Driven by the desire to find the ultimate landscape Polly Townsend has travelled to some of the most remote and inaccessible regions in the world. The current collection is based on visits to Tibet, Kashmir, Kyrgyz Pamirs and Tian Shan.
During long, unplanned, often solo journeys through remote high plateau and mountain regions she takes photographs, draws and sketches in oils. Townsend returns to her studio to complete the work in an urban environment, filtering memories of sensory experiences through time and space to produce a multi-layered and semi-abstract perspective.
Many of her paintings illustrate the exact route she has walked or are painted methodically from left to right to re-enact the expedition. Compositional devices suggest routes, physical experiences, and different perspectives.
Polly Townsend was born in 1977 and completed an MA at The Slade School of Fine Art, London, in 2001. She has won several painting and drawing awards, including the Slade Life Drawing Prize (judged by Paula Rego), the Duveen Travel Scholarship, the Worshipful Company of Painter Stainers Award, The Sir Ben Bowen Studio Prize for Fine art, The Contemporary Art Prize for Wales Studentship award and she was shortlisted for the Gilchrist-Fisher Landscape Painting Award. She has exhibited widely throughout the UK and USA. She has several paintings in the permanent collection of the Department of State USA, currently on display in Beijing, Karachi and Mumbai, and has work in the National Parks Collection USA. She has also been Artist in Residence twice for the National Parks program in USA. She currently lives and works in London.