I mentioned before about how I had been persuaded out of the Home For Writers Who Have Permanent Writers' Block to write a new 'science fiction' story for the first anthology in a series planned by a publisher named Adventure Rocketship!. Well, the anthology is out on May 17th, and it looks like the above. The picture on the cover looks oddly familiar. It costs £9.99 and you can pre-order it here.
My story is right at the end and it's called 'One Door Closes And Then Another Door Closes'. I did try to write another, less gloomy story instead but I got precisely nowhere with that, so the publishers had to settle for the usual dreary miserabilism.
There is a launch event for the book on Thursday 16th May in London at Forbidden Planet; there are many more details here, and another on the 18th May in Bristol, also at Forbidden Planet; more details here. The future, hey? It's not what it was, that's for sure.
- 24th April 2013
It's been a very long time since I last made a mixtape for anyone, and a long time since I've even thought of it. But I got asked to choose some of the music that I listen to in the studio for a website called (obviously enough) Studio Music. It was a fun thing to do whilst doing something else, which is how mixtapes are made usually, unless its for someone you fancy in which case you spend ages deliberating about each track and then worrying that your tracklisting is in the tiny writing of a psychopath. This wasn't the case here, honest. Anyway, it's here, and there are loads and loads of other studio selections from loads of people. I spent ages looking and listening. It's a great site. Ok, I've got to go and paint. Because I've got a show in London in September. Ha! Yes, it's true. More details soon, as I get them...
- 6th March 2013
I forgot that there is a Tumblr that you might be interested in. It's here:
AMOK AND OTHER MATTERS UNCONNECTED
Hello, brothers and sisters. How are you this evening?
I'm finding it hard to get around to 'up-dating' my stupid blog. The computer is not inspiring me, with its general dullness. I find myself nostalgically recalling days when they weren't around. When mobile phones weren't around. When the internet wasn't around. But here I am, typing into a laptop, for the web.
I've been painting and drawing and printing and even writing. I hadn't written anything except my diary entries (viz. this stuff) since about 2006 when a strange email arrived, asking me if I would write a science-fiction story. For money. Ever since I wrote a pulp/noir/detective/conspiracy/dreadful novel called Catacombs Of Terror! back in about 2002 I have loved the idea of writing that is paid by the word. Unfortunately in most cases I am a savage editor of my own work, frequently ending an evening's 'work' with less text than I began it. Anyway, I've not had any success with writing for at least half a decade, so I'm very pleased that I managed to write a story called 'One Door Closes And Then Another Door Closes'. The story will be published one day, I hope, but the commissioner of the story has now asked me to write another, different story. I've said he can have it by next Monday, which is five days' time. I hope I can do it again.
I will keep you posted about that, because they should end up on this site sooner or later, as that's what slowlydownward.com was for all those years ago.
Well anyway, in other news, the record that I've been working on (intermittently) for a couple of years is finally out. You have probably heard it or got it or something, but here are a few pictures, or 'pack-shots' as we call then in The Record Industry.
That's the vinyl sleeve. It's a triple gatefold which I've never done before but justified to myself because the artwork was only black and white. Then I fucked up my self-justification by getting silver foil stamped into the meteorites. It is very extravagant and I'm very sorry but I couldn't help myself.
This is the CD packaging. Again very extravagant. My pathetic justification was that 'the packaging didn't use any plastic'. But because of its extreme length it has to be wrapped in plastic to stop it from exploding out all over the place. Again, I'm sorry.
Here's part of the die used to emboss the artwork into the cardboard of the sleeve. This will be used to stamp a permanent brand onto my forehead so that every time I look in the mirror I'm reminded of my folly.
But really, I'm quite proud of this artwork and I hope that everyone likes it. Although I don't want another Grammy, thanks all the same. Save that stuff for the music, I'd say. Thanks to Think Tank Media and Phil Lee at XL for all their assistance with this project.
- 5th March 2013
A record is coming out. It's a good record, and when it comes out it's a good thing.
