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Tom Polo retreat and return (the arrival)

oil and acrylic on canvas

183.5 x 275 cm

Within my practice I depict figures gesturing in theatrical poses or suspended in moments of transformation within the ‘stage’ of the canvas. I think of these characters as the imagined actors of everyday social space, representing emotional and psychological states of being.

In retreat and return (the arrival), an anonymous figure lunges forward – appearing to burst into the scene – whilst simultaneously exiting further afield. This dual action reflects on states of mental or physical transit, and what it means to ‘arrive’. Originally intended to be displayed in the reverse order, towards the end of the work’s completion the orientation of the canvases was swapped, changing its final narrative.

Tom Polo, 2020