Sheila robinson
(1925-1988)

Sheila Robinson moved to Great Bardfield , Essex in 1952 having been educated in Nottingham and then at the RCA where she met her husband Bernard Cheese. Sheila was a wonderful artist, one of Edward  Bawden's best students and they clearly got on very well together, as he asked her to help him to create his mural in the Lion and Unicorn Pavilion for the Festival of Britain on the South Bank, London in 1951. She also printed a number of plates for Bawdens childrens book in the following year. Sheila Robinson had already started to make a name for herself by the time she moved to Essex and had commissions from Schweppes and London Transport. Her relationship with Bernard did not last long and by 1954 they had started to move apart separating in 1957. It was Edward Bawden and his wife Charlotte who came to her rescue  helping her to find Cage Cottage in Great Bardfield where she remained until after her children had moved away when she moved to a cottage located at the bottom of the common in Saffron Walden, the town where Bawden himself moved to in his later life.Sheila became very much part of the village, her father died in 1960 and her mother moved into Cage Cottage with her and the children Chloe and Ben , who went to the local village school and Sheila helped with jumble sales and making signs for events. So in many ways Sheila Robinson integrated with the community more closely than the other artists in the group and having to bring in an income for her family means that she did not, as so many female artist of her time did, stop work and become a full time mother but thankfully for us continued to produce inventive and beautiful work. She is , in my opinion, a truly great producer of lino cut work and illustration and I continue to be amazed that she does not have a greater profile and is not a better known name from within the Great Bardfield group.

Link to Fry Art Gallery    ...........a must visit if you are in Saffron Walden