While earning her BFA in Visual Arts Studio (Specialized Honours, 2001) at York University in Canada, Ester Pugliese spent one year studying abroad in Leeds, UK, where her interest in discerning the line between abstraction and representation took hold. As a Toronto-based Canadian artist, she has exhibited extensively across southern Ontario and is the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships. Pugliese's work can be found in private and public collections, including the Donovan Collection at the University of Toronto and Capital One.
Envisioning still life painting through coral reef glasses, Ester Pugliese’s densely layered paintings brim with colour. Patches of vibrant colour resemble land masses and approximations of the darks/lights in flower arrangements. Conjuring verdant earthly gardens and shimmering aquatic forests, this work achieves a heady visual clutter that reflects the overwhelming nature of contemporary society, and reminds us why the natural world needs protecting.