#solesurvivors – exploring isolation

A single tree silhouetted on the skyline is a trope of loneliness, but that does not diminish the power of such an image as a single tree is the sole survivor of a onetime forest. Trees do not grow in isolation; they are social beings that benefit from being in numbers, and we mammals have a close association and long-standing interdependence with them, as it was their early presence on the planet that exchanged the carbon-filled atmosphere for life-giving oxygen.

It is this close relationship that I like to explore in my studies of trees, bark, leaves and forests.

Olive Tree South
Olive Tree South: An old olive tree growing near the coast, its boughs swept into an elaborate ‘hair style’ by the prevailing winds – July 2004 – 40 x 30 cm / 16″ x 12″ [Cat:730]
Trees is part of a series of works inspired by nature. While they provide life-long sources of interest, these subjects ultimately form the basis of my abstract paintings which are both hard-edged and yet fluid in appearance. Trees focuses on the endless variety in our woodlands and forests, constantly changing in form and appearance throughout the year.

Open Hearted Tree:
Open Hearted Tree: A tree, its trunk completely hollowed out and yet continuing to support a healthy crown of leaves – June 2016 – 40 x 30 cm / 16″ x 12″ [Cat:733]


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.