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Day 7 Inner Valley, Oil on Linen, 5.5x4ft


“Inner Valley” is a much older work – one of personal significance. When I was shifting from figure work to landscape several of the pieces I made lingered between the two genres. This piece was made after one of my early trips to the Himalaya (a trip funded by winning the Slade School of Art Duveen Travel Scholarship). I had not encountered mountains of this scale before and was blown away. I was in the Tibet Autonomous Region and felt hugely privileged to be there (tourism in Tibet is strictly controlled due to it’s volatile relationship with China) When I returned from the trip I felt like I was carrying the memory of something unique and precious so, in addition to making paintings of naturalistic observations, I wanted to make something that was more contemplative in nature - one that reflected my internal response. The subject matter has not been radically transformed – the brevity and dramatic light effects, the sense of being dwarfed by the mountains, and the contours of the valley are all an accurate portrayal, but it is also an internalised insight – a meditation on nature with some engagement to the imaginative.

The painting now belongs to a private collector.

This is not my photograph, but it shows the road I travelled into Tibet on:

Only I did it in the snow!

Once you have crossed over the Himalaya, you come down into the foothills and the Tibetan plateau:


Heading into the lower valleys where the painting is based:




Similar works of mine from this region:



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Polly Townsend

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