#AustriaKultur Brussels Digital, Artist of March 2021

Foto: Lukas Dostal © Elisabeth Sula
In her highly contemplative fine art practice, Elisabeth Sula finds frequent inspiration in her previous studies in philosophy, with series that indirectly question ways of seeing and of understanding the connection between the self and society. Her paintings merge elements of metaphysical inquiry with spiritual exploration, drawn in part from her many years spent in India. Where earlier works were layered with Asian-inspired ornamental motifs, in Avant-garde of Consciousness, these graphic elements have been replaced by broad messages of self-affirmation. Collectively, these works form a chorus of pulsing color and declarative determination, a promise of the nourishment and uplift that come with the quest for self-knowledge.

Sula’s latest series began as a response to what she perceived as one-dimensional, fear-driven narratives about the Coronavirus pandemic being promoted by a number of influential sources. Seeking to complicate and expand the scope of such narratives, she urges a reframing of the virus as a symptom of our growing alienation both from the earth, whose resources we continue to plunder heedlessly, and from one another, as preoccupations with national and racial superiority increasingly threaten our sense of common humanity. Through her layered works, she aims to combat feelings of helplessness with a message of empowerment and self-actualization that extends far beyond this particular moment in time. Moving away from the virus itself as the dominant narrative, Sula looks to the wider history of challenges to humanity’s status quo, and considers what we can do to protect ourselves against such threats both physically and psychologically, as agents, not victims.

The overarching theme of Avant-garde of Consciousness, reinforced by the text imprinted on each canvas, is choice—specifically, the choice to embrace an attitude of acceptance over fear, to look inward rather than outward for the fundamental inspiration that drives our thoughts and actions. Of the eight paintings that compose the series, each detailing a different call to psychic action.

This work could not have come during a more fraught moment, characterized by a divisive political reckoning over longstanding inequalities and a public health crisis threatened by rampant individualism—all set against the backdrop of a global refugee crisis and environmental destruction at an unprecedented scale. Sula’s work offers a vision for the future that uplifts the individual but prioritizes a collective approach to self- examination and the actions that follow from it. If fear manifests as a type of unconsciousness, her work then is a call to consciousness that prioritizes conscientiousness, an open appeal that begins with the prescriptiveness of written text only to melt into a wash of abstract, interpretive color.

Elizabeth Breiner
Art Critic, February 2021

Film sponsered by the Austrian Culture Forum Pressburg

Works on Paper, Toskany, Casole D' Elsa, Italy
13. - 24. July 2022

Záhorská Galerie Jána Mudrocha
Sadová 619/3, 905 01 Senica, Slovakia
11. June - 10. August 2021

Austrian Culture Forum Pressburg
Hodžovo námestie 1/A
81106 Bratislava, Slovakia
2. - 22. June 2021

Online exhibition Austrian Culture Forum Brussels 
Starting: 18th March 2021

CELEBRATE ART                                         Choose always the fearless option
Art Studio Sula
Schiffmühlenstraße 78, 1220 Vienna, Austria


Designed City-apartment of BeLLeArTi
Radetzkystreet 5, 1030 Vienna, Austria

Permanent Exhibition in Traiskirchen (Austria) and Art in Public Spaces Project

In a ceremonial act that took place on Friday, April 2, 2004, a painting of the Kunst-am-Bau project was dedicated to the Education Centre Traiskirchen where  at the same time  Eilsabeth Sula´s exhibition was opened.

Elisabeth Sula was commissioned with designing the foyer of the Education Centre Traiskirchen which was  built in 2002. She titled the acrylic painting (dimensions: 6.5m x 2.65m) Guiding Vision with its concept and title referring directly to the guiding themes of the house. In parallel to the permanent Art in Public Spaces project, the artist created a new, comprehensive cycle of colourful acrylic paintings.

The exhibition of the works titled Healing Room, inner spiritual spaces, can be visited in the building and is open daily. Education Centre Traiskirchen, BM.I. (Federal Ministry of Interior), Akademiestrasse 3, 2514 Traiskirchen, on-call telephone number: +43/5913/3920

Slide show on the creation of Guiding Vision
Slide show on the exhibition Healing Room