Religious Undertones

23 January 2014

To me, Peggy Maree Pullen's work is all about waiting.
The objects/people in her images seem to be anticipating someone or something.
It's a tense sort waiting, full of intent, but still presenting a delicateness and fragility of place.

Next month Peggy opens her first solo exhibition at Gaffa Gallery.
Jess Pecar grabbed the chance to catch up with her and find out more.

How did your first solo exhibition come about?After graduating from CATC I spent all of my time approaching magazines, industry people and applying for exhibitions at different galleries in Sydney. Gaffa was one of the first to respond to me and I knew we would be a perfect match.

Tell us about your concept, 'Religious Undertones'The series is based on my time in an oppressive religious group. It speaks of the emotions and memories of that time and my journey after leaving. It is very personal and very raw.

I find it extremely difficult to speak publicly or even in small groups about my emotions and thoughts. I also find it difficult to model or pose for other people, just as I sometimes find it strange to get others to do it for me. But when I am alone in my own space, with in my own thoughts, then I can express exactly what I want, and that is when the magic happens.

Talk us through the method you used in producing these photographs?I worked for 13 weeks in the one room in my tiny little house. My lecturer Tania encouraged me back into there even when I thought I couldn't go back. I would spend hours sitting in there, feeling the room and experiencing the light. I also spent many sleepless nights thinking. It was an intense journey.

I shot with a remote cable and a timer, and would often spend quite a bit of time moving my body around or the camera to get the exact feeling I was after. I also did a far bit of work in photoshop. The room I shot in is actually quite small and I wanted more negative space, so I would often 'extend' the walls in photoshop.

What was a major factor when deciding where to study Photography?I looked for somewhere with a good reputation, somewhere that was easy for me to get to (public transport) and I also liked that the course was only the one year.

What was the most important lesson you have learnt throughout your studies?To believe in my intuition and my abilities. And also to trust others a little more.

See more of Peggy's work at her site:

And make sure you get along to the opening night Thursday 6th Feb 6pm @ 281 Clarence Street, Sydney (running until 18th Feb)