Designers on your doorstep

Penny Pollard




The masks created are not what they seem and address questions of identity, portraiture and appearance. The mask has always held a fascination and mystery for me with its disconcerting strangeness and I use it as a metaphor of self. The masks show us that we are bound by psychological and social constraints; by the masks of convention.

I explore my evolving and complex Deaf identity and attempt to shatter the illusion of a unified self. The mask is a site to express the emotions and power of the unconscious. My masks are resting at home; hovering between beauty and the grotesque, known and unknown.

IMAGE > Penny Pollard, at home with my armour, 2021, copper, silk, enamel paint and 23 carat gold, 4.5 x 4.5 x 2.5 cm each. Image courtesy of the artist.
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I moved back to Melbourne from Canberra in January this year so my practice has changed. For the last few years I have been working with Deaf and Disabled artists which was really enjoyable. Since my move I have decided now is the right time to focus full time on my arts practice. I have been able to set up my electroforming bath at home and have a studio space too. So I am pretty lucky that I have most things I need now to create in my home.


I am enjoying my long suburban walks and finding 60's and 70's homes. I recently discovered the untouched home of engineer Ted Mason and his wife Denise built in 1976.

I explore my evolving and complex Deaf identity and attempt to shatter the illusion of a unified self. 



I don't have a favourite room I adore my entire home. I have come to appreciate living again in my childhood home. A triple fronted, mid-century brick veneer, with staggered fa├žade and wrought iron railing. I value the design significance of the property, because these charming suburban family homes are becoming fewer and fewer. My home was built by pioneer builder Ron Strachan, father to Skyhooks frontman Shirley Strachan


My favourite design object is my mother's garden. My parents transformed the open fields and orchards into a lush suburban garden, full of chickens, bees and flowers.


I lived close to the Canberra Distillery and I still enjoy a Canberra Winter Gin and tonic with lime.




IMAGES [Top to bottom] > All images courtesy of the artist. Recipe image source: unsplash.


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Designers on your doorstep

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