... NEWEST ENTRIES AT THE TOP ...
Humor, a collection of stories of varying lengths is
to be published by Faber & Faber on November 6th 2014. It looks like this:
I'd like to point out at this stage that:
a) All of these stories have been published before. They have been lightly copy-edited by an expert at Faber, and very occasionally tweaked by me, but if you have bought, borrowed, stolen or read both Slowly Downward and Household Worms you will have read all this before.
b) Even the introduction has been published before, in the catalogue to the Red Maze exhibition I did at Schunck in The Netherlands a few years ago.
There are several reasons that I wanted the book to be published by Faber; not least of these is that I've had a great admiration for Faber since I was a teenager, and to have my work published by them is like some kind of fucking amazing dream. As well as this, I kind of hope that the work will find a new audience. This may or may not happen.
Faber have done a grand job with the book. It is a very nice thing. In addition to the edition I've taken one of my customarily poor photos of, above, Faber have also made a special limited edition, a de fucking luxe edition, printed on hemp paper and presented in a slipcase with a signed lithographic print. Hemp paper. I like this; venerable independent British publisher goes to Spain, buys a bale of cannabis, ships it back to the UK, takes it (I'm not kidding) to Hemel Hempstead, where it's processed into paper. And I got to design the watermark for it; it's the crying minotaur I drew for Radiohead's Amnesiac a long time ago.
So. It's all quite exciting.
For more information, specification, pricing and blurb, please go HERE for the standard hardback, and HERE for the flabbergasting marijuana-infused art version.
And, naturally, that is not all. To launch this book into the world there is an event in London; it's on the 3rd November (which is a Monday) and is at The Social, on Little Portland Street which is a few minutes walk from Oxford Circus. It's ten quid a ticket; Ric Jerrom will be reading from Humor, Paul Kingsnorth with be reading from his 'shadow language' novel The Wake, John Matthias will be playing live, from his latest record Geisterfahrer, and Bleep DJs will be adding an acidic flavour to the night.
I'll also be giving out 99 wage packets, shown below:
Details HERE and click through to the ticket outlet...
There is other stuff happening too, not least a popup Humor shop in London's well salubrious bookshop-lined lane Cecil Court, but I'll ramble on about that in a little while, as it's not until the 20th November...
- 11th October 2014
BACK TO SKOOL
Good afternoon. May I offer my profound
apologies for failing to bore you with my tedious ramblings for over two
months? Or may I not? I have been away collecting mud from various
swampy regions for purposes I will not disclose here.
But now I am
back, with many things to relate. In no particular order.
This is a screenprint called
'Edge of the Harvest' and it was printed on my behalf by Shepard Fairey
for a show in Chicago called The Provocateurs. The prints are 24" x
34", cost three hundred dollars, and are available HERE.
This print is actually the first to
emerge from a strange and new body of work that has been fermenting and
curdling in my mind for some time. Even I find it quite disturbing. More
artwork will emerge next month, perhaps wrapped around a record.
I've also had some work printed in London, for a show called
Blisters. The work for this show is called 'Dazzle', and it looks
The show, which is
(as far as I can tell) only open on the 12th and 13th September features
loads of artists and all the prints in editions of forty and are forty
quid each, which is kind of amazing. There is loads more information
about it HERE.
In other news, the latest print release from the tiny web shop sold out in
about half an hour. This is of course most gratifying for someone who
got a D for their art A level, but it does appear to have left many
people disappointed, as there were only 70 of each print. I'm not quite
sure what to do about this - make the edition size bigger? I guess
that's a reasonable thing to do. So next time I will do editions of 99.
Oh yes, and to all those who bought a print; we will be despatching them
next week, probably on the 26th August. This is what the prints looked
like; they are called 'Emergency Stabilization' and 'Spreading
Pitched, price-wise, somewhere between the $300 of 'Edge of the Harvest'
and the £40 of 'Dazzle' is 'Fucked Millennium' at £122,
which is available HERE, and looks like this:
Well, that's all I have time
to write about today, as I'm off now to continue the edit of the new
edition of 'Catacombs of Terror!', a pulp thriller featuring GUNS, DRUGS
and PIGS that I wrote for a bet ten years ago. It's going to be
published again, perhaps even in time for Zmas... so I'm off to the
library with my coloured biros and little post-it notes. Bye for now,
- 21st August 2014
NEWS FROM NOWHERE
Hello. Since I last wrote on here the
release of the two prints called Too Big To Fail and Troubled
Assets has been and gone, and they all sold very quickly. My
apologies to those who would have liked a print but didn't manage to get
one. I increased the edition size to 60 but that didn't help. It's (of
course) great that people like them.
