The numbers just don’t add up for women in the visual arts world,’ said Edwina Palmer, Head of Visual Arts at Ravenswood School for Girls.
The prize is designed to promote and connect Australia’s female artists. It consists of two categories; the Professional Artists’ prize valued at $35,000, and an Emerging Artist prize valued at $5,000, making the Ravenswood Australian Women’s Art Prize the richest professional art prize for women in Australia.
‘I see it very much as a space for women, and we hope we can do a lot for them. The Art Prize gives women another opportunity to build their careers, and to put the spotlight on women in art,’ said Palmer.
Established in 2017, the inaugural Art Prize was an extraordinary success with over 780 entrants. Palmer was stunned with the reception the Prize received.
Marisa Purcell's work 'Conceal' 2016 has been included in the inaugural exhibition of the new Gippsland Art Gallery title 'imagine' which celebrates the imagination in all its wild and wonderful forms.
Curated by Simon Gregg, 'imagine' is about beginnings — the beginning of the world, the birth of consciousness, an awakening to the possibilities before us.
Congratulations to artist Marisa Purcell for being a finalist in this years Paddington Art Prize 2017.
The Paddington Art Prize is a $25,000 National acquisitive prize, awarded annually for a painting inspired by the Australian landscape. Established in 2004 by Arts Patron, Marlene Antico OAM, this National prize takes its place among the country’s most lucrative and highly coveted painting prizes.
The prize encourages the interpretation of the landscape as a significant contemporary genre, its long tradition in Australian painting as a key contributor to our national ethos, and is a positive initiative in private patronage of the arts in Australia.
This year welcomes the People's Choice award. Details here.
Marisa Purcell is a finalist in the 2016 Grace Cossington Smith Art Award.
The award is sponsored by Abbotsleigh School and commemorates one of its alumni, Grace Cossington Smith, who is known as a pioneer of modernist painting in Australia. Artists were invited to submit original two dimensional artworks reflecting the theme of Making Connections. The winning entry will form part of the permanent collection of Abbotsleigh’s Grace Cossington Smith Gallery.
The IN/OUT design blog features an article on Marisa Purcell’s ‘Screen’, an exhibition of new paintings. Katrina Arent writes, ‘Abstract art is deeply engaged with science and the natural universe and yet not always in specific ways that are readily apparent. Discovering ways to articulate these often complex ideas provides the central motivation for artist Marisa Purcell… Intangible concepts about the nature of reality, coupled with the open-ended process of making an artwork, gives rise to paintings that provoke thought and engage the senses.’ Read the full article here.
The exhibition is current until 11 June, 2016. For a copy of the catalogue, please email [email protected] or view the exhibition online.
Marisa Purcell speaks openly about her practice leading up to her solo exhibition at Edwina Corlette Gallery:
“Getting my first studio was a significant thing for me – and since then I have taken a path of showing my work very regularly – in both artist-run spaces and commercial spaces in Australia and overseas. Moving overseas and undertaking residencies allowed me to explore European art and see painting from an international viewpoint.”
Freelance arts writer, Louise Martin-Chew, covers Marisa Purcell's 2015 solo exhibition Unbounded in a preview article for Art Guide Australia. Louise writes:
"In Unbounded,Marisa Purcell explores the natural, the sacred and the spirit through a series of abstract paintings. At turns poignant, moving and arresting in their capture of space, time and memory, they direct the viewer to an ephemeral moment just below the conscious."
Congratulations to Marisa Purcell who is a finalist in the 2014 Blake Prize with her beautiful work Quiver. Judges of the Blake Prize, Anne Ferran (artist), Alexie Glass-Kantor (curator), and Alex Norman (religion academic), said submissions had ‘cast aside the leaden notion of religions as simply collections of statements about the nature of things. Here instead we see the religious and the spiritual as diverse, contradictory, uplifting, and mundane, all at once. Some of the works are playful and wry. Equally, we also see darkness, fear, and lamentation. Taken together, a distinctly optimistic and positive sentiment is palpable.’
18 October 2022 – 5 November 2022 ‘Light Matter’featuring Julian Meagher & Marisa Purcell