Thom Yorke’s ex-partner Rachel Owen dies at 48

The artist and Oxford University lecturer, who separated from Yorke last year after 23 years together, had cancer

Rachel Owen, the former long-term partner of the Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke, has died aged 48.

The artist and Oxford University lecturer, who had cancer, separated from Yorke last year after 23 years together. They have two children Noah, 15, and Agnes, 12.

Owen had been in poor health for the last year but continued to teach Italian into her last months. Her death on Sunday was announced by Pembroke College in an obituary posted online on Monday.

She was an internationally renowned artist, mixing photography and printmaking, while her scholarly work focused on Italian medieval literature. Her PhD subject was the illustrations of the early manuscripts of Dantes Divine Comedy.

One of her last artistic projects, a series of prints inspired by the cantos of Dantes first book of the Divine Comedy, will be exhibited at Pembrokes JCR art gallery next spring.

Yorke and Owen met as art students at Exeter University. They announced the end of their relationship in August 2015.

Rachel and I have separated, Yorke said in a statement at the time. After 23 highly creative and happy years, for various reasons we have gone our separate ways. Its perfectly amicable and has been common knowledge for some time.

Their breakup is said to have influenced Radioheads latest album, A Moon Shaped Pool. On the track Daydreaming, the repeated phrase half of my life is believed to refer to the time Yorke had spent with Owen, and on Identikit, Yorke repeats the phrase broken hearts make it rain.

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