I am an artist, writer and curator working across art and architecture. I explore ecocriticism and ecological thinking in the critical zones and under the state of climate emergency. I engage inter and transdisciplinary approaches to the histories and practices of observation in art and science, situated in broader cultural and historical contexts. Following my doctorate at Bartlett School of Architecture I was Post-doctoral Fellow in Design-led Architectural Research at Newcastle University. I also teach on Fine Art and Architecture courses. My research and writing are both informed by my work as an artist and curator. I show with Danielle Arnaud work that includes paper, glass, installation, performance, sound and time-based media. As part of Eggebert-and-Gould she curated TOPOPHOBIA: Fear of Place in Contemporary Art . My research is an ecocriticism of the histories and futures of extreme environments with post-colonial, feminist and new materialist readings of the biographies of Victorians such as John Ruskin and John Tyndall. I have contributed to Ruskin’s Ecologies: Figures of Relation from Modern Painters to The Storm-Cloud expertly edited by Thomas Hughes and Kelly Freeman published by Courtauld Books Online My chapter is titled ‘Molar Heights and Molecular Lowlands: Scale and Imagination in Ruskin and John Tyndall’ and can be accessed free online as an e-publication. I aim for methodological inventiveness in order to address how matter and meaning coalesce in specific examples of artefacts, architectures, art works, natural environments and material culture. The material culture of watercolour and polar histories of exploration through the biographies explorer Edward Wilson and the anthropologist Franz Boas are the at the heart of in my monograph Antarctica, Art and Archive, published by Bloomsbury, 2020.
My book explores Antarctica at the beginning of the 20th Century, the last frontier of Victorian imperialism, a territory subjected to heroic and sometimes desperate exploration, juxtaposed with Antarctica now, at the start of the 21st century, the vulnerable landscape behind iconic images of climate change. The book takes the reader on a journey to the South Pole, through art and archive. Through the life and tragic death of Edward Wilson, polar explorer, doctor, scientist and artist, and his watercolours, and through the work of a pioneer of modern anthropology and opponent of scientific racism, Franz Boas, I expose the legacies of colonialism and racial and gendered identities of the time. I argue that the medium matters and that the practices of observation in art, anthropology and science determine how we see and what we know. Stories of exploration and open-air watercolour painting, of weather experiments and ethnographic collecting, of evolution and extinction, are interwoven to raise important questions for our times. Revisiting Antarctica through the archive becomes the urgent endeavour to imagine an inhabitable planetary future.
This research was developed as an AHRC funded PhD at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. Printing costs were supported by the Research Committee of the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, University of Newcastle, and by a Publications Grant from the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art.
- 1997 – 98
- MA Theory Jan van Eyck Academie Centre for Postgraduate Research
- Theory Prize
- 1996 – 98
- Diploma in Applied Social Science Open University, UK
- 1994 – 96
- MA Fine Art
- Lawrence Burton Memorial Prize for BA Thesis
- 1990 – 93
- BA Hons First Class Fine Art Central St Martins College of Art and Design, London
- Teaching Fellow, MArch, MA Architectural History, MA Situated Practice. Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, London
- 2020-2021 MArch Studio Tutor, MArch dissertation supervisor, Newcastle University.
- 2016- 2019
- Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in Design-led Architectural Research, ARC Architecture Research Collaborative School of Architecture, Planning & Landscape, Newcastle University, UK.
Writing & Publications
- ‘Architecture for an Extinct Planet: Birds of Paradise’ in Less a Building: Interactions with the London Zoo Aviary, artist’s book by Michaela Nettell, Passen-gers, forthcoming 2021.
- ‘Molar Heights and Molecular Lowlands: Scale and Imagination in Ruskin and John Tyndall’, in Ruskin’s Ecologies: Figures of Relation from Modern Painters to the Storm-Cloud, Courtauld Books Online, 2021.
- ‘House-building in the Alps with Ruskin and Tyndall, or CZOgraphy: an ecocriticism for the Critical Zone’ in Mountains & Megastructures: Neo-Geologic Landscapes of Human Endeavour, Martin Beattie, Christos Kakalis and Matthew Ozga-Lawn (eds.), London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2021.
- Monograph: Antarctica, Art, and Archive, New York, London: Bloomsbury, 2020.
- ‘I see an Empty Landscape’ in Place in Time: The Work of Tim Simmons, Judith Stewart (ed.), Dewi Lewis Publishing, 2020.
- ‘Ruskin’s Storm-Cloud and Tyndall’s Blue Sky: New Materialist Diffractions of Nineteenth Century Atmospheres’ in Ecocriticism and the Anthropocene in Nineteenth Century Art and Visual Culture, Maura Coughlin and Emily Gephart ( eds.), Advances in Art and Visual Studies Series, London and New York: Routledge, October 2019.
