National Gallery of Victoria
28 September 2018 - 3 February 2019
Polly Borland's Polyverse, an exhibition of new and recent works by the celebrated Australian artist opens tomorrow at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV). Born in Melbourne and now living in Los Angeles, Borland is known for her photographs of iconic subjects including Queen Elizabeth II, Nick Cave and Gwendoline Christie. Her more recent practice explores the possibilities of abstraction and the surreal, in images which present the human form in surprising and unfamiliar ways; an amalgam of humour, the uncanny and a disquieting uneasiness. The NGV exhibition includes works from Borland's important 'Monster', 'Bunny', and 'Smudge' series, in addition to a previously un-exhibited body of work which will form part of Polymorph - her solo exhibition with Sullivan+Strumpf Sydney in November.
The NGV exhibition will include 60 works spanning the last 10 years and reveal Borland's celebrated ability to render the body in alluring, enigmatic and surreal compositions, often inviting the view to see the human form in unfamiliar ways.
A new tapestry work of Borland's celebrated photograph of The Queen, taken for Her Majesty's Golden Jubilee in 2022, will be a highlight of the exhibition. Created in collaboration with Fine Cell Work, an English prisoner's advocacy organisation that trains prisoners to undertake paid, skilled needlework from their cells, this large-scale tapestry will be shown for the first time double-sided, allowing viewers to admire both the composition and highly skilled construction of the work.
In a mesmerising large-scale display, Borland will showcase a new series of large lenticular works, taking the illusive quality of her portraits to new, three-dimensional scales. Borland will also unveil a never-before-seen body of new work that has been created especially for the NGV exhibition.
"Borland shoots on film, taking many rolls to achieve the final images, and never altering the works in post-production. The works reveal Borland's finely crafted skill for capturing uncanny moments that stretch our understanding of the human body," said Tony Ellwood, Director of the NGV.