Terry Pratchett: HisWorld – Opening Weekend

After a busy run up to the opening with not one but two pieces of artwork to finish in time for the preview, the exhibition opened its doors last weekend. We welcomed friends, family, the great and the good of Salisbury and the publishing world on Friday evening to celebrate the opening by raising a glass to Terry and toasting the exhibition’s success.

The following morning Rob Wilkins officially opened the exhibition at 10am to the waiting fans. He and I then then had a busy day of signing – thank you to everyone who waited in line so patiently.

The response has been fantastic and it has received good reviews all round; including the following in the Telegraph which gave a few nice paragraphs to the artwork on show:

Where Dickens had the artists Phiz and Cruikshank to illustrate his world, Pratchett had two gifted interpreters of his own: Josh Kirby, whose knobbly homunculi leered out from countless paperback covers, and Paul Kidby, Discworld’s unofficial artist-in-residence since Kirby’s death in 2001.

Both have plenty of original pieces on display here, but Kidby’s are the real highlights. His map of the mountainous kingdom of Lancre may well give you vertigo. Like Pratchett’s novels, Kidby’s paintings (mostly acrylic on board) begin with a simple idea – usually spoofing a famous work – and through their technical ingenuity, wry detail and sharp eye for character elevate mere parody into something more.

His book cover for Pratchett’s Night Watch deftly reworks Rembrandt’s painting of the same name. The Science of Discworld, meanwhile, is a witty take on An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump, replacing Wright’s 18th century academics with the bungling wizards of Discworld’s Unseen University. The wizards raise an eyebrow at our world, seen through a glass, darkly. As Nobbs would say, “Clever, innit?” “

Tristram Fane Saunders, The Sunday Telegraph, 17th Sept.

Read the whole review here.