24 Nov – 22 Dec 2018
Opening Saturday 24 November 3–5pm
Sullivan+Strumpf is delighted to present Polymorph, an exhibition of new work by Polly Borland. Continuing Borland's exploration of the possibilities of abstraction and the surreal, the Morph and Polymorph series of photographs combine anthropomorphic soft-sculpture with abstracted portraiture. An exciting advance in Borland's practice, these new works present the human form in surprising and unfamiliar ways. At once tender and troubling, they are poignantly human and pointedly not; an amalgam of humour, the uncanny and a disquieting uneasiness.
Accompanying these works will be five portraits of Borland by five invited artists: Emma Borland, Tony Clark, Eliza Hutchinson, Elizabeth Newman, Constance Zikos and Christina Zimpel. Underscoring the ideas of distortion and transformation explored in the Morph series, Borland asked each artist to respond to the portrait invitation in any way they wished, in terms of size, medium and style, creating five images across which the artist's face is repeatedly recast and reinterpreted.
Polymorph coincides with Borland's major survey show at the National Gallery of Victoria and the publication of a new book of Borland's images from this series which is published by Perimeter Editions.
Polly Borland was born in Melbourne in 1959. After studying at Prahran College in 1983, she relocated to England in 1989 and to Los Angeles in 2011. She established herself as a portrait photographer in Australia before shooting for numerous international publications including The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Independent and Dazed and Confused. Borland won the John Kobal Photographic Portrait Award in 1994, and the Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Photography Award in 2017.
In 2001 she was one of the eight photographers selected to photograph the Queen for her Golden Jubilee. Her first book The Babies was published by Powerhouse in 2001 and included an essay by the late Susan Sontag. In 2013, a documentary on the artist and her work, entitled Polymorphous, directed by Alex Chomicz, aired on ABC Television, Australia in March 2013.
Borland’s work is in public and private collections including The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, New York; National Portrait Gallery, London; National Portrait Gallery, Canberra; The Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart; and the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.