1 September – 25 November 2012

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.

Everything I want to be when I grow up is the first exhibition to survey the different strands of Borland's work. It includes portraits of famous faces such as Cate Blanchett, Nick Cave and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and the series Australians, The Babies, Bunny and Smudge, and the most recent series, Pupa. Borland has lived in Britain since 1989, and presently lives in Los Angeles, USA.

Curator: Alison Kubler


  • Download the Polly Borland Learning Guide here

Public Programs

Saturday 1 September 4.00pm – 5.00pm 
Please join Polly Borland and curator Alison Kubler on a tour of the exhibition.

  • Listen to or download podcast of the tour here

Thursday 6 September 2.00pm – 3.00pm
Panel discussion responding to the exhibition with curator Alison Kubler, Frances Bonner and Jay Younger.


  • Watch Polly Borland: Fragments of a documentary from Alex Chomicz on Vimeo.

  • Download media kit and view media release here
  • Listen to or download Polly Borland in discussion with Sarah Kanowski on ABC Radio National 'Weekend Arts' here

Online publication

View the online publication Polly Borland: Everything I want to be when I grow up here

Purchase publication

Purchase the publication Polly Borland: Everything I want to be when I grow up here

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body

Supported by the Gordon Darling Foundation

Polly Borland
Untitled-XVII 2004-2005
from the series 'Bunny'
type C photograph
Collection of The University of Queensland, purchased 2008
Reproduced courtesy of the artist and Murray White Room, Melbourne
Polly Borland