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Day 29 The Final Stages, Mixed Media Drawing, 17x23 inches


Fire is a natural and beneficial part of many forest ecosystems, but fires are often started by human error and might even be increasing due to climate change. The Final Stages depicts an ominous and uncertain landscape I saw in Arizona, USA. In many respects this piece is not typical of my work. Both the medium and the subject matter are a departure for me, but I felt a strong compulsion to explore this issue and, in terms of technique, the surface seemed to develop a life of it’s own. I used multiple mediums; charcoal, pencil, graphite powder, ink, chalk and watercolour and made a lot of preparatory studies and experiments. It felt necessary but risky to involve all of these mediums and much of what I put down couldn’t be adjusted, so it was quite a tense piece to make. This piece was selected for the Columbia Threadneedle Prize exhibition in January 2018.






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Polly Townsend

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