Stanley Donwood

Variations on a British Exit by 3.1

Whilst Theresa May continues to fuck it up and whilst people argue over a hard Brexit or a soft Brexit (oh – do fuck off), my yearly seasonal purchases from the ever-insightful Stanley Donwood have arrived, just in time to grace the walls for visitors:

I'll be sure to hang some silks up to cover the frames for when the estate agents come round, ha...

I'll be sure to hang some silks up to cover the frames for when the estate agents come round, ha...

For those of you that are not aware of Donwood's work, he is most famous for producing much of the album artwork for the band Radiohead, as well as occasional letterpress items to promote the Glastonbury Festival. Some would say he's an acquired taste.

I normally acquire a print or two from Donwood's print shop at Christmas time, when he opens it up as the mas Boutique. The two pieces I acquired from him this year are British Exit (190 x 270mm 3-colour screenprint on Somerset Satin, edition of 140) and Cook's Blue #237 (340 x 440mm 2-colour screenprint on Somerset Satin, edition of 90). I acquired a 'Middleton Pink' version of the latter work from Donwood last year (the pieces are based on the colours of the Farrow & Ball paint palette):

Middleton Pink #245  (2016) in our bedroom

Middleton Pink #245 (2016) in our bedroom

Subtle, no?

All of my previous iterations of this foul-mouthed tirade sold out very quickly, which suggests that as I’d hoped, people are taking advantage of the clearly-displayed type and impeccable spelling to home-educate their children. Happy to help, that’s me.

As ever, it’s rather Anglo-Saxon in word-choice, but compared to the actions of our rapacious overlords, both elected and non-elected, it’s really quite mild. It will look absolutely fucking divine on the expensively-decorated walls of your dream home, and is sure to provoke intelligent discussion at dinner parties. Farrow & Ball’s own blurb describes this colour as romantic and poignant, but personally it just makes me think of the fucking Tories.
— Stanley Donwood's description of Cook's Blue #237

I think the text comes up much better in Cook's Blue, but that might just be me (image courtesy of Stanley Donwood):


As for the other piece; last year I went for a rather large number called Dark Estuary:


Dark Estuary is (I think) the largest Downwood screenprint in my collection. It had to be relegated to the front room, so this year I decided to go for something a bit smaller, hence British Exit (image courtesy of Stanley Donwood):

As is well known throughout the world by now, last summer the ’Great British Public’ voted in a supposedly political remix of Should I Stay or Should I Go by The Clash. Whether or not Joe Strummer intended his rousing anthem to be appropriated metaphorically by the likes of Boris ‘The’ Johnson we shall never know. The result was that 52% of eligible persons decided that they wanted to ‘take back control’ in a manner which can’t fail to bring to mind the sort of person who takes his hands from the steering wheel of a fast-moving vehicle whilst cackling insanely. Anyway. I thought I’d respond by re-working a linocut that I made once upon a time for a novel that detailed the destruction of England. And yes, that is a fucking self-portrait.
— Stanley Donwood's description of British Exit

I always think it's funny when the artwork in a home reflects that of current affairs.