Self taught Thetford artist prepares for hometown exhibition

Artist Leigh Shelton is holding an exhibition at Thetford's Guildhall. Picture: Ian Burt

Artist Leigh Shelton is holding an exhibition at Thetford's Guildhall. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

A self taught artist is preparing to host a solo exhibition in his home town.

Leigh Shelton discovered his interest in drawing while training to be a tattooist and finding himself more interested in the designs than the ink.

The 55 year old from Thetford took art classes while the late artist Jack Pilling, who has a charity gallery named after him in the town, was still on the local art scene.

Now Mr Shelton is gearing up for an exhibition of his own in The Guildhall in Thetford.

Running from October 10 to 22, it will span 40 years of artwork, featuring mostly animal prints in his preferred mediums – pastels and pencils.

Mr Shelton, who has 25 years' experience as a professional artist, also works with pottery and sculpture.

He said: 'I started getting tattoos and thought I wanted to be a tattooist, so I practised on paper and the art took over – I enjoyed putting it on paper.'

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In recent years Mr Shelton has had work commissioned by Banham Zoo and dog charity Beds For Bullies.

One print at his exhibition is to be auctioned off, with the profits donated to St Nicholas Hospice Care.

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