About Zorica purlija

Zorica Purlija migrated age 8 from Montenegro, to Australia in1973: a country where she could not speak the language. As she learned to live in a different culture, she observed that the nuances of human interaction often were more revealing than the words. Graduating in 1989 with an Associate Diploma in graphic design and photography at The University of Western Sydney, Zorica spent some years travelling through Europe, experiencing life and art. She returned to Australia, began a family and devoted herself to full time mothering. Since 1999, Zorica has been pursuing her artistic vision, through the medium of photography. Initially pursuing themes of beauty, longing and the human experience through photographic portraiture, Zorica developed a unique ability to capture the essence of her subjects, beginning (and continuing) with a series of portraits of her muse, Yumi. More recently in addition to her portrait work, Zorica has been pursuing less figurative subjects, incorporating ethereal elements of landscape, and everyday objects seen in new ways. She continues to exhibit widely, and her public profile continues to build, including internationally, exhibiting in Chelsea New York, and recently in Venice. She has been a finalist in the National Photographic Portrait Prize, Canberra, three years consecutively, twice in Sydney’s HeadOn Portrait Prize, a finalist in the William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize Melbourne, Duo Magazine Percival Photographic Portrait Prize, The Kuala Lumpur Photographic Portrait Award., Mama Art Foundation Photography Prize in Albury, the Josephine Urlick Award in Queensland and the Olive Cotton Award for Portraiture in Murwilumbar NSW to name a few. She currently is studying part time for a Masters of Art in Photomedia at UNSW School of Art and Design Paddington. Artist Statement I take inspiration from The Expressionists, where “the inner conflict of the sitter is reflected in the image, and we see directly beyond the mask into the soul. Intuition, insight and transcendence were the hallmarks of painters and writers to whom the purpose of art was to make manifest a new, higher, transfigured reality, this was Expressionism.” Munch believed the true subject is usually an inner one, the unattainable.


1989 Associate Diploma of Visual Arts, Major in Photography with Distinction, University of Western Sydney.
2003 Portrait Summer Course, National Art School.
2012 -present Postgraduate Masters of Art in Digital Media at UNSW Art &Design Paddington Campus, Sydney
2016 Awarded Student Community and Development Grant for Exhibition The Mother ARC and UNSW Kensington.
2017 Awarded Early Curator Award ARC and UNSW School of Art and Design Paddington.


2017 Realising Mother. Kudos Gallery Paddington
12 Photographers, 4 Video artists (coming in October)

2016 Crescent.BAROMETER Gallery Paddington.NSW.
Smoke and Haze. GALLERY 61 REVISITED,Hunter St,Newcastle.
Smoke and Haze. LENTIL AS ANYTHING (upstairs Gallery Space), King St Newtown.
2013/2014 Landscape-Jackson Hole. SARA RONEY Gallery Sydney.
2012 Nebula. SARA RONEY Gallery Sydney.
2011 Transience. SARA RONEY Gallery Sydney.
2010 Awakenings. SARA RONEY Gallery Sydney.
2008 Emergent. Sale/Lease 3 SPACES 3 PHOTOGRAPHERS 9 Danks St,Waterloo.Sydney.
2000 Shedding Skin. Rex Centre Potts Point.PND Conference, Sydney.

