The Diary: A colourful city

Jane Horton
Jane Horton
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NOT everyone has proven to be a fan of Jane Horton’s pictures of Sheffield.

One visitor to her website described the images as garish. Another observed he’d seen the sky above South Yorkshire plenty of shades of grey before but he’d never noticed it bright yellow.

But these colour-soaked portraits of the Steel City are proving to have been, whatever the odd local detractor says, something of a ‘bright’ idea. For the psychedelic collection is not only winning fans and earning praise up here; the set of 14 paintings are currently being exhibited - and selling like hot cakes - in...Harlow, Essex.

“They’re being displayed in the town’s Parndon Mill Gallery,” says the 56-year-old mother-of-two of Grange Road, Sharrow. “I thought they might cause some interest down there because of the style but I never expected them to sell. Yet they’re doing really well. About 10 have gone. Maybe Essex people have an affinity with Sheffield, I don’t know.”

The images include a fluorescent pink Castle Market, a vivid orange Moorfoot Building, and The Star’s own Kemsley House in shock turquoise.

“I’m in love with colour,” says Jane. “I wanted to pay tribute to this city by drawing its jumble of architecture but I wanted it to really grab people’s attention. I thought I could do that by making the colour sing.”

She actually drew them on her iPad: “I’d sit down and work like you would with a pad of paper,” she says. “You have to be careful, though. When I did The Wicker Arches I had my husband with me.”

Now, after they proved to be such an unexpected hit in Harlow, Jane, a curriculum director with the Open College Of The Arts in Barnsley, is hoping to get a city centre exhibition here.

“I think Sheffielders love seeing their city,” she says. “Even if it is in garish colours.”

Visit Jane’s website at