Chris Saines, Director of Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) announced Polly Borland as the 2017 winner of the Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Photography Award – Queensland’s most coveted and generous photography prize for contemporary photography; presented by Gold Coast City Gallery.
As the winner of the Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Photography Award 2017, Borland is awarded a cash prize of $25,000 and her work Two Heads A acquired as part of the Gold Coast City Gallery collection.
An initiative of the Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Foundation, in 2017 the Award honours the memory of Win Schubert AO (1937-2017) and her extraordinary generosity as a lifelong custodian of Australian photography, art and creativity. The Award gives the winner and finalists an unparalleled opportunity for gallery and industry exposure.
With an additional $25,000 for acquisitions, works by Darren Sylvester, Broken Model and Danie Mellor, The distance (envisioning Girrugarr) were also selected; and will join the Gallery’s impressive collection of contemporary Australian photography.
‘Polly Borland’s Two Heads A 2016 is a compelling, edgy and uncanny photograph. It is a deserving winner of the Josephine Ulrick & Win Schubert Photography Award 2017. Simultaneously enigmatic and fetishistic, its subject’s upper torso and head is pressed into a stretched stocking. This wilful distortion of the portrait convention gives the figure the outline of a babushka doll, whose image is mirrored (Rorschach blot-like) top and bottom rather than side by side. It’s an intriguing essay in pictorial and psychological contradiction and, as if engaged in some wilfully corrupted version of the Narcissus myth, I found it hard to look away. It was, in the end, the photograph to which I found myself returning most often,’ said this year’s judge Chris Saines, CNZM, Director of Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art.
This year saw more than 300 submissions from a diverse range of photographers, many local to the Gold Coast and new entries to the Award. With a substantially increased first prize in 2017 the
Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Photography Award is now the biggest award in Queensland and second in Australia for photography.
‘Art prizes like the Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Photography Award play an important role in our local cultural life and profile and promote the work of emerging and established artists to our audience. As the Gold Coast continues to raise its profile on a national level as a home of art and culture we are well and truly setting the scene for our future new gallery and cultural precinct due in 2020,’ said Gold Coast City Gallery Director, Tracy Cooper-Lavery.
The winner and all Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Photography Award 2017 finalists will have their work presented at Gold Coast City Gallery in a free exhibition that runs from Saturday 9 September to Sunday 22 October 2017.