While in Sparta for the Sparta Girls’ Day Out event, one of the stops along the way was at the studio/gallery of Peter Robson. Robson was born in London, England but emigrated to Canada in the same year that I did, 1966. He has been working on his watercolours, oil paintings, and sculptures in Sparta since 1981.
We were greeted by Robson’s wife, who along with his son, works in his studio/gallery taking care of sales and their custom framing service. It was interesting to talk with her because she pointed out some things about his work that I hadn’t previously known. For example, one of my favourite prints is of the beach in Port Stanley, Ontario (http://www.portstanley.ca/) just outside of Mackie’s (a little restaurant on the beach that sells typical beach fare like burgers, hotdogs, and fries – oh and of course, their famous orange drink). This print has great meaning for me because my dad used to take us, even when we were adults with our own kids, to Mackie’s and every time I look at it, I think of him. I told her this and she told me that it touched her to know this because it was a very meaningful print for her as well. You see, the models in the picture are her grandchildren when they were younger!
Robson’s work is a well known fixture in the area. He was instrumental recently in restoring the statue of Jumbo the elephant that stands in St. Thomas, Ontario to commemorate the loss of Jumbo the circus elephant in a train accident in 1885. He is also responsible for the creation of the Circle of Life in Pinafore Park, St. Thomas. The Circle of Life is a sculpture of metal and stone that stands more than 5 metres high. Twenty years ago, Robson lost his son Ian and it was this loss that inspired the creation of the Circle of Life, a part of the Memory Gardens. There are some photos of part of the Circle of Life here: http://secretsforhappyness.blogspot.com/2011/01/sculpture-and-statues-of-pinafore-park.html
Robson’s work has a home in private, corporate, and public collections including the Tower of London, General Motors, Ford Canada, 3M, the Borovsk Museum of Art near Moscow, and a collection in the Royal House of Stewart. This month, Robson is being presented with the Rotary Club’s Paul Harris Fellowship Award for his continuing community service.
Check out more of his artwork here:
And I just adore his series of 3 bronze sculptures you can see here. http://www.entropic-art.com/sculpture.html They’re called Timeless Embrace, The Release, and The Kiss. Robson’s wife was telling us about them. In the first one, the man is chained. In the second, because of the love of the woman, his chains have been released. By the third, they are completely free. To further get his message across, Robson made the figures look more and more human and realistic in each progressive piece. The pictures don’t even do the sculptures justice – they are just stunning.