All posts tagged: polly penrose

Twist and Shout: The naked truth unravelling Polly Penrose’s new exhibition

On the day of our meeting, the Hoxton Gallery is a building site. The walls have been stripped, the floors are sprinkled in layers of dust mashed with wet footprints of builder’s boots and towers of cardboard pile up by the window. There is an unusually tall table – dark wood supported by a minimalist metal frame – standing by the pillar. A collection of 6×8 inch matte prints are neatly arranged on the tabletop, awaiting inspection. The empty space amplifies the sound of footsteps approaching from the stairs. Tossing back a box fringe, the London-based art photographer Polly Penrose emerges carrying two stools and crashes them down next to the table display. The said photographs are a preview of Penrose’s new exhibition, 10 Seconds, due to open at the gallery this May. “Rather than interacting with the space, I am interacting with what is in the space, and what is available to me,” Penrose says of the photography in her exhibition which, whilst still self portraits in the nude, are radically different from her previous (and ongoing) series, titled Body of …


Polly Penrose’s 10 Seconds: “Hammering my body into the landscape”

Penrose began taking photographs when she was a teen. Her first self portrait was taken on a day she was upset with her father. She wrapped a rope around her body, shot a photo of herself and sent it to him. Penrose, now a mother of two who lives close to Victoria Park in East London, studied Graphic Design before going on to work for acclaimed photographer Tim Walker. A Body of Work (self portraits 2007- 2014), her first series as a conceptual photography, was exhibited at Mother Gallery in East London, her first solo show. The series documents the effects of time passing on Polly’s body, her relationship with her environment, and the emotional state she was in at the time of the picture. “Each picture candidly portrays a moment, like marks in the calendar of my life,” Penrose told BJP on the release of A Body of Work. “The tedious despair of temp work in the city laid bare on a boardroom table. A ball of excitement on a yellow chair on my engagement. “The red fabric …


Body Clock: Polly Penrose’s nude self-portraits portray an emotional journey

The first time Polly Penrose photographed herself nude, it was in her stepfather’s factory; the second time, it was under a flight of stairs in a mid-renovation house. When her stepmother heard what she had started, she said it was a weird thing to do. “I guess there is an element of weirdness,” Penrose laughs, unabashed. But that hasn’t stopped her. The thinking behind the project was perfectly logical, she says; after studying graphic design and working as a stylist for years, she decided to teach herself photography, taking herself as a model for ease of access and whatever location she could get her hands on out of sheer necessity. But she admits there is a compulsive element to the work, and its sheer longevity has lent it another, unbidden theme – time. Penrose’s hair colour has changed, she has aged and, more dramatically, she has been pregnant, had a baby and become pregnant a second time. The images record these physical changes and more; most interestingly for Penrose, the poses she assumes record her emotional evolution too. “As well as showing the physical journey of my body …


BJP Staff