I'm making a warm action happen. 500 people will be given a little screenprint during the night of the launch. It is a small action intended to make people happy.
A lot has happened recently; so much that writing words and pasting pictures on a computer has not been possible. I will try to catch up soon, oh my evil diary.
- 21st February 2013
There are some giclee prints of mine for sale over at The Outsiders, most of which are works from In Rainbows, a Radiohead record I decorated in about 2007. But one of the pictures they have is of a different vintage. It's called 'Snow Accident Killing'.
There used to be some words painted in white on a soot-covered wall outside a railway station in London which said, 'FAR AWAY IS CLOSE AT HAND IN IMAGES OF ELSEWHERE'. History does not record who painted the words or when, but I do know that as long ago as 18th June 1981 the wall on which they were painted was demolished, leaving only the word 'WHERE'.
Over a decade later, when I was at last able to afford the exorbitant pre-privatisation British Rail fares, I saw that someone had kept up this poetic trackside tradition, as the words had been repainted onto a new wall, and the evidently older word WHERE had been carefully repainted. I learned that the first six words form the first line of a poem called 'A Song of Contrariety' by Robert Graves, but the last four words do not appear anywhere in the poem.
Time passed, and I grew older, and the railway system was privatised and the fares grew almost preposterously exorbitant, but the words FAR AWAY IS CLOSE AT HAND IN IMAGES OF ELSEWHERE remained constant, sometimes becoming shabby, other times showing a fresh coat of paint. Around the turn of the century I began collecting graffiti tags from around London, writing them down in a notebook. I noticed that the majority of these tags were monosyllabic or disyllabic - FUSE or COSA being examples. One of the tags was MYTH, which fitted in exactly with the Minotaur/labyrinth obsession I was suffering under (and the reason for my frequent exploratory trips to London). One morning I noticed a new MYTH piece, a beautiful multicoloured work. It was right on top of the white painted words of FAR AWAY...
There is nothing left now. Graffiti of any kind does not last long, and the tracksides are harder to get to now. Some time early in the 21st century I made the picture below, a peculiar sort of homage to MYTH. Perhaps also to Piranesi, and to Mac Operating System 8 or 9.
Perhaps one day I will do something about FAR AWAY IS CLOSE AT HAND IN IMAGES OF ELSEWHERE.
- 24th January 2013
More days pass, and it's with a certain amount of glee that I present this animated gif. To create this, the artist INSA painted the Los Angeles offices of XL Recordings four times, and photographed each version. Then he made these. Never before (not, at least, as far as I know) has anyone ever made an animation in such a laborious manner. Even the little bushes look good.
Please be aware that if you make the pilgrimage to LA's Hyperion Drive, it's very unlikely that the mural will be moving in this manner. Not unless you do a load of acid. And even then, you never can quite tell what's going to happen. The last time I tried it a man pointed a shotgun at me.
INSAs website is here.
More animated gifs and blurb here.
- 7th December 2012
- 4th December 2012
Stuck Up Piece Of Crap
Some time ago I contributed to a book. The book is now out, and it's only fair to the editor that I do my best to let people know about it. It's not often (it's never) that I quote from the website known as 'Cool Hunting', but it's very late and they actually put it quite well:
Founder of the record label Breakbeat Science and an early proponent of drum and bass, DB Burkeman wears many hats. Most recently, he took up the role of editor with his book Stickers: Stuck-Up Piece of Crap: From Punk Rock to Contemporary Art.
Stickers proudly displays Burkeman's collection - a mass he's accumulated over the past 30 years - as well as essays from Shepard Fairey, Bill McMullen, JK5, Stanley Donwood, HAZE, Moby, Lance Mountain and collections from several other prominent sticker collectors and makers such as Kaws, Espo and Invader.
The encyclopedic document covers a wide swathe of contemporary culture where stickers have been involved. With 4,000 examples, stickers span the Velvet Underground's Warhol banana sticker album cover to DIY postal stickers gracing NYC street lights.
