Polly Borland’s practice was established in the late 1980s by major portrait commissions and extraordinary reportage. Since 2000 the photographer’s art projects, exhibitions and publications have recorded documentary, collaborative and created subjects.
Before focusing on art projects, Borland shot regularly for numerous UK and US publications including The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Independent and Dazed and Confused. In 1994 she won the prestigious John Kobal Photographic Portrait Award. Her work has appeared in numerous exhibitions, and a selection of photographs from a previous body of work, The Babies was exhibited at the Southbank’s Meltdown Festival in 1999, curated that year by Nick Cave. In 2000 The National Portrait Galleries in London and Canberra exhibited Australians, a major commissioned solo exhibition. Powerhouse published her first book The Babies in 2001 with an essay by the late Susan Sontag. In that same year Borland was one of eight photographers selected to photograph Queen Elizabeth II for the Golden Jubilee.
In 2008 Damien Hirst’s Murderme Ltd Collection acquired an entire edition of the 50 photographs from Bunny. The artist’s work has also been acquired by the collections of the National Portrait Galleries, London and Canberra, the Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, New York.
In 2011, Borland relocated to Los Angeles, California to begin work on Pupa, which was later exhibited at Murray White Room, Melbourne, Australia.
A survey show of Borland's work was held at the University of Queensland Art Museum, Polly Borland: Everything I want to be when I grow up, in 2012. The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles commissioned Borland and John Hillcoat to direct a short film for the Los Angeles band IO Echo's "Berlin It's All A Mess" in that same year.
Polly Borland’s photographs are included in the Balnaves Contemporary biennial exhibition, We used to talk about love, Balnaves contemporary: photomedia at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 31 January – 21 April 2013.
In 2013, a documentary on the artist and her work, entitled Polymorphous, directed by Alex Chomicz, aired on ABC Television, Australia in March 2013. Shortly after, Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York held a solo exhibition of Polly Borland’s work entitled You, and again in 2014 at the Murray White Room Gallery, Melbourne, Australia.
Additionally, The Australian Centre of Photography, Melbourne held a solo exhibition of her work titled, Wonky. In 2014, Polly Borland was featured in five group shows worldwide: Small is Beautiful show, Flowers Gallery, New York City; Pardon My French, Marcas Gallery, Anaheim California; Episodes: Australian Photography Now, 13th Dong Gang International Photo Festival Seoul, Korea; Art Basel Hong Kong, Hong Kong; and The Other Criteria Flagship Store/Gallery Opening, New York City.download pdf