By Adam Dutton via SWNS
A wacky artist has brewed up a masterpiece of Queen Elizabeth II for the Platinum Jubilee made out of a thousand TEABAGS.
Andy Brown, 41, painstakingly spent more than 100 hours carefully constructing the patriotic portrait of Her Maj by stitching the circular bags onto a hessian fabric.
He worked for five hours a day for the last three weeks in order to create the stunning 2m x 2m image which was finally completed on Wednesday, June 1.
Andy produced a similar image 20 years ago for the Golden Jubilee and received a letter from Buckingham Palace saying how much Queen Elizabeth II loved it.
He now hopes his latest creation gets the same royal seal of approval two decades on as the Platinum Jubilee celebrations get underway.
Andy achieved the different shades on the artwork by attaching used, unused and emptied Tesco own brand, Twist Tea and Typhoo teabags.
Full-time artist Andy, of Rugby, England, said: "I used teabags as there's nothing more emblematic of the British than a cup of tea.
"It is part of our society, culture and identity so I thought it would be perfect to use to depict The Queen.
"Each teabag is individually stitched on using a tiny piece of cotton. It is quite a fiddly and time-consuming process.
"It is very delicate and fragile and I suppose that is also quite symbolic of the royal family these last few years as well.
"I create three different shades using a used teabag, an unused teabag and an empty teabag.
"I get a grey tone when I use them as they come, a white tone if I cut them open and various different shades after they have been used.
"I approached it like I would a painting and got my outline first and then I figured out where all the shading needed to be.
"Then I worked for about four or five hours a day carefully stitching on the teabags to create the image I wanted.
"The monarchy is such a big part of our history if you think of the empire and colonialism. And tea was related to that too.
"Much like the monarchy and our history there's a lot to celebrate, but there's also some shadows which is almost reflected in the different shades of the teabags."
Andy's first teabag portrait in 2002 made headlines around the world and even earned him the accolade of becoming a Trivial Pursuit question.
He added: "I had just finished my degree at Loughborough University studying fine art painting.
"I was painting pictures of the Falklands War and then I started to use tea because it's so symbolic of our nation, culture and heritage.
"Then it occurred to me I could use the teabags themselves. I stapled a load of teabags to the wall and it worked.
"The reception I got for the first piece was fantastic - it really struck a chord with people.
"A few months after the Golden Jubilee I got a letter with an official royal postmark addressed from one of the Queen's ladies-in-waiting.
"She said how much the Queen had enjoyed the artwork and thanked me for putting it together.
"And then the next thing I know I was a Trivial Pursuit question and being featured in magazines across the world.
"I hope to exhibit this piece around galleries as well, so fingers crossed it's as well received."
Andy is also well-known Stateside for his celebrity-endorsed baseball portraits having spent time in South Korea and the USA.
To see more of his work visit here.
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