Prestigious stately home commission for Norfolk artist

Andrew Ruffhead with the Great things to see and do in Woburn painting he has produced. Picture: Matthew Usher. Andrew Ruffhead with the Great things to see and do in Woburn painting he has produced. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Thursday, March 6, 2014
6:30 AM

A Norfolk artist’s colourful depictions of the county’s coastal pastimes earned him some work for the Duke and Duchess of Bedford.

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The owners of Woburn Abbey were so impressed with Andrew Ruffhead’s “Twenty Great Things to do on the North Norfolk Coast” poster, which he produced last year, they asked him to work on the same theme for their Bedfordshire stately home.

Mr Ruffhead, 61, who lives in Burnham Market where he works in his Fish and Ships Coastal Art studio, has produced a poster, approximately 60cm high and 40cm wide, showcasing some of the many activities people can enjoy at the historic abbey in his inimitable style.

His pictures, which includes wildlife in Woburn Abbey Safari Park, fine porcelain and people getting married, will be sold as prints, cards, tea towels and various other souvenirs.

He said: “It was a great honour to do this and a real career highlight for me.

“The Duke and Duchess of Bedford have been into my studio a few times over the cast couple of years and they loved the Twenty Great Things to do on the North Norfolk Coast poster.

“I pitched the idea of carrying the same theme to Woburn Abbey and they loved the idea and took me on a guided tour of the abbey.”

Woburn Abbey has been the home of the Dukes of Bedford for nearly 400 years and steeped in a vast amount of history.

The history of the abbey dates back to 1145, and was originally a religious house for a group of Cistercian monks.

The Duchess said of Mr Ruffhead’s work: “I think it all looks great, and Andrew has put in great attention to detail. Well done!”

Mr Ruffhead is now working on a “Great Things to do in Blakeney” project and said the concept could develop further.

He said: “I find it very rewarding to help promote the tourism industry both here in Norfolk and elsewhere and would certainly be open to doing similar projects. Who knows, it could develop into a series.”

Do you have a story about an interesting art project? Email newsdesk@archant.co.uk

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