Painter and designer, born in Colchester, Essex, settling nearby at Great Horkesley. Aged 14, began evening classes at Colchester School of Art, training there as an illustrator full-time from 1948–53, teachers including John O’Connor, Blair Hughes-Stanton, Hugh Cronyn and Carel Weight. Aged 21, Debenham joined an advertising firm, eventually setting up his own design business, where he “moved into public information, selling ideas rather than things.” His client list ranged from America’s Department of Agriculture, Anglian Water, British Telecom and the National Grid to Bowater, St Paul’s Cathedral and London International Boat Show. For these, he travelled extensively, designing exhibitions. Simultaneously, Debenham gained a reputation as a painter, mixed shows including RA, RWA, South West Academy and Colchester Art Society, of which he was a senior member.

Text source: 'Artists in Britain Since 1945' by David Buckman (Art Dictionaries Ltd, part of Sansom & Company)

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