Anyway, here's a link to the page where you can sign up for News From
Nowhere which is the irregular bulletin about prints sold from www.atinywebshop.com. As well as signing up for the
bulletin you'll also be setting up an account. More blurb if you follow
Of course, the draughty electronic warehouse still operates...
- 30th May 2014
STILL NO IDEA WHAT IS GOING ON
But lots of things are
happening. You may, or may not know that I've got a twitter
account now, as part of my belated and essentially futile attempt to
remain with it and hip, as well as appearing to have
kept up with technology. I put things on the internet by using
twitter quite often, and that's probably a better way to find out what I
happen to be filling the hours of my life with than this stupid
As you can see from
the blurred photograph of it above, the paperback of Holloway is
out now. It is, of course, pretty much the same as the hardback, only a
bit smaller, less hard and cheaper. And it has some reviews printed
within its pages, with all the bile, venom and hate edited out so they
sound really good. If you don't have a copy yet, and have nothing better
to do with a tenner, I recommend it as the only book about a hedge to
have become a bestseller.
In other news, I've once more conjured
up a design for this year's Glastonbury Festival which will
shortly be seen on lots of tee shirts and programmes, as well as on the
website, and, for the first time, a digital programme available from
iTunes. A fucking iTunes programme for a festival. I love the modern
world. I probably shouldn't show you the design because they're usually
a bit worried about piracy, but I can tell you that it looks a hell of a
lot like a painting I did called Nether.
In further, and
unrelated news, there will be another tiny web shop up very soon, with
another two fragments from Lost Angeles. These two will look like
The tiny webshop is closed
at the moment, but will of course reopen, as a forthcoming News From
Nowhere will announce. If you don't receive News From
Nowhere, you will if you sign up for Taglibro. It's kind of
more like an advertising freesheet in style and intent... By the way,
apologies for the recent lack of a Taglibro. I have been
infernally preoccupied of late.
- 28th May 2014
I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IS GOING ON
Well, actually I do, but
there's so much of it and I'm so vacant and confused I can't assemble my
thoughts in any kind of order. For instance, the book I allude to in the
post below this one is now definitely going to be called HUMOR.
It will definitely be divided into four sections, entitled Sanguine,
Choler, Phlegm, and Melancholy. I must reiterate that the
material to be collected within the forthcoming swanky volume has all
been published before and is mostly also available somewhere on this
rambling and archaic website.
Also planned is an extremely limited
edition printed on hemp paper that is going to be watermarked by me,
hopefully with a crying minotaur. There are, however, a multitude of
details to attend to regarding this.
Next! Right, okay, pretty soon I've got three brand new large-format
prints (shown above) at the Tag Fine Arts stand that the
London Print Fair at the Royal Academy in London. This is between
the 24th and the 27th of April, so it's actually really, really soon.
More details here: www.londonprintfair.com
The prints are called
Phlegm, Sanguine, and The End Of Humor, and, yes! are three of the new
illustrations for Humor ...which I totally failed to mention
whilst writing about the book. Thankfully Faber&Faber have their own PR
department to make up for my chronic inability to market my own work.
Well, I hope they do, anyway.
- 19th April 2014
HUMOUR (or HUMOR)
1. The quality of being
amusing or comic, especially as expressed in literature or speech.
2. A mood or state of mind.
Archaic: an inclination or whim.
Historical: Each of the four chief fluids of the body (blood, phlegm,
yellow bile (choler), and black bile (melancholy) that were thought to
determine a person's physical and mental qualities by the relative
proportions in which they were present.
The title of my
forthcoming book, to be published by Faber & Faber in the autumn, will
be Humour. Or Humor. It will be a collection of miserable
stories, all of which have been published before, but in a fancy-assed
new volume. Despite my grumpy face I'm actually really excited about
this, and will endeavour to furnish you, my patient reader, with further
information as I receive it. Bon nuit.
- 10th March 2014
ALL IN THIS TOGETHER
As I write, the buckets and pans are
catching the drips in the attic as the storm circles overhead. More rain
than has ever been recorded has already fallen, and there's no sign of
it stopping. So here is a boat.