2017 Brisbane Art Prize Judith Wright Centre. Fortitude Valley Queensland. Berlin# 2.
A Single Grain of Rice. International Small Works Art Competition and Collective Show. Matanoia Gallery Paris.
NYC4PA JURORS CHOICE Glass Exhibition Jadite Gallery New York. Visitant.
Nebulus. Sara Roney Gallery.Rushcutters Bay. Berlin#1,Berlin#3.
Iris Award for Portraiture. Perth Centre for Photography. Jina and Josh.(coming in August)
Olive Cotton Award Tweed River Gallery. Yumi 14.
Secrets.Contact Sheet St Leonards. Irina.
Who Is Looking At You? Portrait Prize 2017 Cambridge Studio Gallery, Collingwood Victoria. Pomegranate.
Contemporary Venice, Its Liquid International Art Show, Palazzo Flangini Venice. Pomegranate.
2016 Fishers Ghost Art Award. Campbelltown Arts Centre. Woman in green Shirt in front of an Anish KapoorArtwork.
Contemporary Venice Its Liquid International Art Show, Palazzo Flangini Venice. Pomegranate.
Heroine. Gallery 61 Revisited, Hunter St Newcastle. Domestic Pantomime.
The Gaze. Gallery 61 Revisited, Hunter St Newcastle. Persimmon, Pear.
Brisbane Art Prize Fortitude Valley, Queensland. Pomegranate.
Mama Art Foundation Photography Prize 2016 Albury. Woman in green Shirt in front of an Anish KapoorArtwork.
HeadOn Festival – TOGETHER/ ALONE.Group Show at CONTACT SHEET St Leonards. 4 Works plus Polaroids.
POSITIVE NEGATIVES - NSW Photography & Printmakers Exhibition, Gosford.
In Memory of Aylan Kurdi.
2015 Visions Collections 2nd Edition Art Prize Winner Photography section. Malamegi Lab. Visitant.
Arts Precinct, Paddington. Creative Corner Festival. Collaboration with Xeira Fashion Store. Art-Fashion.
Value Your Mind, Mental Health Month Art Exhibition. UNSW Art and Design. Sydney.
In the Eyes of Bacon (Winning entry).
Kudos Art Award.UNSW School of Art and Design, Paddington.Visitant.
Gosford Art Prize, Gosford Regional Gallery. NSW. Woman in green Shirt in front of an Anish Kapoor Artwork.
Unforeseen. Janet Clayton Gallery Paddington NSW.Smoke and Haze,Visitant.
Portraits Stanley Street Gallery Darlinghurst NSW.Agent Fetish.
Olive Cotton Award Finalist.Tweed Regional Gallery Murwillombar NSW.Visitant.
MIFA 2014 Winners Exhibition(Portrait Category 3rd prize).Rooftop Gallery Bangkok.Yumi in her Bedroom.
ADD ON Group show. Depot Gallery Danks St Waterloo.Part of Head On Photo Festival.Tam.
Passiofruits Group Show Selected Finalists Exhibition.GAFFA Gallery, Sydney.Ode to el Greco and Tam.
Portrait Finalists Exhibition NYC4PA New Century Artists, Chelsea ,NEW YORK. Yumi in her Bedroom.
(3rd Prize winner)
2014 10 x 8 December Group Show. 10 x 8 Gallery Central Park,Chippendale .Into The Deep.
Compendium Book Launch and Group Show, Spot 81 Abercrombie St Chippendale.Smoke and Haze.2010.
Moscow International Foto Awards.3rd Place Fine Art Portrait Category.Yumi in her Bedroom.
Amnesia Atlas (immersive 3D installation Prototype) Narrative Scenario contributor. Art and Design UNSW.
October Unseen .Arthere Exhibition,10 x 8 Gallery Redfern.Agent Fetish.
William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize.The Monash Gallery of Art.
Woman with green shirt in front of an Anish Kapoor work.
Duo Magazine Percical Photographic Portrait Prize,Pinnacles Gallery,Townsville.Four Eyes.
The Kuala Lumpur Photographic Portrait Award Finalist.Malasia.Going Home.
The Photo Review 2013 Faces Online Exhibition.PA.USA.Tam.
Finalist 6TH EDITION OF JULIA MARGARET CAMERON AWARD Portrait Category.Jina at Home.
Black Eye Gallery Summer Group Show.Darlinghurst Sydney. Four Eyes.
Juror Selection Primary Colours.New York Centre for Photographic Art.Chelsea.Yumi Rainbow Yellow.
Call4Artists Exel Magazine Finalist.The Thinker and The Muse.
2013 Nominee and Highly commended : 5th Julia Margaret Cameron Award.Montenegro.
Sydney Life, Art and About Exhibition Hyde Park.May the Force be with you.
Headon Portrait Prize Finalist.The State Library Sydney. Four Eyes.
See | Exhibition Space 
26-19 Jackson Ave. 
Long Island City, NY (Projection/slideshow)
Virtual Exhibits-International Women’s Exhibition. Montenegro.
Australian Identity and Beyond. MUSE Gallery Ultimo. In The Eyes Of Bacon. Spirited Away.
Group Show. SARA RONEY Annex Gallery Sydney. Nebula.
ARTSPACE Fishermen’s Wharf, Bermagui. Images of the Cross 2012.
2012 Fier Institute The World Family Finalist and Honourable Mention.Montenegro Family.
Blind Donkey Art Prize.The Thinker and the Muse.
agIdeas 2012 International Design Week. Melbourne. Shortlisted YUMI RAINBOW book.
Nudes on TAP.TAP Gallery Sydney.
Emergence IDAHO 2012 . Parramatta.
23rd Muswellbrook Regional Gallery Photography Award finalist. I Watched her swim Away.
Images of the Cross. Mercure Sydney. Stephanie’s School of Rock.
2011 Josephine Ulrick & Win Schubert Photography Award finalist. The Thinker and The Muse.
Getty Images Grab –Captured Moments Exhibition.Sydney The Sleepover Party.
Prospect Portrait Prize.Prospect Gallery.SA. In the Eye Of Bacon.
Greenway Arts Prize. Greenway Festival :Art Est, Leichardt. Forever.
Kings Cross Photography Prize: People and Places,Past and Present. When I was 12…….
Waverley Art Prize. Waiting For Sunset.
Photography on Oxford. Oxford Street Shop Windows Photography Exhibition, curated by Arthere.
HeadOn Festival Forever.
Open Semi Finalist, Doug Moran Photographic Portrait Prize. The Thinker and The Muse.
Mosman Art Gallery: National Portrait Prize 2010 Travelling Exhibit. Lisa.

