the frontier of civilisations

#ancientcicilisations – traces of the past

Sicily is both the past and the future. Its history of continual immigration, invasion and assimilation provides a portal onto the future, while its past is so complicated that it is difficult to separate fact from fiction.

The largest of the Mediterranean islands, and strategically placed for both trade and military purposes, Sicily has been ruled over the centuries by, amongst others, the Vandals, the Romans, the Normans, the Byzantines, the Spanish, the Hapsburgs and the Bourbons. It was finally brought under the control of a unified Italy in 1860, although – typically – it was granted special status as an autonomous region in 1946.

Still life study [Cat: 0061B, Bass, 5 x 7″ / 13 x 18 cm, Watercolour on paper, 2015]
 Mediterranean islands have layer upon layer of history that mingles with the present, and for an artist this provides fertile territory. Nowhere more so than in Sicily where evidence of its troubled past is all around. In my paintings, I was attempting to capture this sense of ‘otherness’ – of the outsider, fighting for survival and independence.

Sicilian Lemons
Still life study [Cat: 0061A, Sicilian Lemons, 5 x 7″ / 13 x 18 cm, Watercolour on paper, 2015]


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.