On March 23, 2020, the UK went into a countrywide lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Due to these extraordinary circumstances Stanley Donwood's new show StrangeNESS took place in a different and socially distant way.
Whistleblower Gallery invited everyone to join its worldwide virtual opening and it subsequently offered Live Gallery Viewings and Scheduled Remote Private Viewings. It also produced videos and broadcasts published on this page, on its brand-new YouTube channel and its Whistleblower Gallery Instagram Live
StrangeNESS, an exhibition with new drawings and prints by Stanley Donwood inspired by or featured in Ness, Stanley Donwood’s and Robert Macfarlane’s latest collaboration.
Ness is the result of a three-year collaboration between artist Stanley Donwood and author Robert Macfarlane, and was originally published as a limited letterpress edition of 525 copies by Quive-Smith Press in December 2018. In November 2019 Ness was published by Hamish Hamilton.
Ness is inspired by the bleak and ghostly shingle spit of Orford Ness, an 'untrue island' on the Suffolk coast, where for seventy years military scientists carried out secret research. It is a place that has long fascinated Robert Macfarlane and Stanley Donwood.
StrangeNESS gathers a selection of large format charcoal and graphite original drawings inspired by and made using elements from the British Suffolk coast. These have not been shown before.
Alongside these drawings are a set of limited editions of prints made from the drawings that were used in the book, letterpress prints made from the plates used in the original privately printed edition, and drawings made for the book.
Whistleblower Gallery has been working with Stanley Donwood for over a decade, having most recently shown a body of work produced during Radiohead’s recordings of A Moon Shaped Pool, entitled 'Watermarks: Works Made with the Weather'.
Photograph © Colin Greenwood.
Stanley Donwood is known by his work with Radiohead. His artwork often touches on socio-political issues.
His print-making and explorative working have led to both impressive large-scale work and exquisite fine art printmaking.
He has won two Grammy Awards for Best Recording Package with his Radiohead work on the band's Amnesiac cover and Best Special Limited Edition Package for In Rainbows.
He has published a number of short stories and picture books, amongst which are Slowly Downward, Household Worms, Bad Island and There will be No Quiet.