Yoxford: Artist creates life-size tribute to Queen

A SUFFOLK artist has taken a hands-on approach to this summer’s Diamond Jubilee festivities.

Michael Stennett, from Yoxford, sculpted his life-size effigy of a young Elizabeth II as part of the village’s celebrations marking The Queen’s 60th year on the throne.

The artist and designer was asked to produce an instillation by organisers of the annual Yoxford Flower Festival, which this year coincides with the Jubilee weekend.

Mr Stennett, a theatre designer and portrait artist of 40 years, was glad to oblige and came up with a crowning tribute to Her Royal Highness.

The model took about four weeks to make and utilised some inventive and economical techniques, as Mr Stennett explained: “The body was made mainly from polystyrene and finished with modelling clay.


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“For the base I actually used empty yoghurt pots blagged from Waitrose and her sash is made from an old shower curtain, so there’s loads of recycled stuff.”

For last year’s festival, Mr Stennett made humorous representations of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge for the Royal Wedding. He has even created a wry interpretation of Queen Victoria on holiday in Southwold.

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Mr Stennett, who left the theatre in 1994, was once commissioned by The Queen to produce a portrait drawing of Dame Joan Sutherland for Windsor Castle. His designs and artwork have been created for leading international opera companies and his work hangs in museums, libraries and galleries around the world. He said: “This is like my personal homage to Queen Elizabeth. I remember the affect the new monarch had on the country at the time of her coronation. I was only five years old and remember it being a very grey post-war period but that suddenly there came this glittering figure.”

The figure is a faithful likeness of the Queen as a young woman - standing a petite 5ft 3in with a slender 22in waist.

Lyn Wheeler, who organises the flower festival at St Peters Church with Bev Squirrell, said: “We’re very lucky to have Michael here and he is brilliant at joining in.

“The church will be filled with flowers and because it’s an extra special year, we have an extra special exhibit.”

Mr Stennett’s tribute to the Queen will be on display throughout the festival, which takes place between 10am and 5pm from Saturday, June 2, to Monday, June 4.

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