Norfolk exhibition of illustrator’s innocent escapism

To celebrate a new North Norfolk exhibition of prints by children's book author and illustrator Edward Ardizzone, Ian Collins hails a hero whose every picture told a story.

For countless baby-boomer infants like me, hooked up when young to our local library and school Puffin Club, artist-illustrator Edward Ardizzone was proof that you really could judge a book by its cover.

Now, if I close my eyes, I can still see an ink and watercolour picture of a modern lad and a Stone Age caveboy hiding out in a rubbish tip. I can also conjure up the lovely script in the title, plus author and artist names, for that 1963 classic of children's literature, Stig of the Dump, by Norfolk's Clive King.

But Edward Ardizzone didn't only paint pictures for children's books – he wrote a stack of them too. Think of Johnny the Clockmaker, Diana and her Rhinoceros and Paul the Hero of the Fire.

And think, most especially, of the youthful seafarer whose adventures began in 1936 with Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain and didn't quite end in 1972 with Tim's Last Voyage.

Not that we really need to remember – since many Ardizzone titles have never been out of print.

And now there is a further visual feast in the Wiveton Caf� – at Wiveton Hall near Blakeney – thanks to a new line of prints produced by Ardizzone's Norfolk-based grandson, Dominic Clemence.

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Now the art of Edward Ardizzone is being championed by his grandson who, based at Saham Toney, near Watton, with new giclee prints – digital scans from the original artwork, in limited editions of 150 and licensed by the estate of Edward Ardizzone.

For the full story of Edward Ardizzone see the EDP Sunday supplement in this Saturday's EDP.

Prints by Edward Ardizzone are on view, and on sale, at Wiveton Caf� daily until August 31.

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