Life, Love and ... Penguins! - Chester Arts Fair


Chester Arts Fair James Buttifant Banner

Life, Love and … Penguins!

Inspired by the works of Quentin Blake and Heath Robinson, Chester Arts Fair is delighted to welcome Norfolk artist James Buttifant and his collection of humorous and charming penguins to the fair this November.

Raised in a small fishing town on the north Norfolk coast, James started to paint and study art at a young age beginning his career as a commercial sign writer. In 2008, James became a full-time artist, later going on to be a finalist for the Best Selling Up & Coming Artist at the Fine Art Trade Guild’s Art & Framing Awards in 2013. 

Keen to maintain an element of humour in his work, James spends his time people watching and drawing inspiration from passers-by, holding up a ‘penguin shaped mirror’ to reflect back our lives and loves. James says, “I am a strong believer art has the potential to stir numerous emotions within us all, for my own part, I’m happy that I may just bring a smile to your face.”

Chester Arts Fair, James Buttifant, IllustrationJames began sketching out penguins in his spare time, drawn in the same simplistic form he had always viewed them since he was a young boy – a ball with feet and a beak. Before he knew it, James was putting paint to canvas and breathing life into something that would send his life in a whole new direction. 

Unknowing just how popular his penguin paintings would become, James explains how they were only ever meant to be for his private collection and his own walls. Encouraged by his friends and family to take his penguins to the wider world, James started showing his work in a local gallery before heading to the streets of Norwich where he turned disused shop fronts into temporary galleries, ‘Busking for artists’.


James’ work captures a feeling or moment in time that holds a naïve warmth and sense of fun. Always humbled to meet collectors of his work, we look forward to showcasing James’ work at the Fair for the first time in November. To view more information about James, follow this link >> JAMES BUTTIFANT.

Opening for the invitation only Preview Evening on Friday 17th November at Chester Racecourse, the Chester Arts Fair 2017 will continue throughout the weekend open from 10:30 – 5, Saturday and Sunday. For more information about the Fair, click here.

Sign Up For Our Newsletter