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Google Doodle of Gertrude Jekyll is designed by Suffolk artist Ben Giles

PUBLISHED: 21:51 29 November 2017 | UPDATED: 22:33 29 November 2017

Suffolk freelance artist Ben Giles has designed the Google Doodle honouring the 174th birthday of legendary British horticulturist and garden designer Gertrude Jekyll. Picture: WEST SUFFOLK COLLEGE/BEN GILES

Suffolk freelance artist Ben Giles has designed the Google Doodle honouring the 174th birthday of legendary British horticulturist and garden designer Gertrude Jekyll. Picture: WEST SUFFOLK COLLEGE/BEN GILES

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A young Suffolk artist has designed the Google Doodle today honouring the legendary British horticulturist and garden designer Gertrude Jekyll.

Ben Giles, 25, of Bury St Edmunds, was approached by the internet search giant to produce the logo design after the freelance artist gained significant exposure in America.

The former West Suffolk College student has had work projected in Times Square in New York, and a four-page spread of his artwork in the New York Times magazine.

The resulting colourful garden scene, full of flowers, shows Gertrude and her umbrella in the corner of the picture. It is currently on the home page of Google and has been seen by millions of people worldwide.

Ben said: “This year is definitely the most exposure I’ve ever had and it’s been amazing having the chance to work with clients such as Google, New York Times Magazine and Wall Street Journal on different projects and commissions.

A beautiful garden, considered to be based on a design by Gertrude Jekyll, in Elm Hill, Norwich. DENISE BRADLEY A beautiful garden, considered to be based on a design by Gertrude Jekyll, in Elm Hill, Norwich. DENISE BRADLEY

“West Suffolk College was the place that gave me free reign away from the more rigid structure of school and sixth form, it allowed me to explore my creativity and intuition rather than forcing me towards a specific path or direction that the curriculum may have indicated.

“I was rewarded rather than punished for having my own ideas and solutions to creative problems. Several tutors in particular were happy to see artistic expression develop and offered every opportunity and support to push that even further.”

Gertrude designed and created over 400 gardens in the UK and has been described as a premier influence in garden design.

Closer to home, Ben, who studied for a BTEC in Art and Design at the college, staged an exhibition at the Apex in Bury St Edmunds earlier this month, called ‘Beginnings’.

His sister, Anna, who is a fashion and textiles teacher at the college, said: ”I am very proud and pleased for him. I think he has done really well. The art department really helped him as an artist to get him to where he is today. He loved his time here and it gave him the tools he needed. Now he’s doing really well.”

Ben, who undertook a BA in Fine Art at Kingston University, has taken part in exhibitions in Toronto, Buffalo, Boylston, New York, Oxford, and Norwich, where he now lives. Last year he spent some time as an artist in residence in Alvik in Norway.

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