A NEW and exciting exhibition depicting Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wood has opened at Oriel y Parc in St Davids.

The Llareggub collection features 170 illustrations of the Welsh poet’s best loved play by one of Britain’s most influential and original artists Sir Peter Blake.

Sir Peter’s career has spanned more than six decades, and many people know him for his famous design for the cover of The Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club album in 1967.

Sir Peter said: “I am excited to be visiting Oriel y Parc for the first time.

“It will be my first trip to St Davids, and I’m very much looking forward to seeing this corner of Wales that was so close to Dylan Thomas’ heart.”

The exhibition forms part of a festival which celebrates 100 years since the birth of the Dylan Thomas. It has three distinct groups of work: pencil portraits of the play’s 74 characters, a series of watercolours illustrating the dream sequences of Under Milk Wood and a section which includes scenes and locations from the play.

Sir Peter has spent 28 years of his life working on the illustrations, which he hopes will go on to exhibit in London and New York, where Dylan Thomas died in 1953.

Speaking at the launch, he said: “I’m pleased with it as a body of work, especially coming back and seeing it today with fresh eyes. But there are a few pieces which are a work in progress."

He declined to choose a favourite illustration. “One day it will one, and another day another,” he said.

Asked what is next for Sir Peter Blake, he said: “At the moment I’m working at home on a series of little watercolours of tattooed people, and another series of fictitious wrestlers.

“I’m then going back to all the work in my studio that I’ve put to one side and bring them to a conclusion.”

The exhibition at Oriel y Parc runs until September 23, and a book of the illustrations is also available to buy.