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Remarkable Norfolk woman’s hidden artistic talent goes on display

PUBLISHED: 08:30 16 October 2018 | UPDATED: 10:32 16 October 2018

Vivienne Clifford-Jackson, a friend of Diane Robinson, sets up an exhibition at Hethel Church of Diane's work, when her friends realised after Diane had died how much art work she had done. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Vivienne Clifford-Jackson, a friend of Diane Robinson, sets up an exhibition at Hethel Church of Diane's work, when her friends realised after Diane had died how much art work she had done. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2018

The artistic talents of a private woman will be publicly acknowledged this month at an exhibition outside Norwich.

Vivienne Clifford-Jackson, a friend of Diane Robinson, sets up an exhibition at Hethel Church of Diane's work, when her friends realised after Diane had died how much art work she had done. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYVivienne Clifford-Jackson, a friend of Diane Robinson, sets up an exhibition at Hethel Church of Diane's work, when her friends realised after Diane had died how much art work she had done. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The paintings and photographs are the work of Norfolk woman Diane Robinson. However, it was only after her death, in June 2017, her friends realized the full extent of her creativity, when they visited her house in Mulbarton and found the collection.

One of those friends, Vivienne Clifford-Jackson, said: “She was the most self-effacing, private and modest person you could meet.”

Instead of allowing Ms Robinson’s life disappear without recognition, Ms Clifford-Jackson and other friends have organized an exhibition of her artwork at Hethel Church near Mulbarton from October 19 to 21.

The artwork will be auctioned or given for a donation at the end of the exhibition.

All Saints Church at Hethel. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYAll Saints Church at Hethel. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Ms Robinson was born in Cromer Hospital in February 1948. She lived with her parents in a 17th century house in Plumstead-near-Holt. The house had no electricity or running water, and only arrived when she was four years old.

When she was five, her father’s job took the family to Drayton Wood Road.

She began teacher training college at Keswick in 1966, where she also learned philosophy, psychology, sociology and music.

After graduation in 1969 Ms Robinson’s first job was at Hemsby primary school. Three years later she moved to Firside junior school in Hellesdon, where she taught French for eleven years and set up a naturalist club. In 1983 she moved to South Harford, establishing a wildlife club, and in 1997 retired to look after her ailing parents.

One of the pieces of artwork by Diane Robinson, from the exhibition at Hethel Church by her friends of her work they found after she died in 2017. Picture: Diane RobinsonOne of the pieces of artwork by Diane Robinson, from the exhibition at Hethel Church by her friends of her work they found after she died in 2017. Picture: Diane Robinson

After they had died she returned to supply teaching at Bawburgh and Wicklewood schools. She also wrote for the parish news for nine years.

In February 2017 she was diagnosed with cancer. At her funeral service, Reverend Adrian Miller, of Mulbarton, said: “Diane was a remarkable person. She was incredibly composed and accepting through those brief few months, battling that horrible disease.”

Ms Clifford-Jackson said that her friend was the kind of person you would call when there was a meteor shower. “I remember on those nights, laying down, looking up at the stars,” she said.

Do you have any memories of Diane Robinson you would like to share? Email daniel.hickey@archant.co.uk

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