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Day 20 Reformed, Oil on Canvas, 72x60 inches



Reformed is one of the largest paintings I have made (72x60 inches). It took several months to complete and was based on a collage of individual photographs and records

made on site in Zanskar, Kashmir. The region is extremely remote. It is high altitude semi-desert, with sparse vegetation and almost zero permanent habitation. For much of the 20th century this area was closed to foreigners because of border conflicts with Pakistan, India and China. It is a barren land, but its complex geology endows it with colour. Being in this landscape was dizzying; the patterns, colours and shapes, and the simultaneous interactions between them, seemed to stretch to infinity yet the foreground and the background seemed to merge into one single patterned entity. The chaos was almost claustrophobic – giving the impression the scene was limitless. I collaged photographs from multiple vantage points and chose a large immersive scale with dense composition (taking up every inch of the frame) in order to best capture this reality and to help bring a viewer closer to a form of truth.


The handling of the paint varies immensely from thinner wash layers to areas of impasto.


Zanskar, Kashmir

Sketchwork done nearby:



Sketching in Zanskar, against a Cairn




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Polly Townsend

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