Robinson College Second Open Art Exhibition February 2020

Robinson College Visual Arts Committe was pleased to organise the second art exhibition open to all College members in February 2020. 52 items were submitted and exhibited and ranged from iPad art, glass bowls, silver gelatine and palladium prints, colour prints, quilts, oil paintings, pencil drawings, chalk pastels and sculptures together with combinations of watercolour, pen drawing and gouache (PHOTO 1). The submissions came from undergraduates, postgraduates, staff, Fellows and those having links with College members. The Exhibition was organised by Dr Steve Trudgill (Robinson College Visual Arts Committee: VAC) and curated by Dr Gary Doherty (Chair VAC).

The prizes were announced at a Reception for the Exhibition and the Judges were Diane Firth (Cambridge Drawing Society and College Portraitist) and Susanna West-Yates, (VAC). Prizes (which included a College Cake baked to order) were donated by Susanna West Yates, Dr Steve Trudgill and Dr Gary Doherty. The judges commented on the high standard and the difficulty of picking out winners. Their decisions were as follows.


FIRST PRIZE Trinity Street in gouache and pen by Sarah Beth Hsieh; college link Kuan Hsieh Postgraduate (PHOTO 2)

SECOND PRIZE James Marshall “Jimi” Hendrix in Pencil by Oliver Gottlieb; Undergraduate (PHOTO 3)

THIRD PRIZE Tiger in chalk pastel by Linda Hunns; Staff: Tutorial Assistant (PHOTO 4)



Lace Bowl 2 glass powders fused, cold worked and slumped by Judith Richards; Senior Member

Thornham Norfolk 1 (sky and water) photograph by Andy Barker; Staff: Maintenance

Story Lines (Women Painting Series) in oils by Judith Brown; Staff, Librarian

Stream, Scotland Silver Gelatine Print by Donald Richards; college link: Judith Richards, Senior Member

Quilts by Elizabeth Milton; College link: Anthony Milton, Senior Member (PHOTO 5)

Congratulations to all.

Of rather singular interest was the sculpture by Isabel Mathers. When she submitted her ‘Robinson Skip’ sculpture (PHOTO 6) she wrote “I thought it would be appropriate for the exhibition to show the incredible things that end up in the college skip”. It is even more incredible than Isabel thought (and note the surname of the artist): Victor Henry Thomas Skipp (1925 – 24 December 2010) was an English local historian, art collector and amateur philosopher, who left his estate to Kettle's Yard in Cambridge. Part of the oddments of his collection were sold at an art auction in Cheffins in Cambridge to raise money for Kettles Yard Museum. Gary Doherty went along and, wanting to support the Museum, bid for one of the lots which no one else bid for. He found that he had bought some boxes containing a large number of assorted items, so he placed them around his rooms, but not all of the items fitted in so, reluctantly, he thought to dispose of some. Imagine his surprise – and indeed pleasure - when, as he was curating the Open Art Exhibition, he saw a piece of wood which he had reluctantly thrown away. The very piece which Isabel had seen in a skip, thought it looked interesting and recycled as the basis of her sculpture. A chance event? Perhaps not. Perhaps it was all meant to be.

With thanks to Chaplain, Choirmaster, Choir and Robinson College Music Society who worked with us and round us to make the exhibition possible as well as to all the staff who set up and helped to arrange the exhibition – and especially with thanks to the exhibitors for their commitment and enthusiasm.

This is the ninth exhibition which has been arranged by Robinson College Visual Arts Committee with Dr Gary Doherty as Chair.  We have enjoyed photographs by Donald Richards, Steve Trudgill’s ‘Castle, Cove and Coast’, College Fellows’ Portraits by Diane Firth, ‘Mud Sky and Figs’ by John Trudgill and Susan Drucker-Brown, Anthony Milton’s collection of Ruth Ensign’s paintings, ‘The Art of Caring’ – raising money for medical charities - and John Woodman’s ‘The Window’ as well as Open Art 1 and 2. Gary has now resigned from the VAC to concentrate on his medical work so we thank him for all his contributions over the recent years.

To celebrate the Open Art Exhibition, there were sermons on Art and the Art of Seeing in the Lent Term Chapel Services, including ones by the Chaplain Rev Dr Simon Perry, Dr Mary Stewart, Professor Morna Hooker, Dr Steve Trudgill and Dr Gary Doherty as well as outside speakers; these can be found at:

Dr Steve Trudgill, Exhibition Organiser, Visual Arts

Exhibtion in Chapel


Sarah Beth Hsieh and Kuan Hsieh with prizewinning picture 'Trinity Street'


Hendrix by Oliver Gottlieb​


Tiger by Linda Hunns


Quilts by Elizabeth Milton


Robinson Skip Sculpture by Isabel Mathers

PHOTO CREDITS Dr Steve Trudgill Photos 1, 3-6; Joan Bullock Anderson Photo 2