- ‘Art and Mourning in an Antarctic Landscape’, in Deathscapes: Spaces for Death, Dying, Mourning and Remembrance, Eds. Avril Maddrell and James D. Sidaway, Farnham: Ashgate, 2010, pp. 283-97.
- ‘Unpacking my Father’s Library’, in Telling Stories: Countering Narrative in Art, Theory and Film, Eds. Tormey and Whiteley, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars, 2009, pp. 161-175.
- ‘Sexual Polarities’, in Arctic Discourses, Nordlit, Tromsø: Tromsø University, 2008, pp. 103-118.
- Breakfast at the Beauty Spot’, Short story included in a collection of fiction by leading contemporary British artists published by The Alpine Fantasy of Victor B. and Other Stories, Eds. Jeremy Akerman and Eileen Daly, London: Serpent’s Tail, 2006, pp. 73-82.
- Transmission: Speaking and Listening, Eds. Sharon Kivland, Lesley Sanderson and Emma Cocker. Sheffield Hallam University, Transcribed discussion as Eggebert-and-Gould.
- Essay in ‘Private Possessions & Public Obsessions’, Piet Zwart Institute publication series, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
- Co-editor of the book The Dynamics of Now: Issues in Art and Education Wimbledon School of Art and Tate Gallery Publications.
- Catalogue essay on touring group show ‘John, I’m only Dancing’
- Author of Manifestations; Performing the Word .Published by The Jan van Eyck Academy, Maastricht, The Nertherlands, November 1998
- 1999 – 2000
- Reviews for Public Art Journal October 1999 & October 2000 Reviews for Artist’s Newsletter May 1999, January 2000 & April 2000, April 2002.
Journal Articles and Reviews
- Gould, P (2021) ‘Polly Gould Reads Paulette Singley’s How to Read Architecture, (Routledge: 2019)’, Site Reading Writing Quarterly, March 2021
- Gould, P (2020) ‘Inhabitable Futures’ in Turbulence Think Pieces, IAS, May 2020.
- Gould, P (2019) ‘Alternative Histories: Model interpretations of archival drawings’, Architectural Research Quarterly 23:2, pp. 100-104. doi:10.1017/S1359135519000241
- Gould, P (2018) ‘Review: Conjunction and incongruity – Drawing Matter Open Day’, Architectural Research Quarterly 22:1, pp. 91-95. doi.org/10.1017/S1359135517000306
- Gould, P (2018) ‘Antarctica, The Archive and Anamorphic Landscapes: Oblique Approaches to Architecture Through Art’, Hybrid Realities, inForma, 2018, 11, 44-47.
- Gould, P (2014) ‘Antarctica through the Archive: a Script’, Opticon1826, 16:19, pp. 1-20. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.5334/opt.ca Gould, P (2014) ‘Obituary’, The Death Scene: Perspectives on Mortality: Cultural Studies Review, 17: 1, MAR 2011, pp. 162-87.
- Polly Gould and Anne Eggebert, eds., (2011) TOPOPHOBIA: Fear of Place in Contemporary Art, London: Eggebert-and-Gould.
- Polly Gould and Anne Eggebert, eds., (2003) Nature and Nation: Vaster than Empires London: Eggebert-and-Gould, with London Institute and Hastings Museum and Art Gallery.
Other, e.g. consultancy
- Visiting Artist, Art Department, University of Minnesota.
Selected Exhibitions Commissions & Events
- Architecture for an Extinct Planet, solo show, Danielle Arnaud Gallery, 21 Feb to 21 Mar 2020.
- Alpine Architecture, London Art Fair, Danielle Arnaud Gallery.
- Manifesto for and Architecture of Atmospheres, soundwork, 3.2m mins, ‘Beyond Orientation: Eight Views’, Korea Cultural Institute, Vienna, Austria.
- Air: Visualising the Invisible in British Art 1768-2017, Royal West Academy, Bristol, UK. 16 June 2017 – 03 Sep 2017. Group show, JMW Turner, Eric Ravilious, Mariele Neudecker, Luke Jerram and more.
- Architecture for an Extinct Planet, Polly Gould, Danielle Arnaud, VOLTA Art Fair, New York, USA. 1-5 Mar.
- Architecture for an Extinct Planet, Birds of Paradise, London Art Fair, Danielle Arnaud Gallery.
- Panel discussion member in Agendas at the Venice Biennale, Is Art a Form of Debate? with Richard Grayson, Cesare Pietroiusti, Dan and Lia Perjovschi, and Sharon Kivland. Other participants include Sacha Craddock, Robert Storr, Vittorio Urbani and Gavin Butt. Hosted by Wimbledon College of Art and Tate Britain.
