91-year-old artist celebrates record-breaking first exhibition

Derek Robson. Picture: Nick Butcher

Derek Robson. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

A 91-year-old artist’s first public exhibition proved to be a record-breaking triumph.

Derek Robson. Picture: Nick Butcher

Derek Robson. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Derek Robson’s ‘Eight Decades of Paintings and Drawings’ was held at The Fisher Theatre in Bungay earlier this year and was the most successful exhibition in the venue’s history.

A theatre spokesman said: “He’s managed to rack up more sales than any other artist we have ever had – it is remarkable.”

Mr Robson, of Bungay, sold 18 pieces of art totalling more than £3,000.

The exhibition was co-ordinated by his son David and Liz Taunt, his son’s partner, along with local art historian Nicholas Usherwood.

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Speaking of his father’s success David said: “It was amazing - I think he was a bit bemused by it all really.

“He is someone who has never shown his work before and is very self-critical so he was surprised it was met with such approval.

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“And he took it as a great compliment so many people were prepared to part with cash.”

The money raised at the exhibition came at the perfect time for the artist who used the funds to replace his broken boiler.

Having lived in Tyneside for the majority of his life Mr Robson moved to Bungay this year to be closer to his son.

He studied art at Durham University after the end of the Second World War, learning from such greats as Victor Pasmore and Lawrence Gowing.

While art was his true love, following his graduation he trained as a teacher to provide more financial stability for his young family.

However, his passion for art never faltered and he continued to produce work in his spare time.

For the past 20 years the artist has suffered from deafness, which according to his son has been an “isolating experience”, and has seen his artistic output decline.

David hopes the success of the exhibition will encourage his father to paint and draw once more.

He said: “This is a wonderful thing to happen to him. Hopefully it will prompt him to create more.

“One thing he was keen to say was how immensely grateful he was to the Fisher Theatre, Liz and Nicholas for organising the event.”

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