Polly Morgan: The Box
On the opening day of Polly Morgan's latest exhibition at Pippy Houldsworth gallery in Mayfair, we speak to the artist in vogue about her first time with a snake, taxidermy posers and the many meanings of the word box.
How did this exhibition come about? Did The Box inspire the concept or was this an existing idea that you wanted to do anyway?
It was a little bit of both. I’d wanted to deconstruct taxidermy and show the inner workings in some way but I hadn’t had an idea that I liked enough. I knew I wanted to do it with a snake because they’re quite phallic and banana-like and the idea of peeling back on something cylindrical like that seemed to work. So there was a germ of an idea there, then Pippy Houldsworth got in touch and asked if I’d be interested in doing a project for The Box.
Suddenly that initial germ of an idea started to materialise, because it felt really appropriate – the idea of the snake and the branch being quite phallus-like and then the box, slang for vagina, which is obviously an opening.
How did you find working within the space?
I really like being given restrictions to work within, like when you have to create something for a particular space or a piece that aligns with a particular idea. Although my first reaction is always to panic and think, “oh no I can’t do what I want”, but then I find it really helpful as you can suddenly discard so many things and it narrows down your focus.