Ever wondered who designed Radiohead‘s haunting album covers? Well, currently on display at Carriageworks in Sydney is the art of Stanley Donwood, who has been the creative mastermind behind those album covers since 1994. Donwood – the alias of English artist Dan Rickwood – met Radiohead’s Thom Yorke when the two were students at Oxford University. Yorke then commissioned the single artwork for My Iron Lung, and Donwood has been providing eerie, abstract visuals to complement Radiohead’s music ever since.
The Panic Office is an interactive exhibition comprising over 5,000 of Donwood’s pieces, including artworks from albums such as OK Computer, Kid A, Amnesiac and The King of Limbs, all housed in a purpose-built art space. What’s more, the exhibition is accompanied by an 18-day-long soundtrack composed by Thom Yorke himself. The soundtrack, titled Subterranea, is a blend of ambient and experimental sounds, digitalised spoken word and field recordings.
It seems that Yorke has no plans to release the music beyond the exhibition; this means it is exclusive to The Panic Office, so, if you’re a die-hard Radiohead fan, this will likely be your only opportunity to experience it.
The Panic Office opened officially on the 21st May, and will conclude on the 6th June.
To see the exhibition space and hear a sample of Thom Yorke’s soundtrack, watch a video of the launch night shared by Stanley Donwood here.
Here are some photos of the event, courtesy of Semi-Permanent: