Polly Nor's brand new solo exhibition illustrates all too relatable scenes of the female experience during the age of the internet.
Well known among us for her satirical takes on everyday insecurities, tricky relationships, mental health and the grapple for self-acceptance, Polly Nor invites us to explore a new collection of previously unseen digital illustrations at her week-long 'Airing My Dirty Laundry in Public' exhibition at Protein Studios.
The unseen 36-part illustration series (plus a new ceramic sculpture work and an immersive installation piece) will be on display alongside her full collection of original hand-drawn illustrations, all bound together by continued themes of identity, sexuality and emotional turmoil, and the ways women live them out in an era so deeply governed by the world wide web.
Her (sometimes) twisted, (always) tongue-in-cheek depictions of women behind the scenes of everyday life has caught the attention of more eyes online than most illustrators could ever dream of, and has seen her work noted in the media by the likes of i-D, Dazed, It's Nice That, BBC Three and The Creator's Project. Her Instagram has amassed a commendable fanbase of 1 million and is home to some of the most shared illustrations on social media — all the while her work ironically taps into and points fun of the less glamourous aspects of being switched on and logged in.
Her work is deservingly popular. Why? With illustrations so identifiable and reflective of moments that many of us can recount from our own daily happenings and how we use the internet, Polly has quite the knack for laying bare all the ugly and real aspects of being a woman living in a digitally connected world, painting un-touched up scenes of what really goes on behind our laptop and mobile screens. Witty, bold and clever in her presentation, she captures a devilish motif that weaves its way in and out most of her illustrations; a problematic character that seems to epitomise the internal monologue of the female characters she depicts — as they struggle against, are consumed by and confront the pressures and expectations from the outside world. Sometimes Polly’s females come out on top, most of the time the devil wins — and every now and again they become one another.
From scenes of untidy bedrooms, porn consumption and masturbation, to scrolling through social media from the comfort of the loo, Polly shows us inside the mind and habits of the digitally conscious woman and the dark side of its effects on mental wellbeing and self-image.
'Airing My Dirty Laundry in Public' is the third solo exhibition by Polly Nor, following from her 'Sorry Grandma' show in 2015 and her 'It's Called Art Mum, Look it Up' show which was displayed in August last year.
'Airing My Dirty Laundry in Public' exhibition at Protein Studios and runs from 11th to 17th October, from 11:00 to 17:00, at Protein Studios, 31 New Inn Yard, London, EC2A 3EY.