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Thaw, Antarctica, 74x54cm, Polly Townsend Large.jpeg

Polly Townsend’s paintings draw on solitary journeys through many of the most remote and hostile landscapes in the world. Recent works are inspired by her artist's residency in Antarctica and visits to Kashmir and Kyrgyzstan. She has also completed residencies in Death Valley and The Badlands National Parks. Her paintings present a view of the world beyond the familiar, of places vast in scale, apparently desolate and mostly uninhabited.

Townsend treats the land as a singular subject, a still life; disembodying the form whilst remaining faithful to original patterns, colours and light. This objectification helps probe the gap between the tender and the unnerving; the beautiful and the bleak. The use of titles and the blank space/void highlights the tensions between absence and presence, reflecting on the current state of landscape – one of flux, impermanence and a challenging passage of time.

Townsend produces small works on site using a collapsible easel, sketchbooks and photography, building up larger canvases in her London studio.


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