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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Elle Macpherson

2000
Polly Borland

type C photograph on paper (sheet: 60.7 cm x 44.7 cm, image: 49.8 cm x 39.4 cm)

Elle Macpherson (b. 1964) is a businesswoman, model, actor and television host. As one of the leading supermodels in the world Macpherson walked the runway for high-end designers, appeared in advertising campaigns and dominated magazine covers, including her record five covers of the Sports Illustrated annual swimsuit edition. Along with appearing in films including Sirens (1993), The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996), Batman and Robin (1997), The Edge (1997) and South Kensington (2001), and guest starring in the American sitcom Friends, she has been a host and executive producer for the television shows Britain and Ireland’s Next Top Model and Fashion Star. Her business ventures include Elle Macpherson Intimates and Elle Macpherson Body, and in 2014 she co-founded WelleCo and released its flagship product, Super Elixir.

Polly Borland began her photographic career in Australia before moving to London and then Los Angeles. Her portrait of Macpherson was taken for an exhibition documenting Australians living in Britain. The image captures the photographer's sense of humour, the model wrapped in her white jumper. 'I'm fascinated by people – I love meeting them, I love photographing them, I love finding out about them. The best portraiture is when you get beneath the skin of someone, it’s psychologically revealing.'

Purchased 2001
© Polly Borland

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

Artist and subject

Polly Borland (age 41 in 2000)

Elle Macpherson (age 36 in 2000)

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

Clive James
Clive James
Clive James
Clive James

Golden Jubilee

Magazine article by Magda Keaney, 2002

Polly Borland's photograph of The Queen was commissioned by Buckingham Palace as part of a series of high profile celebrations to mark the Golden Jubilee.

Confide in Me

Magazine article by Sarah Hill, 2002

This article examines the photographic portraiture of Polly Borland.

© National Portrait Gallery 2021
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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency