As someone who spent all of their formative years in the city of Oxford, I feel that Radiohead are much more than just a band. They’re part of my history, my childhood and the childhood of pretty much everyone I grew up with. They are my band. Back off! As a result I’ve always been pretty keen on the artistic products of their honorary sixth member, Stanley Donwood, who, from his Somerset studio has produced the artwork for almost every Radiohead release, developing his own visual language as the band developed their sound.
That was particularly true for the band’s latest release The King of Limbs which saw a marked departure in style from the graphic woodblock prints that had formed the basis of his work on Thom Yorke’s The Eraser in favour of thick, detailed pencil drawings and paintings of the holloways of Dorset; dense corridors formed by the overlapping branches of trees.
Now the works are on display in an exhibition called Far Away Is Close At Hand In Images Of Elsewhere at The Outsiders gallery in Soho – the original pieces framed in ash, a tree that’s in danger of extinction from a disease called ash die-back – presenting an image of rural Britain that’s haunting and eerie, riddled with the embers of ancient mythology.
Far Away Is Close At Hand In Images Of Elsewhere is on show at the Outsiders Gallery until October 19.