The House With only an Attic and a Basement

Pete Swann and Kathryn Maris

Curated by Michelle Klein

9 – 27 Sept 2020

Private View: 10 Sept 2020
(Advanced booking essential – please email gallery)

Artist’s Talks: Sat 19 Sept 2, 3 and 4pm.
(Advanced booking essential- please email gallery) 

The House with Only an Attic and a Basement brings together the work of two artists, painter and sculptor Pete Swann and poet Kathryn Maris, in an exhibition that explores the often unspoken and sometimes uncomfortable aspects to the human psyche.

Pete Swann’s work explores the difficult territory between painting and sculpture, teasing the viewer with visual and spatial paradoxes. His aim is to create surprising objects which draw people in with familiarity and hold them with strangeness, inviting them to inhabit his alternative realities.

Kathryn Maris’ poems and prose are fictions that explore anxiety, intergenerational familial conflict and sexual politics. Whilst her poems evoke feelings of unease, the uncomfortable aspects of her work are balanced by wit and irony.

The show will include a collaborative, multi-media installation in which Pete Swann creates a series of painted relief portraits in response to Maris’ cycle of poems, The House of Atreus, which are darkly comic glimpses of a dysfunctional family over several decades.

Formerly a design engineer specialising in the design and manufacturing of special equipment for disabled children, Pete Swann is now a full-time artist and lives in Twickenham. He paints with egg tempera, an ancient medium that requires mixing raw, powdered pigments with egg yolk, which he then applies to linen-covered wooden panels. Pete studied Spanish at Durham University and Engineering Product Design at Southbank University. He is the chairman of the Richmond Art Society and has recently exhibited at The Gallery, Shepherd Market, the Fountain Gallery, East Molesey and the Landmark Arts Centre, Teddington.

Kathryn Maris is an American poet, critic and curator based in London. The author of three collections of poetry and a pamphlet, Kathryn has also published work in Penguin Modern Poets 5, The Pushcart Prize Anthology, The Best British Poetry, The Forward Book of Poetry, Granta, The Poetry Review and Poetry. A selection from Kathryn’s most recent collection, The House With Only An Attic And A Basement (Penguin UK), won the Ivan Juritz Prize for creative experiment. She teaches at the Poetry School in London and reviews for the TLS and other publications.