It's another new print; this one is called 'Credit
Swap', and it's an edition of 44, and like 'Upturn' shown in the post
below it's approximately 25cm x 32cm, and again they will be £44
each. Both of these prints are, despite appearances, printed with two
colours, only one of them is an extremely subtle pearlescent white so
you can't see it on a screen.
The title, 'Credit Swap', is another
homage to the finance industry. Here's what Wikipedia have to say about credit default
swaps; I leave you to draw your own conclusions about them.
prints will be available shortly; I'll update this post as soon as they
Hello. Okay, we got it together. The tiny web shop the
sale of these mementos of civilisation-wide hubris is HERE. It's my intention to
continue with this little series of fragments torn from Lost
Angeles. They will all be in editions of 44 and cost £44.
- 12th February 2014, amended 22nd February 2014.
GREEN SHOOTS OF RECOVERY
The rain is lashing against the
uninsulated window. I'm huddled underneath a blanket from which one icy
hand protrudes, typing these words with a single digit. The floodwaters
are continuing to rise.
Here is a new print:
It is called 'Upturn', and this is
what I wrote about it;
Despite the ongoing economic disasters
engendered by the mendacious movements of the finance industry, we are
informed that the appropriation by the wealthy of ever more of the
world's resources is 'working'and will lead us to a shining 'recovery'.
To celebrate this upturn I present a small print of a different kind of
upturn. an upturned car. Complete with a refugee.
are only available from Chapter in Cardiff at the moment. There
are only 44 of them and they are £44 each. They are about 25cm
across and about 32cm high. How you get them from Chapter is another
matter. My internet sleuthing skills aren't up to much, but you could
perhaps start here.
In other 'news' I hope to be having a
collection of stories published by Faber & Faber this year. I'm still
unsure what to call it, still unsure what the illustrations should look
like, and still unsure of what the cover should look like.
still working on the covers for JG Ballard's books. This is something of
a challenge and I'm not sure how it's going. I think I need a deadline
or a cabin in the woods or a bag of crack. I don't know what I need.
But I will get on with it. On Monday.
- 25th January
PS. It turns out that Chapter don't sell prints
online; you have to go to Cardiff. If that proves troublesome (and I can
sympathise) perhaps it might work if you phone them. Sorry!
ZMAS GREENPEACE FUNDRAISING
I'm like, all over my stupid
blog at the moment. GREENPEACE are offering e-zmas cards, and
I've done one, and the link no longer works because zmas is finished
Happy happy, joy joy.
- 6th December 2013
ZMAS MARKET MISERABLISM
you happen to be in Bristol's scintillating centre next wednesday, you
might find a distraction from consumerism welcome. Then again, you may
- 6th December 2013
SOLSTICE AVENUE: ALL GONE
I'm afraid the edition has sold out.
Apologies to anyone who wanted one but missed it. The prints will be
packed over the next couple of days and should be despatched on
If you're interested in other arboreal artwork, perhaps you
might like to look over
- 5th December 2013
SOLSTICE AVENUE PRODUCTION
A little while back I
blethered on for some time about making the drawings for this year's
solstice print; Golden Solstice Avenue. Now, after the
installation of the Hollywood Dooom exhibition in Cardiff,
there's time to continue with that. As I mentioned, this year's print
had to be approached a bit differently due to the nature of the image;
so here are the drawings, lined up for registration and then, on the
right, the first layer of 23.5ct gold...
Then it's a case
of printing the first layer of black, which is the background, and then
another layer of gold over the top of that...
And so on. To me
this kind of stuff is endlessly fascinating, but I can appreciate that
photograph after photograph of what seems like an interminable process
could be construed as a bit dull, so, fortunately for you,
Comrade Winstanley has created a nice animated gif to demonstrate the
process in a modern, zingy, zappy kind of way. It's like witchcraft,
only without the hangings on the village green.
I'm afraid you'll have to
refresh the page if you want to see that again, or if you missed it as
you were checking your facebook page or something. It's good, isn't it?
(Actually it only seems to work once. No idea why. I'll get our
technical support team onto it right away. Except they're at the pub.
And actually don't really exist. (apparently it works on Safari)) But
not as good as the real, finished, 23.5ct gold print. Here's a
digital/photographic representation of said article:
Not fucking bad, was my verdict.
