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 visits to Kashmir and Kyrgyzstan). 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 savage. An increasing part of the documentation process is the exploration of human impacts on even the remotest physical environments.
Townsend produces small works on site using a collapsible easel, sketchbooks and photography, building up larger canvases in her London studio.