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Havana Biennial 2019: Constructing the Possible Ocula Report Havana Biennial 2019: Constructing the Possible 17 Apr 2019 : Federica Bueti for Ocula

I first visited Havana in November 2016, a few days after Fidel Castro died, and just under a year before Hurricane Irma hit Cuba in September 2017. Since then, much has changed, including the hand-painted signs that punctuate the journey from the airport to the city centre, which today do not celebrate the revolution so much as the 'Unidad y...

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Andrew Stahl and Guo Xiaohui Ocula Conversation Andrew Stahl and Guo Xiaohui

The exhibition Beyond Boundaries at Somerset House in London (12 March–2 April 2019) marked the historic contributions of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing (CAFA) and the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, on the occasion of their 100th and 150th anniversaries, respectively. Spread across several rooms of Somerset House's...

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The National 2019: New Australian Art Ocula Report The National 2019: New Australian Art 13 Apr 2019 : Elyse Goldfinch for Ocula

The National 2019: New Australian Art features work by 70 contemporary Australia-based artists split across three venues: the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), Carriageworks, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) (29 March–21 July 2019), as curated by Isobel Parker Philip, curator of photographs at AGNSW; Daniel Mudie Cunningham,...

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Polly Borland

b. 1959, Australia

Polly Borland's photographic practice has straddled commercial/photographic documentary, and fine art practice, and is characterised by an edgy sensibility that lends her images tension and resonance. Her concerns have included identity, the outcast, beauty and ugliness. Drawn to the weird and wonderful, Borland’s left-of-centre approach transforms the ordinary, even banal, into the extraordinary.

Polly Borland was born and raised in Melbourne, Australia. She moved to the UK in 1989, and by this time she was already established as a leading portrait photographer, particularly with her work for Australian Vogue. Borland worked for newspaper supplements including the Independent on Sunday Review and the Daily & Sunday Telegraph Magazines as well as Vogue, Elle, Arena and Dazed & Confused in the UK and The New Yorker, Vanity Fair and Details in the US.

Her first book, The Babies, is a photographic study of adult babies or infantilists, and was published in 2001 with an accompanying essay by Susan Sontag. In that same year she was one of eight photographers chosen to photograph the Queen for her Golden Jubilee. In 2000 and 2001 Borland completed the series Australians, documenting the role of Australians in British culture, which included the portraits of people as diverse as singer Kylie Minogue and the vice-chancellor of Cambridge University Sir Alec Broers.

In her most recent body of work entitled Bunnys, Borland photographs a real-life giant woman called Gwen that is accompanied by a seductive short poem by Nick Cave and a modern fairytale by Will Self. The book takes the viewer through an assemblage of images, which explore femininity and deconstruct the idea of the Playboy bunny girl in today's world, peppered with cynicism and skepticism.

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In Related Press

Hotel Windsor to become a contemporary art hub for Spring 1883 Related Press Hotel Windsor to become a contemporary art hub for Spring 1883 The Weekly Review : 14 August 2016

A sculpture in the bathtub, a horse on the couch and a disco in the loo are just some of the ways artworks have been exhibited at what is emerging as Melbourne’s most exciting art fair.The Hotel Windsor is, once again, about to be transformed by SPRING 1883, a high-end contemporary art show to be held as part of Melbourne’s Art...

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Polly Borland: Shooting From The Margins Related Press Polly Borland: Shooting From The Margins Kylie Northover for The Sydney Morning Herald / 05 April 2014 : 11 April 2014

In the essay accompanying Polly Borland's new book, YOU, fellow artist Tony Clark talks of the inspiration of the opportunity shop in Australian art, and its role, particularly, in Borland's work.''I hadn't actually thought of that before, but that is a great angle,'' says Borland, in Melbourne for the launch of the...

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