So, yes. As usual, the edition is 24 prints, but the price of
each print has risen from £200 to £250, because although the
price of gold has taken a slight fall recently, the overall trend is
relentlessly upward, and besides, the price of good rum is going up all
All of the details about size of print, of paper, and
purchasing, and all of that can be found on a little web shop made
especially for the Golden Solstice Avenue.
- 3rd December
Cardiff! It's the Diff, as they say,
perhaps. You'll be surprised to hear that I had a grand time over there
in Wales. It was very welcoming and they have a big market that
apparently used to be a women's prison where they hanged people in the
exact spot that you can now buy the entire head of a pig.
But perhaps you don't want to hear about the last gurgling breaths of
hanged women or the decapitated heads of swine. Perhaps you'd rather
hear about Hollywood Dooom at Chapter?
It's probably for the best, really. I
heard a lot of things whilst I was innocently strolling the streets, but
it wasn't what they tell tourists. Well, I hope it isn't. Anyway, yes,
so. Here's a picture of the finished mural:
There are also a lot of prints up on
the other walls, but cleverly I haven't got any photographs of them. So,
the show is up until the beginning of March; there should be some
merchandise associated with the show at the Chapter shop very
soon too. If I get it together.
- 2nd December 2013
INSTALLING THE DOOOM
Well. For fuck's sake. What do you
expect me to do? There's this big wall in Wales, and the idea is that we
should put up a massive version of HOLLYWOOD DOOOM on it. Here
are a couple of photos of what we in the industry call the
Look at that.
It's fucking massive. I hope you appreciate the way that I've blurred
the faces of the people there, just like Google do. They were just
trying to have a nice time. I'm not about to blow their cover.
This photo is obviously from a bit
later. The first blurry people have gone, and now there's a new crowd.
Again, I have blurred their faces, in an attempt to protect the innocent
and avoid litigation. Later on, the wall was finished, and 'everybody'
So yes, anyway. The show opens on Friday 29th November,
at Chapter in Cardiff, and it runs until the impossibly distant
date of 2nd March 2014. I may be dead by then, as may you. For
information, less leavened by doom, please visit the perennially upbeat
Chapter website, HERE!
Yes. There will be a lot of other prints in
the show too, including Tremendous Meteorite and many more. Never
seen before in the UK! Ideal for zmas presents for the terminally
depressed. Or the 'doomer' in your family. Oh, I don't know. You might
be better off staying at home, watching telly or something. Salut!
- 27th November 2013
have an exhibition in Wales, for the first time. It's at Chapter
in Cardiff, and it's called Hollywood Dooom, and it runs from the
29th November 2013 until the 2nd March 2014, and it's in the bar!
Consisting of a giant 10-metre long vinyl mural and a large
selection of the work displayed some time past at Subliminal Projects in
Los Angeles in the Lost Angeles show, it's the first time that
many of these prints have been seen in the UK.
information, directions, and stuff like that, visit Chapter's website here... And, yes; "Chapter is an ambitious, multi-artform
cultural space based in Cardiff, Wales that presents and produces
international art, performance and film alongside a dynamic social
- 25th November 2013
The eagle-eyed and large of brain may have
instantly figured out that the letters above are a clumsy acronym;
far away is close at hand in images of elsewhere. Well yes. I
wouldn't have got it either. I would, I suppose, have preferred the url
'faraway.co.uk', but unfortunately that space is already taken by a site
which promises 'eternal internet war'. Not exactly my cup of gin.
Anyway. Where the fuck was I? Oh yes. The ungainly acronym above is now
attached to a domain name and it's there that you may, if you wish,
purchase some rather lovely prints of several of the paintings which
attracted so much attention whilst on display in London a little while
back. Here's a link.
I am still drawing trees, you know. Even
though I promised that I'd stop. I can't, though; it's like an
addiction. Only not like smack or crack or tobacco. Nowhere near so much
alleged 'fun'. An addiction to 8B pencils. I will stop soon though. I
- 14th November 2013
SOLSTICE AVENUE PREPARATIONS
Readers of this sorry excuse
for a blog might remember that for the last couple of years I've been
producing a very limited number of prints made with gold dust to
commemorate the winter solstice. The last two were of holloways, and
this year I've branched out (ha ha) into avenues. It was kind of hard
to work out how to draw it, but instead of boring you with a lengthy
description, I'll put some photographs up here and try to explain the
process of preparing to make the print.
