House of the Deaf Man

A book of art and poetry by Tom de Freston and Andrea Porter, published by Gatehouse Press.

Artist Tom de Freston and poet Andrea Porter explore the dark images Goya created on the walls of his house Quinta del Sordo (The House of the Deaf Man) in the last few years of his life. Using these paintings as a touchstone both artist and poet create a world in which Goya’s ‘Black Paintings’ provide a vital and significant link between the present and the past.

The House of the Deaf Man becomes a space where a strange Master of Ceremonies guides you past walls that talk and a woman carries a severed head through a supermarket. In this house a mad band plays on as a man hangs a spoon from his nose and all the king’s and bankers’ horses come tumbling down.

It is a remarkable thing. Andrea Porter’s poems and Tom de Freston’s images capture the spirit of Goya’s Black Paintings without aping them: in other words, they are entirely their own thing, yet inspire in the reader/viewer the same sense of disquiet and dread and awe -because there is a beauty too. It’s like they’ve both breathed in his darkness and made it their own

Sir Anthony Sher