Compiled according to genre, Stickers begins with punk rock and hardcore, goes on to skateboarding, early hip-hop, political messages and graffiti tags. Pages of actual stickers designed by Maya Hayuk, Ryan McGinness, Aiko, Todd James, Surface to Air, Barry McGee, KR and more allow you to get in on the action. DB says, "After three years of insane work and 6000 stickers all over our house, my family's feeling about the book finally coming out is "Thank fuck!"
Well, that was a report from'Cool Hunting'. Feel hip? So anyway, more about the book and the truly out-of-control project that its become here (the shop) and here (the blog).
- 14th November 2012
As you can see, the compact-and-bijou Brighton gallery Ink_d has enticed me away from my usual haunts. Lots and lots in this show; in fact, I'm not sure it will all fit in. I'll just have to get down there with my tape-measure and see. So, yes, the gallery is at 96 North Rd, Brighton, BN1 1YE. You can phone them on +44 (0)1273 645299, or email them on email@example.com. Opening night on Thursday 1st. Contact the gallery for more details, press release, hype, et cetera. The gallery's website is here.
- 24th October 2012
The only night out where you get to hear well-spoken filth and hand-cranked gramophone records whilst drinking locally-sourced hooch. Be there or be an ungroovy fucker, as Jools Holland once memorably said on tea-time telly.
- 15th October 2012
Welcome to the O2 Arena.
This print is called 'Terrordome' and it's a 4-colour screen print in an edition of 188, priced at £100.
Printed on 270gsm acid-free archival paper sized 485mm x 640mm, here the Dome is shown overgrown with trees, the chromotographic blend of multi-coloured ink referencing the toxic sludge that had to be cleared from the site before construction could begin.
It is on sale at the venue itself, (which must be referred to as the O2 Arena) and also from here.
- 9th October 2012
Keen observers with powerful memories may remember that this time last year I was in a tunnel underneath Waterloo station in London, building a maze. Ah, happy days. Well, I couldn't do anything down there this year because of 'other commitments', but that doesn't mean that nothing's going on down there in the catacombs. In fact... Bedlam is the final part in a trilogy of mind-blowing immersive art experiences at the Old Vic Tunnels.
In the heart of London underneath Waterloo station, Bedlam presents major installations and special one-off projects by a crack team of artists assembled from the four corners of the Earth inspired by the Victorian mental institution of the same name. Not only a hospital, the original Bedlam was also a macabre curiosity where the chattering classes would pay to visit and gawp at the disturbed inmates.
Contributing artists include Antony Micallef, Conor Harrington, Dan Witz, Kelsey Brookes, Lucy McLauchlan, Ian Francis, Doug Foster and 3D.
Bedlam is open to the public from Tuesday October 9th until Sunday October 21st, 1pm - 9pm daily.
And entrance is free. Visit www.lazaridesbedlam.com/ for more information...
- 8th October 2012
An Event in Bristol, England, now with a poster.
Today I have mostly been making this poster. I nearly fitted everything on, except the words 'Seating may be provided for the elderly, the infirm and the inebriated'. If you find yourself with absolutely nothing else to do and a spare fiver, do come along. There should be some art on the walls too.
And if you like, click on the poster above to download a zipped pdf of a printable A4 version...
Below is a photo of the venue. It will look different in the dark.
- 23rd September 2012
An Event in Bristol, England.
As, ostensibly, part of 'Bristol Festival of Literature', the esteemed Mister Ric Jerrom will once again be reading from the selected works of Stanley Donwood, ie., me.
The event is on Thursday October 18th at 7.30pm, at The People's Republic of Stokes Croft Gallery, 35 Jamaica Street, Bristol, BS2 8JP.
Mr Jerrom will be joined by gramophone 'Disc Jockey' The Wind Up Merchant, and I'm told by my publisher (Mr Jones) that I should really come along as well if I ever want to see any royalties from Household Worms.
There's a bar selling local beer and cider, thank god.
