During his career Ben has experimented with many genres and through many mediums but it is my belief that he will be remembered at his best, as a master of the English landscape. The countryside is not static, it is an inheritance passed down to us by generations of labourers, landowners and its evolution recorded by artists. The enclosures, woodlands, crops, lanes, hedgerows and farms were encapsulated in the brush strokes of Gainsborough, Constable and Turner. Ben Robson continues that tradition, his observation of the landscape illustrating English fields, farms, gates, cottages and hedgerows as they combat with increasing modern urbanisation and the sprawling human population as it encroaches and alters the fragile land.
Ben Robson is a self-taught artist, raised in the economically depressed twenties and thirties; a member of a large artistic, working class family. Even as a boy Ben had the eyes of an artist, able to observe beauty wherever it may occur, and living as he did in an area where the sprawl of Tottenham merged with the countryside, he could not but be aware of contrast between the rural and urban environment.
By today’s standards his formal education ended extraordinarily early at the age of fourteen but he continued to enlighten himself, linking his hobbies of photography, painting, reading and writing throughout his life. His experiences in World War Two took him to the diverse landscapes of Africa and Italy but, instead of inspiring him to travel, his war years inspired instead a deep and enduring love for the land of his birth and he never felt the need to leave the British shores again.
Ben is a home loving man, returning home after the war he cleaned shop windows in Tottenham High Street, which kept the family fed and enabled him to spend the bulk of his time with his wife Doreen and their five children. He was, and remains, a devoted father and husband, enjoying with his family camping holidays that spanned the length and breadth of Britain. The places they visited were photographed by Ben and later recorded on canvas leaving a deeply personal and historical record of a rapidly changing world. The mellowing effect of nature upon human dwellings is a dominating theme in his work, testament perhaps to the artist's faith in the organic power of nature to heal the scars left upon it by man.
During his working week in Tottenham he captured many instances of urban life, colourful illustrations of people alighting from red buses or package laden women gossiping outside grocery shops on busy, rain-washed streets. The two very different aspects of his art vividly contrast the two worlds that he knew and loved. His retirement was spent meandering with his wife and dog across the rapidly shrinking Hertfordshire countryside, the inspiration for many of his later works; particularly fine are his studies of trees.
Ben has undertaken commission work and exhibited widely throughout his career, receiving much well-deserved praise from critics and fellow artists alike. His extended family includes numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren and his first great great grandchild is expected shortly. Many of the children are recorded in paint and pastel and he continues to produce work today despite the fact that in January 2013 he celebrated his 93rd birthday.