• Discworld Massif, Paul Kidby - featuring 77 favourite characters from the realms of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld

A touring exhibition featuring the work of one of the UK’s leading fantasy illustrators opens at the Red House Museum and Gardens in Christchurch on 24 October.

Discworld® & Beyond -  a touring exhibition from Lymington’s St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery – features the book jacket art and illustrations of Paul Kidby, best known as the ‘artist of choice’ of best-selling author Sir Terry Pratchett, who passed away from Alzheimer’s disease in spring 2015.

For the past 25 years, Kidby has largely devoted himself to creating illustrations for the popular Discworld series and collaborated with Sir Terry Pratchett closely on the design of the characters and environments described in the books. Sir Terry commented on Paul’s work: ‘Paul sees things my way about 75% of the time, which suggests either mind reading is happening or that my vision of my characters is really rather vague until I see his drawings.’

Kidby has produced the Discworld book jackets since 2002 and has also illustrated many further publications including The Art of Discworld and best-selling, The Last Hero.

He continues to create Discworld artwork for the Pratchett Estate, which is managed by Terry’s long-standing friend and business partner, Rob Wilkin. A new, fully illustrated book, Terry Pratchett’s Discworld Imaginarium, was published in 2017.

The exhibition displays beautifully realised paintings, drawings and sculptures featuring many of the artist’s favourite characters including Rincewind, the Wee Free Men and, of course, Death, along with a host of witches, wizards, dragons and trolls. It also reveals some of his own work from The Charmed Realm collection, a book created by Kidby and his wife Vanessa on myth and faerie influenced by British folklore and landscapes

All his illustrations are marked by a staggering quality of draughtsmanship and effective use of colour; bright for the book covers and muted shades for his faerie paintings. The exhibition at Red House Museum, which is operated by charity Hampshire Cultural Trust, will bring to life the quirky characters and trademark humour of Sir Terry’s books.

Paul Kidby commented: ‘It has been really exciting selecting some of my favourite paintings for the Discworld & Beyond exhibition. Visitors will be able to see many of their favourite Discworld illustrations up close and personal and celebrate the wonderful legacy of a great author who has inspired so many, including me!’

Discworld® & Beyond opens at Red House Museum and Gardens on Saturday 24 October 2020 and runs until Saturday 5 December 2020.  Red House Museum is operated by Hampshire Cultural Trust, an independent charity set up in 2014 to promote Hampshire as a county that offers outstanding cultural experiences to both its residents and visitors.   

To help keep everyone safe, Red House Museum has made some changes including introducing a number of measures in line with government guidelines to help manage visitor numbers and ensure social distancing is maintained to protect visitors, staff and volunteers.

Learn more about the exhibition here.