Tickets are £5 from www.unputdownable.org
PS. The place where this is happening has got a blog here. Have a look...
(The photo above is by Justin Staple, from www.bristol-street-art.co.uk.)
- 18th September 2012
Something has happened.
Someone has been painting the offices of XL Recordings in Los Angeles. It looks quite good, no?
- 6th September 2012
Nothing seemed to be happening.
Not much for me to say, but in the proud tradition of the internet I will say it anyway. Look. I've been drawing a picture. I'm not sure how its going to turn out, but for aficionados of pointlessness, I've been using a Rotring Tikky Graphic 0.1 pen on a sheet of 750mm x 570mm deckle-edged watercolour paper, taped to a bit of hardboard. It is taking a very long time. It is like a giant doodle.
In other, related news, with exactly the same technology I drew this picture, which I hope will work as the foundation for the tshirts for the next and final leg of Radiohead's enormously gigantic tour:
And finally, a completely unrelated item regarding letterpress printing. Here is something that was printed using Victorian woodblock letters of an elderly proofing press situated on the back of a retired Milkfloat in a field in Somerset by myself, Mr Devlin Crease and Mr Cefmor Tallboy this 'summer'.
Nothing to see here. Move along please, ladies and gentlemen.
- 15th August 2012
After the banking crisis of 2007-8 many people thought that the banks would be firmly disciplined, severely punished and tightly regulated. None of this happened. We paid their fucking bail.
Did they observe the terms of their bail? No, they didn't.
And now even more shocking mendacity comes to light. And look; I appear to have made a print that seems rather appropriate:
It's called Citybank Escapee and it's a three colour screenprint, which you can't quite see on the screen, as one of the colours is titanium white and one of the others is metallic grey. The third is black. I'm not releasing the whole edition yet; thirty will be available. I wasn't going to release any at all, but this latest banking crime overwhelmed me.
It will be costing £199, and will be available from the shop attached digitally to this very page. Details will be found therein. Any proceeds will not be kept at Barclays Bank.
- 2nd July 2012
Holloway; a book.
I have been working for some time on a book with the writers Robert Macfarlane and Dan Richards. It is the considered result of a journey the three of us made last September, into the half-forgotten wilds of southern Dorset, where the sea is visible between the steep green flanks of the limestone hills and sudden fogs can disorientate the visitor, where roads become lanes that become tracks that become holloways, rain and foot-worn channels hidden beneath wild roofs of oak and thorn.
We are only making 277 copies, as that is the height in metres above sea level of Pilsdon Pen, the mist-shrouded ancient hillfort where we began our peregrinations. The type has been cast by Richard Lawrence from molten lead, using a 1956 Monotype caster. We aim, we hope, we half-promise, to have produced this book by the first day of July, 2012. We also intend to have 27 copies bound by very special methods and then encased within a slipcase, although this will inevitably take longer. Details about the book are given below. A website for the book is in preparation, and more information will follow 'in the fullness of time'.
A book by Robert Macfarlane, Stanley Donwood & Dan Richards.
Typeset and letterpress printed in Oxford by Richard Lawrence.
48pp in Royal Octavo format (234 x 156mm).
Five full-page line illustrations by Stanley Donwood.
Typeset in 12pt Monotype Plantin Light.
Printed on 115gsm Somerset Book Wove paper.
277 copies sewn and limp bound; £27.70.
27 specially bound copies in a slipcase; price on application.
Expressions of interest to:
50 Hurst Street
Oxford OX4 1 HD
Please note that I posted this email address up wrongly on 20th May; if you tried it then please resend.
- 20th May 2012
I have spent a few jetlagged hours drawing some larch trees to form the background for the tshirt designs for the next leg of the Radiohead tour. For reasons which now escape me, I decided to do a different tshirt for each date on the tour. Anyway, this is the design for the first date on this part of the tour.
The larch is a strange tree; a conifer that is deciduous. Its needles fall in the autumn, while all the other conifers stay green all through the winter.
