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Born in 1964, Zorica Purlija is a Montenegrin/Australian  artist based in Bondi Beach, Gadigal, Bidiagal and Birrabirragal land.  

Graduating with Distinction 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.


For the last twenty years she has been practicing as a fine art photographer while raising her family, and in July 2020 she completed her Masters of Art in photo media, at the UNSW School of Art and Design.

Her current practice has been focused around attachments, the psychology and space around our primary relationships and how it impacts our future self. Her art is informed by feminist values and hopes to tap into our universal longings for equality.


She continues to exhibit widely, and her public profile continues to build, including internationally, exhibiting in Manhattan, Zurich, and Venice. 



2021   Represented by Stanley Street Gallery Sydney.

2020   Master of Art in Digital Media at University of NSW

2017   Awarded Early Curator Award ARC and UNSW School of Art and Design Paddington.

2016   Awarded Student Community and Development Grant for Exhibition The Mother

           ARC an UNSW Kensington.

2007   Represented by Sara Roney Gallery Sydney.

2003   Portrait Summer Course, National Art School.   

1989    Associate Diploma of Visual Arts, Major in Photography with Distinction,

            University of Western Sydney.

1983-1985   BSC/Architecture, University of Newcastle.



2017    Realising Mother. Kudos Gallery Paddington

             12 Photographers, 4 Video artists 




2020   ‘Art in the Time of COVID-19’ Nillumbik Shire Council, Victoria.Slideshow projection.

           From the sun to the moon and back.



2023.  Stanley Street Gallery, Darlinghurst. The Fall.

2022  The Digital Gallery, Rhodes Canada Bay. From The Sun to The Moon and Back. Mp4.

2021   Home735 Gallery Redfern, Portraits of Yumi.

           Waverley Library Gallery, Unfettered.

2020   No Mans Land, Gallery Lane Cove, Sydney. Unfettered .

2019   PostFRESH Gallery371 Marrickville.NSW.Towards Something_

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. 

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.



2024   FotoNostrum Gallery,Barcelona, 20th Julia Margaret Cameron Award Exhibition, In a Trance

            UniSQ Biennial Art Award, UniSQ Art Gallery, Springfield Queensland, Minyon Falls

            Beauty Runs the Gauntlet, Women of Waverley, Bondi Pavilion Gallery, Into Silence, Rockhead

            Aesthetica Art Prize 2024 Long listed artist : The Future Now Symposium, York Art Gallery, UK 

2023   URBAN Photo Awards 2023 Selected Photographer, Trieste Photo Days, Feet

            Paris Photo OFF at Galerie Joseph, Paris, Yumi with pink Rose at 16

            Capture Awards, Highly Commended Award in Australasia’s Top Emerging Photographers 2023,

            The 2023 End of Year Group Exhibition, Rogue Pop Up Gallery, Redfern, Strings#2

            Articulate Turns 13, Group Exhibition, Articulate Gallery, Sydney, Rockface#5

            Tree Tales, Tree Veneration Society group Show, Chrissie Cotter Gallery, Sydney,

            City of Sydney Art and About Exhibition, Custom's House Circular Quay, In a Trance

            Gosford Art Prize, Gosford Regional Gallery, Gosford East, Gushing

            Festival of repair, 107 Projects, Redfern, For our Children

            Portraits Beyond Faces, PH21 Contemporary Photography Gallery, Budapest, The swan Sunbaker

          NYC4PA WATER, Honourable Mention  juror Crista Dix, New York, Dark water

          20th Julia Margaret Cameron Award for Women Photographers, honourable mention award, 

            PRO-single Fine Art PRO-single Portrait, jurors Elizabeth Avedon (Chair), Ann Jastrab, and Elizabeth Krist.

