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Polly Borland

b. 1959

Polly Borland, born in Melbourne in 1959, began her photographic career in Australia before moving to London in 1989. Since then she has established an international reputation as a leading portrait and reportage photographer. She has also shot movie stills and 'specials' for the films Dogs in Space, directed by Richard Lowenstein, and Ghosts of the Civil Dead and To Have and to Hold, both directed by her husband John Hillcoat. Her first book, The Babies, a photographic study of infantilists (adults who derive sexual pleasure from acting or being treated as babies), was released in December 2000. Joint winner of the 1994 John Kobal Photography Portrait Award, Borland's work has featured in exhibitions in Australia and the United Kingdom including the 1999 Meltdown Festival in London, the British National Portrait Gallery's display Artists of the 1990s and Glossy: Faces Magazines Now at the National Portrait Gallery, Canberra. Polly Borland: Australians, an exhibition which is a collaborative project between the National Portrait Gallery, Canberra, and the National Portrait Gallery, London to celebrate the Centenary of Federation is currently showing at the Monash Gallery of Art, Melbourne. Borland says that "I have a fascination with people - I love meeting them and photographing them. It's a passion. I think of my camera like a microscope, regarding my sitters closely. On a good day it is more like a x-ray machine being able to penetrate below the surface. At its best portrait photography is psychologically revealing."

Updated 2018