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, striking colours and symbolism in his pictures, Town has built a vibrant portfolio. Born in Bethnal Green, he grew up in Liverpool and was later educated at Bath Academy of Art and the Royal College of Art. Taking advantage of his ability to communicate ideas visually, he went on to enjoy a successful career as a designer while he continued to paint and develop his artistic style through drawing, painting, photography, and printmaking. While many of Town’s paintings use strong shapes and primary colours, such as the Stairscapes series, others are quieter and more contemplative, representing a more tranquil inner space. His Abstracts series features works where the narrative is more ambiguous but ever-present. He sees landscapes, interior spaces and natural forms as abstract shapes and colours, transcribing these in his unique style onto paper and canvas.