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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.

The Gallery’s Acknowledgement of Country, and information on culturally sensitive and restricted content and the use of historic language in the collection can be found here.

John Hillcoat

1999 (printed 2022)
Polly Borland

from the series ‘Australians’
type C photograph on paper, edition 1/10 (image: 49.8 cm x 39.6 cm, sheet: 64.9 cm x 54.8 cm)
Image not available (NC)

John Hillcoat (b. 1960), filmmaker, was born in Brisbane and grew up in Canada, the USA and Europe. Aged eighteen he returned to Australia and studied at the Swinburne Film School in Melbourne. In the 1980s he made music videos for Nick Cave and INXS before co-writing and directing his first feature film Ghosts … of the Civil Dead (1988). It won the AACTA for Best Production Design, and earned nominations in the acting, screenplay, editing and music categories. His third feature film The Proposition (2005) earned AACTA nominations in multiple categories (including Best Director for Hillcoat and Best Screenplay for Cave) and won the AACTAs for cinematography, production design, costume design and original music score (written by Cave and Warren Ellis). Hillcoat collaborated with Cave again on the films The Road (2009) and Lawless (2012). In addition, since 1989, Hillcoat has directed music videos for Elvis Costello, Crowded House, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Manic Street Preachers, Depeche Mode, Massive Attack and many others. His most recent film project is the documentary Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends (2021).

Purchased 2022

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

Artist and subject

Polly Borland (age 40 in 1999)

John Hillcoat (age 39 in 1999)

Subject professions

Performing arts

© National Portrait Gallery 2023
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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.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency