Burnham Market artist celebrates Royal Academy call
A print by a Norfolk artist has been selected for display alongside some of the country's finest modern masterpieces at the Royal Academy's summer exhibition in London.
Andrew Ruffhead's work, called Cactus Corner, was selected from more than 11,000 applications to be hung with about 1,000 successful entries in the prestigious gallery from June 7 to August 15.
The 58-year-old was thrilled to be chosen on his first application, and said it marked the pinnacle of a long career in which he has also lectured on printed textile design at the University of East London.
He was working in his Burnham Market studio when his acceptance letter arrived – and had to read it three or four times before the news sunk in that his print would be seen by thousands of art lovers.
'It is very prestigious and lots of people try year after year,' he said. 'It is the first time I had ever applied so to be successful is amazing.
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'At the moment, I would have to say it is the icing on the cake.
' It is really nice to have recognition of my achievements at such a very high level.'
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Cactus Corner is a cyanotype print – a 10x9cm reproduction of a 37x43cm lino cut, produced through a photographic process which is developed using sunlight and tap water.
The combination of two chemicals used in the process gives each unique print its characteristic cyan colour.
The image came from a drawing of some cacti which Mr Ruffhead saw in a greenhouse while on holiday in Spain.
'The print is tiny, but it has amazing detail and a fabulous intensity,' he said.
'It is a lovely process, and the fact that it is done outside in the north Norfolk sunlight makes it even nicer.'
Mr Ruffhead's portfolio includes pen and ink drawing, acrylic paintings, and coastal art made from driftwood, flotsam and jetsam.
His Fish and Ships Coastal Art studio, on Ulph Place in Burnham Market, will be open to the public 10am-5pm until Sunday as part of the Norfolk Open Studios project.