- Conference paper Art and Mourning in an Antarctic Landscape selected for cross-disciplinary international conference The Social Context of Death, Dying and Disposal 8, hosted by University of Bath.
- Conference paper Libraries and Landscape or What is it that I have Lost? selected for Telling Stories: Objects and Narratives third in a series of one day symposia at Loughborough University School of Art & Design. Keynote speakers include Stuart Brisley, Martha Buskirk, Jane Rendell and Yve Lomax.
- Conference paper To the Ends’ of the Earth for Death and Beyond ASCA Amsterdam School of Cultural Analysis. Key note speakers Benjamin Noys and Sandra l. Gilman. Selected for Jerwood Drawing Prize.
- Touring show. Sound work, The Martial Art of What We Say, included in ARTRADIO, radio broadcast programme, Cornerhouse, Manchester.
- Participation and chairing of discussion panel with Brighid Lowe and Mikey Cuddihy on the Alpine Fantasy of Victor B. and Other Stories and artist’s writing, for WAI Festival, Women’s Art International, Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal. Festival Programme includes Germaine Greer, Marianne Faithful, Stella Vine.
- Drawing included in Drawing 2007 Biennial Fundraiser, The Drawing Room.
- Short story included in the collection The Alpine Fantasy of Victor B and Other Stories, fiction writing by contemporary UK artists with Ian Breakwell, Brian Catling, Jake Chapman and others, published by Serpent’s Tail, Eds. Akerman and Daly
- Libraries and Landscape: or what is it that I have lost? Performance for Freud in Translation: Freud in Transition, conference University of London.
- The Dead and the Blind video performance for Betsey’s Salon of interdisciplinary arts.
- Libraries and Landscape: or what is it that I have lost? performance as part of the week festival Write Side of the Brain at Barons Court Theatre, London.
- Guy’s Ear, video piece on show at The Drawing Room, London as part of Arts Unwrapped.
- The Martial Art of What We Say Sound/Performance work at Danielle Arnaud Gallery, London.
- Polly Gould, Lisa Fielding-Smith and Scrivener joint show at Danielle Arnaud Gallery, London. Video, drawing and text works.
- The Floating Press and the Blake Society – Video and performance work at the Museum of Garden History, London. www.floatingpress.blogspot.com
- The Floating Press, performance and print-making work as part of Cloud & Vision; William Blake in Lambeth, curated by Parabola at the Museum of Garden History, London.
- 2004 – 05
- Endless Landscape, Artist’s Commission, to produce Education and Interpretation intervention for The Writer in the Garden at the British Library, London.
- October Untitled, The Zoo Art Fair, with Tannery Arts and the Drawing Room at London Zoo.
- The Martial Art of What We Say. Sound work for radio exhibition. QSL – MIMA Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art.
- The Dead and the Blind video-performance.
- The Well, group show, Danielle Arnaud Gallery, London.
- Libraries and Landscape or what is it that I have lost? Performance-talk for Site, the October Gallery, London.
- Westland photo montage drawing for Dans le Jardin des Beaux Arts. Group show. Leiden, Netherlands.
- The Story of One Woman’s Struggle with her Fear of Architecture Video screening at the CBK, Centre For Visual Arts, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
- The Story of One Woman’s Struggle with her Fear of Architecture Video Installation for Stop! Kijk naar Links, kijk naar rechts en steek over, The Netherlands
- History Painting and Charity, Fidelity and Sexuality Commissioned installed photographs for ‘Disclosures’ in Schloss Rheydt Museum Monchengladbach, Germany
- Utopian Dreams Performance-talk and sound installation and performance, Natural History Museum, Maastricht, The Netherlands
- Still Life: Homage to Cotan Video installation for ‘b/t* – between’ The Jacksonville Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, Florida, USA
- A Table Talk on Mother’s Milk Performance- talk Stichting de Geuzen Amsterdam, The Netherlands
- The Garden of Lost Unity Television screening of video work on the ‘Kunst Kanaal’, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
- Still Life: Homage to Cotan Video work developed into computer screen saver for ‘Art Savers’ at W139, Amsterdam The Netherlands
- Still Life: Homage to Cotan Video installation ‘Digital 96’ Photokina, Cologne, Germany
I have shown work at the British Library; the Royal Institution; Cornerhouse, Manchester; ICIA, Bath; MIMA Middlesborough; CBK Rotterdam; Jacksonville Museum of Contemporary Art, USA, and I was selected for the Jerwood Drawing Prize in 2007. I also have my short-story writing represented in a collection of fiction by contemporary visual artists in Britain, titled The Alpine Fantasy of Victor B, (London: Serpents Tail, 2006).
