Stairs – suspense and surprise

#betweenworlds – ascending and descending

The geometry of stairs in all their fascinating varieties – sharp and steep leading down to a cellar or sweeping upwards to a grand hall – always provides a tantalising prelude to what is hidden from view. They are still, silent, inanimate, yet hold the possibility of suspense and surprise.

Stairs, landing and door in silver grey
Stairs, landing and door in silver grey [Cat: 0015, Stairs # 03, 16 x 16″ / 40 x 40 cm, Giclee Print, 2007]
I have treated the subject in several different ways in my work and will continue to explore other avenues to feed my fascination with stairs, hallways and passages.

In my latest works I have added people to the scenes to see how they react to this intriguing environment.


Peter Town is a born storyteller gifted with an ability to translate both everyday quirks and deeper philosophical musing through his work. Often using strong lines, vibrant colours and symbolism in his pictures, Town has combined a long and successful career as a designer and entrepreneur with a vibrant artist portfolio. Many of Town’s paintings use strong shapes and primary colours, such as the Stairs series, whilst others are quieter and more contemplative as they represent a more tranquil inner space. His abstract series of prints and paintings represent works where the narrative is more ambiguous but ever-present. He sees landscapes, interior spaces and natural forms as abstract shapes and colours and transcribes these onto canvas. Having studied at Bath Academy of Art, Corsham in the era when Michael Craig-Martin, Ian Hamilton Finlay and Jim Dine wielded their influence, Town went on to the Royal College of Art. Taking advantage of his brilliance for being able to communicate ideas through illustration, Town went on to have a hugely successful career over four decades as a designer. Throughout, he has continued to paint and to develop his artistic style through drawings, acrylics, photography, and printmaking.