            A Different Kind of Place, Group Exhibition, Chrissie Cotter Gallery, Camperdown 

            Winner Charring Cross Photos ‘Streets’ call out, Feet 

            Nominee 16th Annual International Color Awards, Yellow Umbrella
            Awagami International Miniature Print Exhibition (AIMPE), Inbe Art Space, Japan, Submerge

            9 x 5 Exhibition, Walker Street Gallery and Arts Centre, Victoria
            Earth Group Exhibition, Articulate Project Space, Marrickville, Golden Moments 

            Humans and the Environment, Cista Arts, International Call Out, Online 

            The Luupe’s Visions of Motherhood, Featured artist, Mum dying Rajka’s hair

2022    Articulate Turns 12 Group Show, Sydney, Seether

            The Lake Art Prize, Lake Macquarie, NSW, Gushing

           The Little things Art Prize, Saint Cloche Gallery, Sydney, Purple Dreams

            HeadON Portrait Prize 2020, The Pingyao International Photography Festival (PIP), China

            What's Left Behind Online Exhibition Curated By Sergio Gomez & Caitlin Kelly Thompson

            Nominee 15th International Colour Awards, Silk pillow Reflections

            Lethbridge Landscape Prize, Salon des Refuses, Queensland

2021   American Photography 37 finalist. Online Exhibition and Hardcover Book published.

            Contemporary Portrait exhibition at The SE Center for Photography,Greenville, SC 29601

            Out to Sea, Beret Gallery. DuckRabbit. Into Silence.

            Art Traveller, Biomorphic.

            Costa's Cafe Bondi Beach, ARTWALL.

            GOT THE SHOT, NOW GET CREATIVE, New York Center for Photographic Art,

            Curator Ellen Denuto. 

            Out From The Mist Competition-Representations of Mental Illness, Queensland.Lodestar.

            STAGES: photography through the pandemic exhibition. MGA Atrium Gallery Melbourne.  

            Room 205 Darlinghurst. Eyelevel Collective group show.  

            Rogue Gallery Pop Up Group Show, Redfern 

            Flora Exhibition, City of Greater Dandenong. 
            16th Julia Margaret Cameron Photography Awards. Honorable Mention.   

            Lethbridge Landscape Prize, Salon des Refuses online Exhibition, Paddington Queensland   

             Art in The Time of Covid 19, Montsalvat. Nillumbik Shire Council.

From the sun to the moon and back.   

            Herland III The Body Resilient . The Women's Library Newtown. Yumi homeschooling ,dance.

            Passepartout Prize Semifinalist, catalogue. Biomorphic.

            Summer Group Show Aro Gallery Darlinghurst. Into Silence.

            Art in The Time of Covid 19, Montsalvat. Nillumbik Shire Council.

            From the sun to the moon and back. Commissioned artwork.

            9th Edition, Illford CCP Salon, Melbourne. Girl with Sunflower.

2020 UNSW MFA Graduate’s Exhibition, UNSW Galleries ,Paddington. Biomorphic.

            The Metamorphosis Exhibition -The Holy Art ,London.

           Sunflower Art + Craft Festival, Quirindi NSW ,Girl with Sunflower.

           Out of the Mist, Representations of Mental Health, Brisbane. Girl with Sunflower.

            Get Wet Pop Up Exhibition Randwick. Biomorphic.

            15th Julia Margaret Cameron Photography Awards. Honourable Mention. 

            Ravenswood Womens Art Prize. Ravenswood Centenary Centre,Gordon. 

            Wyndham Art Prize.Wyndham Art Gallery Victoria. Complicated.
            Headon Portrait Prize Finalist. Sydney. Just Kids.
            AddOn Group Exhibition. Headon Festival Sydney. Zooper Booper.

            HerLand 2-Our Land Newtown Women's Library.Time will Tell.

            Da Li Se Setis, 107  Projects, Redfern. My little corner of Remembering 1983.

            Bushfires Fundraiser Tap Gallery Sydney, Berlin#6.The night South Sydney Burned.