I couldn't work out
how to make it work for a while, as the avenue drawings I've been doing
in pencil have white space around the branches to make them stand out
from each other. Otherwise it's just a kind of black cloud in the shape
of a rectangle. It's easy and anyone can do it. This sketch for the
print is done with tracing paper stuck into a sketchbook with cellotape.
The trick is to draw it backwards.
Then it was a matter
of tracing the tracings with an opaque pen onto a kind of translucent
film. The opaque ink is red, for some reason. See here:
Another terrible photograph from me,
completely unrepresentative of what I'm aiming for, as the four images
that'll make up the finished print will need to be carefully registered
so that the branches, and the spaces around them will mesh properly, and
the trees will recede into a golden mist.
I'll post up some pictures
of gold dust screenprinting soon.
OH AND YES
meant to announce that there will, very soon, be a small online shop
selling prints of the paintings Nether, Poor End, Hurt Hill, and
Soken Fen. From the 11th November, if all goes to plan.
- 5th November 2013
another exhibition and it's coming right up. In fact, as I type, a
large van filled with paintings, prints and associated impedimenta is
heading towards Stoke Newington in London. This exhibition is called
Apocalypse Boutique and is is a strange kind of sample of what
I've been doing for the past eight or nine years.
So there are some
pieces from the very first exhibition I ever did, the one when I was so
scared I wore a wig and a pair of specs to disguise myself at the
opening night. Also on display will be the first screenprint ever
produced by the Slowly Downward Manufactory, as well as a lot of prints
that have sold out from general sale.
Some of the work is painted,
some printed, and some a combination of the two. Although there are
other printing techniques employed here, a lot of the work was
screen-printed at the Slowly Downward Manufactory.
was established in 2004, and consisted initially of a second-hand
screen-printing table, myself, and Comrade Winstanley in a freezing cold
The idea was to produce limited editions of my artwork,
and with the stupidity that was to become the Manufactory's hallmark,
the first print to be produced involved the accurate registration of
eleven colours, including the industry standard
cyan-magenta-yellow-black, as well as a colour that I specified should
look 'like dead flesh'.
It was so cold that gloves were required to
prevent our own flesh from adhering to the freezing metal of the
screen-printing table. The result of this first foray was the print
Such a Pretty House, a reworking of the artwork I'd done some
years previously for the Radiohead single 'No Surprises'.
have passed since then, and the Manufactory has moved from a freezing
cold warehouse to a series of inadequate, unsuitable and inconvenient
premises until finding a new home for 2014 that has radiators and even a
flushing toilet; precisely the sort of arrangement that we should have
sorted out ages ago. Never mind, never mind.
Despite the many
obstacles and handicaps we have had to overcome, we have done a fuck of
a lot of work; filling galleries in London, Los Angeles, Tokyo, and
Rotterdam, to name four that I can remember.
Anyway, in London's
ever-surprising Stoke Newington you can see various examples of what I
have painted and what the Manufactory has produced over the years. I
hope you will like it.
The exhibition runs from 2nd November
until 1st December, at the Hang-up gallery, and the opening
'drinks reception' is on Friday 1st November, between 6pm and
Hang-Up Gallery, 56 Stoke Newington High St, London N16
Telephone: +44 20 3667 4552
- 25th October
FAR AWAY IS CLOSE AT HAND FOR LONGER
The exhibition has
been extended for another week. It will now end at 7pm on Saturday 26th
- 18th October 2013
This was the last painting I finished,
and it is called 'Nether'...
I have some small fragments of
news in connection with the forthcoming exhibition. I decided in
the end that I would make stickers of that blue plaque thing, so they'll
be being given away, as will a stack of Universal Sigh newspapers
which I discovered under a table in my now desperately untidy studio. So
if anyone failed to get one back whenever it was (in 2011?) that they
were given out, now's your chance to complete your collection of weird
ephemera associated with Radiohead.
I'm pretty sure that the
exhibition will have the paintings upstairs and the drawings downstairs;
there are about two dozen original drawings, including the large
Avenues I've been doing, as well as various early sketches for
the Holloway book which date from soon after the strange trip I
took to Dorset.
