Stanley Donwood

Sep 25, 2013


Radiohead’s in-house artist Stanley Donwood returns to the art world with a haunting and hugely appealing exhibition at London-based The Outsiders. Far Away is Close at Hand in Images of Elsewhere showcases Donwood’s ambitious ink and pencil pieces featuring hidden country footpaths, known as Holloways, and other arboreal scenes. These are featured in Stanley’s hit book of the same name, published by Faber and Faber earlier this year. The large canvases to be shown alongside them formed the official artwork for Radiohead’s latest LP, The King of Limbs, named after an ancient oak tree in Savernake Forest, Wiltshire.

Holloway lanes are characterised by an over-arching avenue of fauna that creates a natural tunnel effect. Mysterious and melancholic, their botanical beauty inspires both awe and a liberating sense of feral mindfulness. Stanley’s artworks depicting holloways on display will range from miniature woodcut prints and studies to large works on paper. The King of Limbs canvases were created using oils and spray paint.

The band’s ambitious compositions triggered a synaesthetic vision in Stanley. “I had a kind of memory that the fluted columns and ceiling tracery of medieval churches owed its inspiration to the northern forests of Europe; the tall tree trunks, the interlaced branches above, the majesty of the woods. I wanted to take this caged spirit of the trees back into the forests, where sounds were free and un-tethered by religion, where the spreading branches supported the sky, not the roof of a church. I began to paint trees, bright, coloured trees, through which dark mists could percolate.”

Around the same time Stanley began work on the Holloways book. His research even included sleeping overnight under some of the cabalistic canopies in south Dorset, UK. “I began to draw the holloways from memory,” he reports, “any preparations would wreck the impression that time spent in these dark, damp places left.”

Stanley Donwood

The Outsiders

September 19 – October 19, 2013
8 Greek Street
London, W1D 4DG