            Goodnight, Call out Group Show GAFFA Gallery Sydney. Smoke and Haze #3.

2019   Der Greif online Show Room Guest,Sara Hemming. Your Truth. Home after Surgery.

             Summer vibes Group show The Space Gallery Roseberry. Forever.

             Ilford CCP Salon, CCP Gallery Fitzroy,Victoria.Let the Love Shine Through.

             Encountering Group Show Consolidated Studio Postgraduate Students 

             UNSW School of Art and Design.GAFFA Gallery Sydney. Unfettered.

             10TH Prospect Portrait Prize South Australia. Complicated.

             1047 Selfie Group Show Mascot. Matrilineal.

             A Sense of Wonder Contemporary Art awards.Brisbane Queensland. Swimmer.

             Small things Art prize St Cloche Gallery Paddington.Berlin#6.

             Portrait Group Show Home 735 Gallery Redfern.Complicated.

             Herland: In Search of a Female Utopia.The Womens Library,Newtown NSW.

             Love Shines Through.

             Power, Loud and Luminous at the HeadOn Festival,ANU School of Art and Design,

             Canberra.The Lioness.

             10 X 8 Exhibition, The Corner Store Gallery, Orange NSW. Berlin #2.

             Photo19 Zurich’s ‘Directors Choice Series’ (London Photo Digital                  


2018    London Photo Festival, Street Photography Exhibition.Se11JA London.

            Tatoo guy at the Tiergarten Markets.

            JUST ART Competition. Law Society of NSW. Sydney. In Memory of Aylan Kurdi.

            St Kevins College Art Show Toorak, Melbourne.Berlin#2

            Favour Economy Sound Archives Volume published 3 July.

            Semi finalist Doug Moran Photographic Prize. Holiday at Crescent Head.

            Loud and Luminous :Celebrating Women Photographers. Brunswick Street Gallery, Melbourne. 

            I am Girl.

2017    Fisher’s Ghost Art Award Campbelltown Arts Centre NSW, Strange Faces#8

            A Single Grain of Rice. International  “Small Format” Art Contest and Collective Show

            Metanoia Gallery, Paris, France. Berlin# 2

            Brisbane Art Prize.Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts.Fortitude Valley, QLD Berlin# 2

            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    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 Kapoor Artwork.

            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. 


           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.

           Passionfruits Group Show Selected Finalists Exhibition.GAFFA Gallery, Sydney.

           Ode to el Greco,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.
 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.






            Gaffa Exhibition Catalogue, Meeting UNSW  School of Art and Design Group Show.

            PhotoReview Magazine.

             Herland: In Search of a Female Utopia.The Womens Library,Newtown NSW.


2012    Australian Photography and Gallery Compendium.

2011    Australian Photography and Gallery Compendium.p123

            Photo Review Australia Issue#48.Front Cover and Inspiration Profile Spread.

            Josephine Urlick & Win Schubert Photography Award 2011 Catalogue.

            Worldwide Photography Gala Awards.                     country-landscape

            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.

2010    Getty Images Grab Competition                                                       v=WE46r4Xssao&

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

           May Blackfriars off Broadway Double Exposure Catalogue.                                                                            

           April feature Artist 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.


  website, feature Galleries Artist , series Awakening .

           Issue#43 Photo Review Australia. Honourable Mention Photo challenge #39 

           “And the Kangaroo jumped over the Moon”



           Issue#40 Photo Review Australia . First Runner-up Photo challenge # 36. “Backyard Fight”                                  mood.aspx.

           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.”

2008 Issue#36 Photo Review Australia.                          profile-zorica-purlija.aspx

           Sale Or Lease.Arthere Curated Exhibition.

2007 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.



           NYC4PA New Century Artists, Chelsea ,New York US

           Malamegi Lab.Udine Italy

           Tweed River Art Gallery.NSW

           Private Sales

           Sara Roney Gallery.NSW

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