Stanley Donwood makes beautiful art and has connections to some of my favourite writers – Roger Deakin and Robert Macfarlane, and is also Radiohead’s in-house artist. His choice of name for the title of his latest exhibition caused a large outbreak of excitement in my family. Without implicating anyone in decades old criminal activity, it is safe to say that there is a direct and enduring link between us Halls and the slogan, daubed on a wall on the trackside outside Paddington station stating enigmatically ‘Far Away is Close at Hand in Images of Elsewhere’.
Donwood’s revival of the slogan provides a memorable title for his hugely striking exhibition at the Outsiders, 8 Greek St, London until Saturday 19 October. Holloway, his work with Macfarlane and Dan Richards, features works that make up much of the exhibition, which can be viewed here larger and close up. They convey the raw and mysterious atmosphere of the area of Dorset that hid the sunken lanes inspiring the work. Now the lanes are, by all accounts, gone. I was lucky to go to the area of Dorset where they’re found but my own exploring was restricted to some of the Iron Age hill forts that dot the landscape. They offered a taste of what the holloways must have been like.
The highlight of Far Away… for me was the coloured forest scenes on the ground floor, including the huge, mesmerizing colour painting that forms the centrepiece of the show. You half expect Pan himself to emerge from the blazing light at the centre of the piece. I won’t reproduce it here as to do it justice you have to see it full size and close up. You can find it on the Outsiders site below. The full image of the Holloway jacket, below looks lovely too.
Go and see this superb show if you’re at all able. It may inspire you to pick up a brush and get busy somewhere.