There is a strange charm to these portraits by Tom Mead. They do not dazzle you with an abundance of complexity, nor do they belie any movement or sense of place. In fact, they seem to tell the story of some non-place, a nowhere void populated by well dressed but decidedly sinister individuals, something accentuated by the stark, black backgrounds which, in this case, work for the pieces instead of coming off as lazy. This void is mirrored in their eyes, inky pools that appear to be empty sockets, devoid of any visual equipment whatsoever — though they still manage to stare. “Edward Gorey doing The Fantastic Mr. Fox” was the first description that entered my head when I saw these, but that’s not quite right. Maybe if The Fantastic Mr. Fox had been the book written by HP Lovecraft instead of The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath.