Launch Event: Monday 29th November, 2pm – 4pm
Natalie Pullen is a Dublin-based visual artist concerned with the awkwardness, vulnerability and absurdity of making an abstract painting and asking someone to look at it. Her solo exhibition Meet me on the astral plane will show a body of paintings created from a partnership between the artist and her materials in the studio, in the midst of uncertainty and isolation due to the pandemic. It will be shown in the Alley Arts Centre as an invitation to the public to share in this process.
What does it mean to not know what you’re looking for, and begin anyway?
The artist’s relationship with her materials requires all the attention, care, doubt and struggle of a committed partnership. High quality linen, sized with rabbit skin glue and primed with clear gesso, provides a particular surface. Oil bars allow her to draw with paint, and watercolours leave immediate and unalterable stains as she negotiates with line, shape and colour.
The medium is not used to illustrate a pre-existing idea, but rather the work comes into being on the canvas. The viewer will meet something not fully resolved, hovering between drawing and painting, abstraction and landscape, open to participation through attentiveness. The exhibition offers a space to be with that which we do not need to fully understand, but can bear witness to anyway. It moves away from the expectation of excavating meaning from the individual artwork and instead invites a more compassionate and expansive encounter, one which opens up to the broader context surrounding the work.
Through fully inhabiting her studio practice and negotiating with surface, mark-making and the application of paint, and through moments of display and gathering, Natalie Pullen attempts to stammer the language of painting so as to unseat the inherited set of expectations it carries, and encourage the audience to look again.
Natalie Pullen received her MA Art in the Contemporary World (1.1, 2019) and BA Painting and Visual Culture (1.1) from the National College of Art and Design. She is based in Abbey Artist Studios in Dublin 1, and spent October on residency in Can Serrat International Artists Residency, Catalonia. She has recently participated in group exhibitions in Rua Red Gallery, Pallas Projects, and the Signal Arts Centre. Natalie has received funding from the Irish Arts Council, Fingal co. council, and Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown Co. Council. Her work can be found at nataliepullen.com, and she can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This exhibition is accompanied by an essay by writer and curator Sara Muthi. It is kindly supported by an Irish Arts Council Visual Artists Bursary award, and Fingal Co. Council artist funding.