Gordon Beningfield 1936-1998

Born in London, Gordon Beningfield moved to Hertfordshire in 1941, aged five. Influenced by his father who was an artist himself, Beningfield developed his artistic style during his working life at St Alban's studio, Faith-Craft. His talent with paintings, sculptures and stained-glass windows led him to produce eight stained glass windows for the Guards Chapel. Whilst he pursued a career in sculpting, his ultimate aim was to exhibit his paintings in London. Beningfield succeeded with his exhibition at the Moorland Gallery on Cork Street where every painting sold.

 

Beningfield subsequently pursued his artistic creativity working as a freelance artist. His popularity as an artist continued to rise, and in 1974 he participated in the BBC series, Look Stranger. This was not his only television appearance; Beningfield went on to feature in several other television series, and later produced a documentary film on the artist Thomas Hardy. His success continued in 1974, where he published his first book, Beningfield's Butterflies. More so, Beningfield designed two sets of Postage stamps - one in 1981 and the other in 1985.

 

Gordon Beningfield produced an array of books, including Hardy's country, Beningfield's Vanishing Songbirds and Beningfield's Countryside. Beningfield's artistic career most notably surrounded butterflies, yet his passion to paint other insects proved popular.

 

Following the death of President Sir Peter Scott, Beningfield was made President of Butterfly Conservation in 1989. Sir David Attenborough took the presidency in 1998 following Beningfield's death.

 

Looking at the emergence of Freelance marketing, Gordon chose to be a freelancer. He aimed to get access to as many places as he could through online platforms. Gordon worked as a freelance artist and made several designs, wrote books, and painted a lot of portraits for different websites. He got prominent when he stepped inside the freelancing field, for it provided Gordon with a window to see the world and display his works there. Much of his works were based on butterflies as he thought of them as overlooking creatures. The decision to capitalize on insects through art and paintings made him release his first-ever work on insects called Beningfield's Butterflies. Due to his fondness for insects, Gordon was made president of butterfly conservation. With his multiple roles, from being a freelance artist to a wildlife artist, broadcaster to a naturalist, he's known to have lived a life uniquely different from the rest of the painters. Only a few had had the privilege of being multi-talented humans while having the ability to paint mesmerizingly, and Gordon is thought to be the finest one.

 

His legacy left an enormous influence on the young generation as well as the whole community of artists. A series of events were arranged in the summer of 2018 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Beningfield's passing away. These events included a Flower festival at St John the Baptist Church alongside an exhibition of his artwork at the Natural History Museum.

 

In 2015, it was announced by the Countryside Restoration Trust that the 'Gordon Beningfield Dorset Farm Appeal' would be taken care of. The appeal had an aim to turn Gordon's dream of a working, wildlife-friendly farm in Hardy's Dorset into reality by collecting £1 million.