Polly Braden has become renowned for her documentary photography exploring the relationship between everyday life, work, leisure and economics. Searching for small and telling gestures her images are acutely observed portraits and broader assessments of contemporary culture.
She works on long-term, self-initiated projects, as well as commissions for international publications. Her book China Between, is published by Dewi Lewis, 2010, a selection of her work from China is included in the book Street Photography Now published by Thames and Hudson 2010. In recent years she has collaborated with journalists to produce extended photo-essays in the UK, the Middle East, Morocco, Kenya and China. Her photography has appeared in The Guardian, The Saturday Telegraph magazine, Ei8ht magazine, Portfolio, ICON, Photoworks & Frieze.
Braden’s new book Great Interactions, Life with Learning Disabilities and Autism is published by Dewi Lewis. There are around 1.5 million people in the UK with a learning disability and 700,000 with autism. Braden spent two years working with MacIntyre, a leading national charity in the field, to show the ways in which it works with the children and adults that it supports. Her photographs look at the everyday moments, achievements and milestones. The subject is complex but the aim is simple: to highlight everyday interactions and life-changing experiences. Braden is currently exhibiting the work of Great Interactions at the National Media Museum.
Braden teaches regularly at The University of Westminster and London College of Communication (LCC). She taught photography at Xiamen University during a residency at the CEAC (Chinese European Art Centre) and at Kunming University during a residency at 943 studio.
Braden is a winner of the Jerwood Photography Prize, 2003 and The Guardian Young Photographer of the Year, 2002. She has exhibited at venues internationally including the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) 2005, the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago 2006, Format International Photography Festival 2011, The Museum of London 2011, Krakow Photomonth, Alias, 2011, Minnie Weisz Gallery 2011, London festival of Photography 2011 and the Hua Gallary, London 2012. She is winner of the Joanna Drew Bursary 2013.
In September 2015 she exhibited London’s Square Mile, a photographic essay about the Financial District of London, at the 6th Fotofestival Mannheim Ludwigshafen Heidelberg, curated by Urs Stahel. http://www.fotofestival.info/en/. A selection of this work is on permanent display at the Guildhall Art Gallery, London.