- 6th May 2012
Good afternoon. You may (or may not) be impressed, interested or bemused to hear that my intermittently dreary book Household Worms is now available as an 'e-book' from those responsible corporation-tax-paying booksellers Amazon. The publisher, Mr Jones, has gone to considerable lengths to ensure a relatively seamless transition from page to screen. Now, if you are the kind of person who dislikes 'lugging books about', you can read the Worms in comparative secrecy on the tube, the train, the bus, or the park bench, where you may like to accompany your reading with the consumption of a can of Tennents Super, the incredible 9% lager. Trust me, it'll increase your reading pleasure, up to a point.
Anyway, go here to find out more.
It's available in the USA, the UK, Germany, Spain, Italy and France, but apparently nowhere else. If you live elsewhere I advise you to complain vociferously for your right to buy Household Worms in digital form. Also, if you don't live in the UK you might find Tennents Super hard to come by. But I'm sure there are regional specialities to sample.
- 17th April 2012
Morning. It's come to my fractured attention that the Red Maze book, a 160-page hardback book containing accounts and pictures of almost everything I'd done up until 2009 hasn't been available from the online Slowly Downward shop for ages. Why this is I've given up wondering. Anyway, if you haven't already got it, and you like a) my work, and b) books, then you might want to buy it. And now you can, from this French shop. It's cheaper too! Everybody wins! Except me, because I dont get royalties for this one.
- 4th April 2012
Good evening. Or is it? It's okay here; that's nice for me, isn't it? I've had 'a day off' and it was great. Mending my coat, talking to the cat, that sort of thing. Anyway, I didn't turn on my computer just to write about my mundane existence, oh no. It's worse than that. I'm bragging. By which I mean here are some links to some things written by other people about Household Worms.
Here is a review of the thing.
And here is a little interview sort of affair from the same place.
And here is another sort of interview, from another place.
- 1st April 2012
Thank you to everyone who performed, participated or just turned up and drank all the wine at last week's 'launch' of Household Worms. I am told by my publisher, Mr Jones, that my book has been 'longlisted' for a couple of PRIZES. It's quite exciting, but I'm not sure if I'm 'allowed' to say what they are yet. Mr Jones is my puppetmaster in these matters. More soon, perhaps.
And thanks again. Notting Hill, hey? It's kind of okay, after all. I was a bit worried, having seen that fucking film.
- 21st March 2012
Oh for fuck's sake
Look, for (I promise) the last time; if anyone fancies coming the 'launch' of my relatively recent book tomorrow night (22nd March 2012, 7pm at Waterstone's in Notting Hill) then I can confirm that it's happening. We've even told the bookshop. Head upstairs. I'm told that everything will be 'fine' and that 'there's nothing to worry about'. The publisher, Mr Jones, asks if I'm going to 'tweet' about it. Am I? Can I be bothered? Does it matter? Is there a viable future for our children? Eventually the sun will implode. Or will it explode? I can't remember. I don't know.
Or why not go to the Barbican instead? PENDERECKI
Front cover print printing
This may be of interest or it may not. Probably not. But anyway...
For the 'launch' of my relatively recent book HOUSEHOLD WORMS myself and Mr Ambrose Blimfield (the designer and typographer of the book) thought it would be a pretty neat idea to print large format front covers and pages of the book to offer to sale to the public. Or, at any rate, the members of the public who turned up to the 'launch'. Despite the fact that we had this pretty neat idea quite late one evening at the pub didn't stop us from carrying out the plan. So here, below, is stage one, the border, printed in red, drying on the rack. It's not interesting.
And here is the same rack, only about an hour later, when we've printed the black ink of the illustration. It's still not very interesting, but it's these somewhat trivial accomplishments that keep me from gloom and probably also from various activities bad for the health and destructive to the self. I would generally offer the advice that harmless activities of this sort are a good idea. I'm still here, aren't I?
- 21st March 2012
OLDER ENTRIES HERE...