Eggebert-and-Goukd: in Collaboration with Anne Eggebert
- Selected for major public art commission in Milton Keynes.
- Short listed for Brunswick Centre re-development Public Art commission.
- Group exhibition ‘Transmission Print Portfolio’ of prints by artists participating in Sheffield Hallam University’s and Site Gallery’s Transmission series of talks, Haus am Lutzowplatz, Berlin and Redux, London
- Invited speakers at round table discussion on Curatorial Collaborations with Artquest, at Space Studios, The Triangle, London
- ‘Aeroplane and Television’ on show in the SEADA Offices, Guildford
- Talk as part of ‘Transmission: speaking and listening’ lecture series with Site Gallery/Sheffield Hallam University
- 2003 – 04
- Curatorial project Nature and Nation Arts Council National Touring Programme exhibition, publication, schools internet project. Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, Worcester City Art Gallery, Yard Gallery Nottingham, and Lethaby Gallery London
- Photographic collage Alpine Archipelago for ‘No Fixed Position’ Lethaby Gallery, London
- Solo show entitled Television and Aeroplane at Hastings Museum and Art Gallery
- Photographic collage Transplantation at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney, Australia
- Experimental Spaces Solo show at Hastings Museum and Gallery
- Digital Dialogues. Work developed during Year of the Artists Residency Firstsite, Colchester.
- Solo show In the Botanic Garden concluding Year of the Artist residency at Cambridge University Botanic Garden.
- Performance talk Treacle for ‘The Language of Things’ Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge.
- 2000 – 01
- Site specific performance and installation Mr X at Home for ‘Paradise Revisited’ Bury Museum and Art Gallery, Manchester
- Commissioned site-specific sound installation for ‘Spin’ Tall Stories in collaboration with Anne Eggebert, The British Library
- Book Launch Antarctica, Art and Archive, Bloomsbury, 2020. BOOK LAUNCH: Friday 24 September 2021, 6 – 8 p. Polly Gould’s new book Antarctica, Art and Archive. For this occasion, the artist will also present a selection of new works. Bookings are essential – please email email@example.com
Project Production and Curatorial Experience
- TOPOPHOBIA: Fear of Place in Contemporary Art 2011-2012. I co-edited the publication and co-curated the exhibition of international artists touring nationally to Danielle Arnaud, London; Bluecoat, Liverpool; and SPACEX, Exeter. Fear of place and the manifestation of this in contemporary art is the territory for TOPOPHOBIA. It connects to the existential question of how each of us finds our place in the world. See http://topophobia.arts.ac.uk/
- Nature and Nation: Vaster than Empires 2003-2004. I co-edited the publication and co-curated the exhibition of international artists exploring legacies of botanical collecting and colonial histories in contemporary art. Funded by the Arts Council England National Touring Programme, Commissions East, University of the Arts. Touring to Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, Worcester City Art Gallery, Nottingham Yard Gallery, and Lethaby Gallery London .
- Exhibition Organiser of ‘Hygiene: The Art of Public Health’, a visual art show and e-publication at The London School of Hygiene &Tropical Medicine. Co-ordinator of associated permanent artists’ commission and student show.
- Research and Development of exhibition, publication and schools project, with Anne Eggebert. Curatorial input, What I did on my Holiday, Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, Hastings.
Conferences, Events and Talks
- Workshop: Anthropocene Teaching Practices for Architecture. DAZ, TU Berlin, July 7th.
- On Site-writing, IAS Alternative Epistemologies, UCL, London.
- The Transformational Practices Lecture Series at Aarhus School of Architecture, Nov 6th.
- IAS Turbulence: Feminist Futures for Turbulent Times, UCL Feb 6th.
- ‘But things have turned out otherwise….Feminist Critique of Parametricism in architectural design’ for On Growth and Form 100, University of Dundee and University of St Andrews, Oct 13-15th
Fellowships, Bursaries and Residencies
- 2001 – 02
- Artist in Residence with Anne Eggebert at Hastings Museum & Art Gallery and Hastings College of Art and Technology.
- Commissions East, Awards for Artists, Research and Development into ‘Nature and Nation’, in collaboration with Anne Eggebert
- Year of the Artist Residency Award with Anne Eggebert at Cambridge University Botanic Garden
- Shortlisted for the Kettles Yard & New Hall College Artist’s Fellowship and Residency, Cambridge, UK
- Open Studio during Science Week with Anne Eggebert at Cambridge University Botanic Garden.
- Open Studio with Anne Eggebert at Space Studios, London