Stanley Donwood reveals a bit more about the artwork for Thom Yorke’s The Eraser. As reported earlier the artwork is curently exhibitioned as ‘London Views’ at Lazarides in London.
Stanley: “This work was started in November 2005, whilst a record that was eventually called The Eraser was being worked on in Covent Garden, London. I didn’t know that this would become the artwork that would accompany this record, although I hoped that it would, for several reasons too vague and tenuous to go into here. Which is one of the reasons why the record is called The Eraser and the artwork is called London Views.
Another intention was to exhibit the completed project at Lazarides in Greek Street, just over the Charing Cross Road in Soho. This show opened on 19th May 2006, after an opening night which passed eventfully enough.
London Views is a picture of London, an apocalyptic panorama that stretches from the Thames estuary upstream to beyond the familiar structures of the gherkin, the NatWest tower, Big Ben and Battersea Power Station.
This medievalised vision of apocalypse in England’s capital city was carved on 14 pieces of linoleum with one small cutting tool. The original blocks make up a picture about twelve feet long, which has been painstakingly hand-burnished on to beautiful Japanese Kozo paper, as it has so far proved impossible to print this using a press. Thus the edition is extremely small; only 8 have been made.
Each of the 14 sections were first proofed on a huge cast-iron printing press, an Albion made in 1860, scanned, and printed on to large aluminium/polymer composite panels, which in turn were caged with diamond-pattern wire, reminiscent of the Evening Standard headline-boards that infect the capital with their own dire predictions. Each of these panels are 75 cm wide x 140 cm high.
In addition to these, the exhibition shows individual relief prints from the original linocuts printed on that Albion Press, a selection of limited edition screen prints , and a small concertina-folded booklet showing the entire panorama. For those of you that imagine the dreadful consequences of late-period Western capitalism are not irretrievably final, I have made 33 jigsaw puzzles of disaster. These will be probably the most expensive jigsaws ever retailed. I wish you luck in the reassembly of our civilisation’s Golden Era.