The original drawings I made for the book will be
exhibited, but not the open edition of letterpress prints of the images,
which are still available from Caught by the River, here. (Scroll down a bit, oh and
yeah, I've got to print some more of the second image)
are the laser-etched 'prints' made at the Centre for Fine Print Research
in Bristol, which are really something. I hope to continue working with
I'm probably not going to 'up-date' this blog again until
after the show, so goodbye. I hope that you're able to come to have a
look. 19th September until the 19th October, 8 Greek Street, Soho,
- 5th September 2013
FAR AWAY IS CLOSE AT HAND IN LONDON
Hello again. I write to say
that I've almost finished everything for this exhibition, and almost
everything is with the framers. Below, greatly reduced in size and
turned into digital approximations of the actual canvases, are four of
them, as a sort of taster for anyone interested.
called, in order of appearance, Soken Fen, Friday Woods, Poor End, and
I'm vaguely thinking of getting that
blue plaque thing at the top there made into stickers. Good idea? Bad
idea? I can't tell. Anyway, that's enough (amateur, antiquated) html
coding for me. I've got a painting to finish. Goodbye.
21st August 2013
A NEW EXHIBITION IN LONDON
I'm 'pleased' to announce that I will be returning to
8 Greek Street in Soho (the London one) once more, to exhibit what I'm
hoping people will one day refer to as my 'tree period' work. I have
been painting 'scenes from nature', and 'pastoral vistas'. None of the
work, however, was painted 'en plein air' and none of the drawings were
either. My technique consists of going outdoors and staying there for
some time, and only making pictures when I've been back indoors for even
longer and forgotten everything. I am not one of those persons wearing a
smock painting at an easel in some beauty spot.
Anyway, enough about me. There will be more than twenty drawings in the
show, including all the original sketches, drawings and finished pieces
for Holloway, the book I made last summer with Robert Macfarlane,
Dan Richards and Richard Lawrence. There will also be a new suite of
large graphite on paper works called Avenues, as well as the
largest holloway drawing I've done and a pen and ink drawing that was so
painstaking and took so fucking long that the glue from the tape holding
it onto a bit of hardboard melted onto the paper.
I've also been
working with the Centre for Fine Print Research in Bristol, with the aim
of producing laser-etched 'prints'. This process uses a laser to
vaporise the image onto a substrate; in this case, both black and white
paper. Here's Dr Paul Laidler explaining it:
"The process uses
carbon dioxide that is excited in a chamber. Emerging as light from an
aperture in the chamber, the beam is focused by a series of mirrors, a
lens and through a nozzle down to a thickness of approximately 0.2mm.
When the beam comes in to contact with a material it cuts through by
vaporising it. The nozzle moves across the surface of the material on an
x and y axis that allows designs to be cut or engraved with a high level
of accuracy and complexity in a variety of materials. The Laser Studio
has a 10w, 30w and 200w flat bed laser with a cutting area of 70 x 95cm,
40 x 60cm and 90 x 140cm respectively. Laser cutting involves the use of
a powerful laser to cut, etch or engrave into textiles, paper, card,
plastics, vinyls, glass and some types of wood. A computer controls the
path of the laser over the bed to melt, burn or vaporise the
Simple, right? The results are quite mesmerising; to
me it looks as if trained paper-eating bacteria have been told to make a
picture. The vaporised images look very organic. The CFPR have made
vaporised versions of two drawings, February Holloway and Wait
Here We Will Come For You. Both will be on show at the
But the main thing, perhaps, is the paintings. I
started them whilst Radiohead were working on the record that became The
King of Limbs, and used photographs of them in an unfinished state as a
main ingredient in the artwork for that record, which consisted of,
basically, a newspaper. It has taken this long - as well as the looming
deadline supplied by the date of this exhibition - to finish these
paintings. Other stuff kept getting in the way, and I'm easily
distracted too. I've sequestered myself in the studio for the whole
summer to finish them, so I hope that people will like them.
I've decided to frame everything in ash wood. The ash is Yggdrasil,
central to pre-Christian Norse mythology, which I alluded to in the
artwork for The King of Limbs. The ash tree is currently under dire
threat from a disease called, imaginatively enough, ash
Back in January I wrote about the title of the show,
Far Away Is Close At Hand In Images Of Elsewhere, saying that some day
I'd do something with the sentence. It's a very beautiful sentence to my
mind, suggesting both positive and negative sentiments; in fact, it's a
very sentimental expression. And this exhibition is also, maybe, my most
sentimental yet. Give me a few more years and I'll be painting fluffy
puppies or something.
