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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

POL

Portrait of a Generation

Previous exhibition
from Saturday 15 March until Sunday 18 May 2003

POL was a magazine that ran from 1969 to 1986. Distinctively Australian, lively and intelligently sexy, POL expressed the preoccupations of a generation of Australians. Originally conceived as a magazine for women, POL aimed for a wider readership of everyone interested in Australian culture.

Mel Gibson
Mel Gibson, 1982 William Yang. © William Yang

When Don Dunstan edited the magazine briefly in the early 1980s, he had the cover emblazoned with the slogan 'POL delights in excellence, individuality, creativity and zest for life... Australians of the world unite and read POL - you have nothing to lose but your cultural cringe'.

Over its interesting life POL had many editors, and guest editors included Germaine Greer and Richard Neville. Germaine Greer’s edition (1972) contained fashion spreads (for which she was the model) and Richard Neville’s edition (1974) contained women’s fashions modelled by men in drag, photographed by Grant Mudford. Such ideas were characteristic of POL; for seventeen years it was a vehicle for the examination of people and issues of social interest throughout the Australian community.

POL espoused high production values and was in its day the best designed and most original Australian lifestyle magazine. Its editorial policy was informal and this freedom, combined with its superior printing and art direction meant that it was a great vehicle for a host of great Australian photographers. The first issues included photographic essays by Robert McFarlane, who is now casting a retrospective eye to 30 years ago in a catalogue essay for the exhibition in which he examines the role of POL in the development of Australian photography.

POL: Portrait of a Generation includes the photographs of Wendy Adnam, Colin Beard, Bruno Benini, Anthony Browell, Rennie Ellis, Brett Hilder, John Lethbridge, Jon Lewis, Robert McFarlane, Jacqueline Mitelman, Lewis Morley, Dieter Muller, Lee Pearce, Wes Stacey, Robert Whitaker and William Yang.

3 portraits

1 Sherbet, 1974 (printed 2002). 2 Brett Whiteley, 1974. Both Lewis Morley. © Lewis Morley Archive LLC.

Related information

Professor Peter Doherty
Professor Peter Doherty
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This unique exhibition will give an insight into the private lives, pursuits and work of all the Nobel laureates associated with Australia

Cate Blanchett
Cate Blanchett
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Previous exhibition, 2003

Although perceived to be a recent phenomenon, the 'Aussie invasion' of Hollywood can actually be traced as far back as the early 1900s

Checkered Past, 2003 by Alex Epoff
Checkered Past, 2003 by Alex Epoff
Checkered Past, 2003 by Alex Epoff
Checkered Past, 2003 by Alex Epoff

Headspace 4

Facing Memory

Previous exhibition, 2003

Facing Memory: Headspace 4 provides us with valuable insights into the thoughts, creative processes and art-making practices of secondary students from Year 7 to Year 12 from sixty-two schools in the Australian Capital Territory, regional New South Wales and Victoria

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

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