2010 National Photographic Portrait Prize National Portrait Gallery Canberra, finalist .Lisa.
Getty Images: Grab- Australian Life Captured. Finalist Sydney. The Thinker and The Muse.
Shortlisted for Shoot The Chef! Professional Photographic Competition,Sydney. Lilliputien.
Iris Award 2010 Portrait Photography Exhibition.The Perth Centre for Photography.
Finalist Ben Mellefont.
Compassion Australia Blue Easel Exhibition.Sydney International Cultural Centre.
Yumi with Fire Hair , Bound.
Moriah College, Sydney.Artbeat’10 Art Competition.The Skater.
Tap Gallery Nudes.Underwater Nude.
Viscopy’s Contemporary Art Space Chippendale. Double Exposure 10 Contemporary Photo artists.
Fervor, Yumi Love Dark.
Short listed for the Head On Portrait Prize. Slideshow ACP Sydney.The Thinker and The Muse.
National Photographic Portrait Prize National Portrait Gallery Canberra, finalist .Lisa.
QUT Art Museum. National Photograhic Portrait Prize 2009 finalist .Julian.
Gladstone Regional Gallery.TNPPP 2009 finalist. Julian.
2009 National Photographic Portrait Prize.National Portrait Gallery, Canberra, Julian.
Wesley Mission Photography Competition- Our Community. Winner Food for Thought.
Mosman Festival Photography Competition and Exhibition. Finalist Backyard Fight , and Touch.
Perth Centre for Photography. Iris Award 2009. Lisa.
Tweed River Art Gallery.Olive Cotton Photographic Prize. Sandy Edwards.
Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery. TNPPP 2009 finalist. Julian.
Redland Art Gallery.TNPPP 2009 finalist. Julian.
Noosa Regional Gallery.TNPPP 2009 finalist. Julian.
Photo Expo Sara Roney Gallery Sydney. The Skater, Angels and Fervour.
Images of the Cross.Sydney. Sonia , and Loving Hands 1 &2.
Short listed for the Head On Portrait Prize. Yumi Joyful.
KodakSalon .CCP Victoria. Spun.
RedArt Exhibition And Sale. Woollahra. Abyss.Separate.Connect.Light. ,
Yumi Love , Marionette’s Tune..
2008 National Photographic Portrait Prize. finalist.”Yumi with Hair on Fire”.
Mosman Festival Photo.Comp.And Exhibition. “Dreamscapes”,
The Iris Award 2008 Perth.”Yumi With Hair On Fire”.
The Gertrude Association Digital Media Street Festival. Projected Media.
”Stills and a Glimpse of Sydney.
Newtown Community Annual Art Exhibition.”Freedom”.
Head on Alternate Portrait Prize. Shortlisted”Yumi with Hair on Fire” .
National Photographic Portrait Prize. finalist.”Yumi with Hair on Fire”.
2007 Olive Cotton Award. ‘Evida’.
Group Show Tapestry Café. “Fidelity”-Part of’ ‘Shedding Skin’ Series.
High tea Fundraiser,Group Show. First Draft Gallery.Surry Hills.
Head On Alternative Portrait Prize. ‘Theadora and Martha’ Shortlisted.
Adultshop.com Erotic Art Prize. ‘Sexus’.
2006 Olive Cotton Award. ‘Jess with Twins’ .
Head On Exhibition.Sydney. ‘Yumi and Baba’.
1989 Graduate Show.Nepean College of Advanced Education.NSW.