ADDENDUM: I noticed that I said I'd been
painting in the studio 'for the whole summer' just back there, which is
a lie. I went to London for a week to do that Atomic Drawing Room
and then I went and hid in a shed on the Essex marshes for a further
week. My apologies for my misleading words.
Also, I've done a bit
of searching for the origins of the sentence 'Far Away Is Close At Hand
In Images Of Elsewhere' and I found out where it came from.
link, here's another, and here's the most informative I've yet found.
17th & 19th August 2013
MORE ABOUT THE ATOMS FOR PEACE DRAWING ROOM
Look at this. It's a pub
in north London. Shortly after this photograph was taken, it looked
Even the sky looks better. And here are a couple of (bad) pictures of
It was totally
brilliant and I had a great time setting it up with mucho help from XL
and many others. Afterwards I had to go to the Essex marshes to have a
little sit down.
I have an exhibition coming up, by the way. I'll
post something about it up here soon...
- 14th August
ATOMS FOR PEACE DRAWING ROOM
The Atomic Drawing Room is now open, in the upstairs
room of a pub called The Enterprise, opposite Chalk Farm tube station
and just over the way from the Roundhouse, from where this blurry photo
The Drawing Room is the only record shop in the world to
only sell one record, and that record is AMOK by Atoms for Peace.
Each track from the record has been pressed onto single-sided 12" vinyl,
with artwork engraved on the back, in new hand-screenprinted sleeves.
All nine records are also available as a boxed set.
The room is
completely covered in black and white artwork, except for a tiny bit of
red. There's lots of artwork for sale too, and up on a stage there's
live screenprinting of posters and clothing. In the middle of the
Drawing Room is a custom-made rug and a pair of armchairs and a chaise
longue re-upholstered in Atoms fabric.
It's up there among the most
fucking stupid things I've ever done, and my many and humble thanks go
to the whole team from XL who have helped to bring this strange mutant
creation into the light. Literally.
The Drawing Room is open
from 12 noon until 8pm today, Friday 26th July, and also, for those
constrained by temporal concerns, between the same hours on Saturday
27th. Be there or be an ungroovy fucker, as Jools Holland once
said, causing national hysteria. Oh happy days.
- 26th July
- 10th July 2013
GLASTONBURY FESTIVAL 2013
Much to my sadness Glastonbury Festival is
over for another year. I wasn't able to show this print online
before the festival (apart from a teeny image on the latest
Taglibro) because of worries about piracy, forgery and other
nefarious activities, seeing as the image is used on the festival
tshirts. But here it is. The print is in an edition of 50, and is
printed in eight colours (including two metallics) on 270gsm acid-free
paper, blind-embossed with the Slowly Downward stamp and signed and
numbered by me. The paper dimensions are 600mm x 535mm; and the print
costs £125 (plus P&P). Here is a link to the shop bit of this site.
What a stormer the festival
was; my sincerest commiserations if you weren't able to get in, and my
bewildered incomprehension if you didn't want to go. As ever, Shangri
La and Block 9 were my personal highlights. I heard there were some
bands playing too. Ah well. only three hundred and fifty or so days
until the next one.
- 4th July 2013
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
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
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.
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
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'.
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.
website is here.
More animated gifs and blurb here.
- 7th December 2012
- 4th December
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
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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
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
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
It is on sale at the venue itself, (which must be
referred to as the O2 Arena) and also from here.
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.
include Antony Micallef, Conor Harrington, Dan Witz, Kelsey Brookes,
Lucy McLauchlan, Ian Francis, Doug Foster and 3D.
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
Below is a photo of the venue. It will look different in
- 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,
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
(The photo above is by Justin Staple, from
- 18th September 2012
Something has happened.
Someone has been painting the offices of
XL Recordings in Los Angeles. It looks quite good, no?
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
Did they observe the terms of their bail? No, they
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.
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.
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
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
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
Expressions of interest to:
50 Hurst Street
Oxford OX4 1 HD
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
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
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
Here is a review of the thing.
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.
again. Notting Hill, hey? It's kind of okay, after all. I was a bit
worried, having seen that fucking film.
- 21st March
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.
why not go to the Barbican instead?
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.
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...