It is noted for its eccentric mix of characters, such as Blind Captain Cat who pines after his long dead lover, Myfanwy Price- the sweetshop owner who dreams of marrying the draper and Mrs Ogmore-Pritchard, twice widowed, who dreams of nagging her dead husbands.
Sir Peter Blake is no stranger to drawing inspiration from popular culture. He emerge a key artist in the POP ART movement of the late 1950’s and early 1960’s where his work included contemporary people and concepts of the day.
Peters Blakes’ admiration for Dylan Thomas was sparked when her first heard the production of Under Milk Wood – to which he still listens to today and he draws on how with Dylan Thomas’ work you are able to “… get new things all the time”.
In the collection, there are 170 illustrations, which are then broken down into three groups. These groups are: dreams, illustrations of scenes and locations and portraits. Each illustration has a corresponding quote and page reference to the Everyman 1977 edition. This allows the illustrations to work alongside the play-much as if it were in physical form.
Since Under Milk Wood is a play for radio, it would be that voices that really illustrate the plot…so in a way, Sir Peter Blake’s illustration are the voices!
Across the works there were different types of media used, that overall added a dreamy quality to the illustrations. Blake used a mixture of collages, photographs, embossing, bold watercolours and graphite pencil portraits. For really intricate pieces of art, they were very small- some the same size as a postcard! But they really do bring the story to life.