https://www.arc.unsw.edu.au/communities/art-design/kudos-gallery/public-programs/realising-mother-curated-by-zorica-purlija Early Curator Award Announcement.
MAMA National Photographic Award,Albury Catalogue

Art Edit Magazine Showcase Feb-April 2016


New York Center for Photographic Art http://www.blurb.com/books/5980902-portraits-2014


Photo Compendium Australia.Bob Kersey and Mary Meyer.Smoke and Haze.

KLPA International Awardhttp://www.flipsnack.com/A6CC7F97C6F/klpa-2014-winners-finalists-exhibition-booklet.html


Bowness Photography Prize Catalogue.

The Percivals.Gallery Services,Townsville.




Montenegro Family http://theworldfamily.photium.com/portfolio332158.html

Winter Sunset Honourable Mention WIPI.http://womeninphotography.org/Events-Exhibits/2012_Magic_competition/exhibition.html

Rainbow Yumi chosen for Design Expo Melbourne by BLURB.

Second Runner up Photo Review Australia Photo Challenge:

Tools of the Trade.


Third Runner Up Photo Review Australia Photo Challenge:Habitat.

Rainbow Yumi by Zorica Purlija | Make Your Own Book

Photo Review Australia June/Aug.Cover and pages 12-17.

Josephine Urlick & Win Schubert Photography Award 2011 Catalogue.

Worldwide Photography Gala Awards.

Emerging Photographer Photofeed.

ACP Photofile Preview.

Australian Photography and Gallery Compendium.Published by Mary Meyer Gallery.

Radio Interview SBS Serbian Program.

Photography Masters Cup: International Colour Awards. Portrait Nominee Lisa.

The Photo Paper Issue #3, "Best of Nominees", Photography Masters Cup.

Getty Images Grab Competition

Issue#41 Photo Review Australia.Pan for Success. Yumi Joyful.

May Blackfriars off Broadway Double Exposure Catalogue.

April www.artwahatson.com.au feature Artist Awakenings Series.

April www.arthere.com.au select What's On review of Awakenings Series.

April "Portrait 35- Autumn 2010. National Portrait Gallery Magazine. pg 9

March Head On Photography Festival. Awakenings.

March National Portrait Gallery Newsletter- Gallery Talk feature portrait Lisa

March-Artwhatson.com.au website, feature Galleries Artist, series Awakening.

Issue#43 Photo Review Australia. Honourable Mention Photo challenge #39
"And the Kangaroo jumped over the Moon"

www.portrait.gov.au/site/NPPP2009.php https://www.portrait.gov.au/exhibit/nppp2/photos.php?startat=24

Issue#40 Photo Review Australia. First Runner-up Photo challenge # 36. "Backyard Fight".

Issue #39 Photo Review Australia. Winner Photo challenge #35. Self Portrait.

Issue #37 Photo Review Australia. Runner up In Photo Challenge #33 Diptych: "Eros in Nature".

Issue#36 Photo Review Australia. Won subscribers call for image review profile in upcoming photo

Review magazine, with image " Yumi with Fire Hair".

December: "Portrait 26 - Summer 2007 Edition of Magazine.
Published by The National Portrait Gallery, Canberra. Yumi with Fire Hair. Reference: Pages, 6,8.

The Tweed Link.


Literature-Milan Kundera,Balzac
The Expressionists
Film Hanneke
Brassai,Bill Henson,Dianne Arbus,Cindy Sherman