In the space of four weeks, Donwood has created the staggering black-and-white wall painting Optical Glade on the inside of the round tower. In collaboration with Radiohead's frontman Thom Yorke, Donwood has also added a sound composition to the 'optimal experience of the mysterious and almost sacred space'. From now on, this unique installation will be on permanent display in the museum for at least two years.

Stanley Donwood

Stanley Donwood is the pseudonym of Dan Rickwood (1968, Essex, England). He is known mainly for his collaboration with the rock band Radiohead and their frontman Thom Yorke. Donwood studied at the University of Exeter, where he met and became good friends with Thom Yorke. Since the mid-nineties, he has been designing the album covers and posters for Radiohead and for Yorke's solo projects, and has thus created the visual identity of the world-famous musicians. Besides these designs, Donwood also makes many cheerful-looking illustrations with socio-political messages, and autonomous work that conjures up open spaces and desolate landscapes. Alongside his work as an artist, Donwood writes and publishes books of short stories, including Humor (2014), and he blogs about everything he is doing on his own site slowlydownward.com.

Optical Glade

Optical Glade is based on a linocut that Donwood made a few years ago entitled Optical Tree, which is a geometric reduction of the main characteristics of a tree. For the round inner tower, Donwood opted for the form of a stylised ring of inverted trees. Their grooved trunks run downwards from the octagonal light source at the top of the Cupola, and their branches and twigs wind around the walls, creating the illusion of a moonlit cage of shadows; a refuge or a trap. The work is inspired by the open spaces in North European forests and the ancient and mysterious Seahenge in the east of England, which was exposed during a heavy winter storm.

The wall painting in the Cupola is accompanied by Thom Yorke's sound composition Subterranea v3, which can be listened to in an infinite number of ways. The core of the composition conceals sounds that were recorded in a deciduous forest at the end of summer, at sunrise and sunset.