Peter Blake illustrates
Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas
At the Project Gallery 6th September — 1st October 2014
Opening hours Tuesday – Saturday 10am–5pm


Peter Blake illustrates Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood an exhibition of limited edition prints, inspired by, rather than depicting, the acclaimed ‘play for voices’. This work represents the British pop-art maestros take on a story he has loved since he first heard it in 1954 while at the Royal College.
Blake’s illustrations of Dylan Thomas’ masterpiece is one of his longest ongoing projects. He still continues to illustrate characters, dreams, scenes and locations.

Under Milk Wood
“To begin at the beginning: It is spring, moonless night in the small town, starless and bible-black….”
The opening of Under Milk Wood draws you into Thomas’ story of a day in the life of the inhabitants of the small Welsh seaside village of Llareggub (read it backwards).
This “play for voices” is populated by some of the best-loved characters in literature, from blind Captain Cat to Polly Garter, Reverend Eli Jenkins to No Good Boyo.
Lyrically written, it’s both riotously funny and deeply moving, and although firmly rooted in place, the universality of the characters shines through, which is why it’s never been out of print, it’s been translated into around thirty different languages and is regularly performed all over the world.
Richard Burton, Peter O’Toole, Elizabeth Taylor, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Tom Jones, Philip Madoc and Matthew Rhys have all starred in radio, stage or film adaptations.


Dylan Thomas
SIR PETER BLAKE is one of the best-loved artists of his generation, working as a figurative painter, collagist, sculptor and printmaker. He was born in 1932 in Dartford, Kent, and educated at the Royal College of Art in London from 1953 to 1956. By the time he featured in Ken Russell’s BBC Monitor film Pop Goes the Easel in 1962, he was already a key and influential member of the Pop Art movement. After living from 1969 to 1979 in Somerset, where he and first wife were founder members of the Brotherhood of Ruralists, he returned to London, marrying the artist Chrissy Wilson. He was elected an RA and a Royal Designer for Industry in 1981, and two years later was awarded the CBE.
He was made associate artist at the National Gallery in 1994 and was knighted in 2002. Retrospectives of his work have taken place in Amsterdam (touring to Hamburg, Brussels and Arnhem in 1973-4), at the Tate Gallery in London (1983) and at Tate Liverpool (2007, touring to the Museo de Ballas Artes in Bilbao in 2008). He curated an exhibition titled About Collage for Tate Liverpool in 2000, and his own highly inventive collages have reached an audience of millions, most notably for the cover art of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band.

Dylan Thomas
DYLAN THOMAS is widely acknowledged as one of the most significant poets of the twentieth century. Born in the uplands area of Swansea, Glamorgan, Thomas became as famous for his short stories, lyrical poetry and sonorous readings, as he did for his turbulent personal life, literary bohemianism and widely broadcast American lecture tours in the 1950s. The first of his poems to be published, ‘His Requiem’, appeared in Wales’ Western Mail newspaper in 1927, and in 1931 he left school for a job as a fledgling reporter with the South Wales Evening Post. Leaving the newspaper behind, Thomas was to see his first collection, 18 Poems, published in 1934 and his first radio broadcast ‘Life and the Modern Poet’ produced in 1937. It was during this time that he met and married his spirited wife Caitlin Macnamara.
His own harshest critic and blighted for much of his life by financial privation, Thomas was to spend much of his life contemplating his own worth. In the last years of his life, the poet’s attention was given mainly to completing Under Milk Wood, which had grown out of his radio and film productions, and was inspired by his experiences of New Quay and Laugharne. Thomas died in St. Vincent’s Hospital, New York, at the age of thirty-nine.

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