Back in 2015, a campaign was launched for the creation of a Terry Pratchett Memorial Statue, which we reported here on downthetubes. Artist Paul Kidby, who worked with Sir Terry, was put forward as the sculptor of choice to create it and, following a meeting at the Guildhall, Salisbury Council approved the proposal for the statue to be sited within the city, (exact location as yet undecided).
A hiatus from this project followed while produced the line art for The Discworld Colouring Book but now Paul has completed the initial design and this will soon be on its way to the foundry, serving the basis for the final statue.
“To create a large scale piece of public art is a great responsibility,” says Paul. “To do Terry justice I must finely balance his public persona and private self by ensuring that I honour him not only as an extraordinary writer whose books delighted readers around the world but also on a more personal level to those who knew him as a friend, beloved husband and father.
“My first step in this process has been to create a head and shoulders bust, 40 cm high. This has enabled me to focus primarily on facial features and expression to capture a bearing that I feel best represents him as we all remember. Only when I was happy with his physical appearance did I turn my attention to making his glasses (four or five days of fiddling and swearing) and trademark hat.
“It was a great help to have both of these precious objects, and his well worn leather jacket, to use as direct reference, thank you to Rob Wilkins and Lyn Pratchett for lending them to me.
“I am now in the final stages of creating this sculpture and will be carefully driving it to the foundry for bronze casting very soon,” he reveals. “The bust will be available as a limited edition of twelve for dedicated collectors but most importantly it will be a valuable model and working maquette for the full sized statue and a vital first step in the creative process of this very important commission.”
Needless to say Emily Brand, who started the campaign for the statue, is delighted by these developments.
“I’m just a fan who wanted to share the idea of showing how much we adored Sir Terry and his work,” she says. “I’ve been blown away by how many messages we got from around the world, and how incredibly supportive Rob, his team, and Paul have all been. They really understand how much Sir Terry, Discworld, and all his books mean to everyone. They make us a family, with shared experiences, even though we may never have met. And I can’t wait to see where it takes us next.”
• Take a look at Paul’s work on the statue so far here | Follow Paul Kidby on Twitter @paulkidby