Rising star, female artist and mother of two, Penrose studied Graphic Design and went on to work for acclaimed photographer Tim Walker before dedicating her time to her own artistic practice. She exhibited her first solo show A Body of Work (self portraits 2007 – 2014) at Downstairs at Mother Gallery in 2014.
For her second exhibition, at Hoxton Gallery, Polly showcased four new series all take on 10 seconds self timer and shot between 2014 and 2016: “Pool Party”shot in the summer heat of Ibiza; “I was never good at Yoga” shot using mediation and yoga equipment as a prosthetic extensions of the artist’s body and “Paperwork”, where Penrose takes on the challenge of using colourama paper and her body to become “something else”. These series was accompanied by the ongoing project “A Body of Work 2014-16, shown in the second room.
The exhibition showcased an ongoing dialogue developed over the course of the years, from the artist “hammering her body into the landscape one picture at a time”, as she says, to getting centre stage, moulding herself into her own muse – a transition from a more intense, passionate attempt to a lighter, more meditative and ironic viewpoint. All framed by the passage of time and changing scenarios.
Polly’s head is never visible on the photographs. Her identity changes, in every picture as she becomes an integral part of the landscape or an object.
In this creative act Penrose participates at every stage. She takes the role of carver, muse and creation at the same time, forming a dynamic narrative written in 10 Seconds and witnessed in the final photographs.
All images have an organic, simple aesthetic, highlighted by the title 10 Seconds – the time Penrose takes to “get her work done”.
“Body liberation through the lens – Polly Penrose frees woman from body anxiety by exploring her own identity through these striking nudes.” Huffington Post