Wales

Josie Russell stages first solo art show on Anglesey

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Media captionJosie, 25, who now lives in the Nantlle Valley in Gwynedd, has 120 pieces of her art on display at Oriel Ynys Mon in Llangefni, Anglesey.

Artist Josie Russell, who survived a hammer attack as a child in which her mother and younger sister died, is staging her first solo exhibition.

The landscape of north Wales where she grew up, a passion for fabrics and a concern for the environment inspire her abstract work.

A total of 120 pieces of her art are on display at Oriel Ynys Mon in Llangefni, Anglesey.

The gallery's principal officer said Josie has a "fantastic talent".

Pat West said: "Over the coming years I'm sure her work will develop even more than it's done already."

Josie, aged 25, was born in South Africa in 1987 and grew up in in north Wales, graduating from Coleg Menai in Bangor in graphic design.

She and her father Shaun Russell returned to the Nantlle Valley after the hammer attack in Kent in 1996, when she was nine. The assault killed her mother Lin, and sister Megan, who was six.

Michael Stone was jailed for life and will not be considered for release until 2031.

Josie produces abstract landscapes from textiles, making use of mixed, often recycled fabrics as well as buttons, beads, wools and threads. She used appliqué techniques and her work can be hand or machine-stitched.

"My work brings together a passion for fabrics, the landscape where I live and my concern for the environment," she said.

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Media caption"She has a fantastic talent"

She has exhibited her work at the Oriel before in a group before but Ms West said this was a solo exhibition on a major scale.

"The main art gallery in the Oriel is a really big space to fill and many, many established artists have been scared by the size but she has accomplished a very professional show," Ms West explained.

"She is a textile artist. When you see her work you think, oh it's paint, but the closer you get to it you see oh, it's textiles, it's materials, buttons, all kinds of things.

"She creates landscapes, she is inspired by the landscape. She has a passion for fabrics and the environment. And every little piece of fabric is chosen specifically to create this work of art."

Image caption Josie produces her art from textiles

Ms West described how Josie puts her abstract art together.

"She takes photos obviously, she works in the north, she goes out, she looks at the landscape and then she sources her fabrics from charity shops, friends and family.

"And then she starts putting them all together, she hand stitches or she uses a machine as well. They have to be seen."

She said Josie's earlier works concentrated on the mountain scenery of north Wales, but now they included more detail.

"There's maps of Wales, buildings, a red phone box in one of them. So the detail is phenomenal and she's just continuing to develop."

Josie's first show of her work at Plas Newydd on Anglesey in November 2010 was a sell-out and she said she was amazed at the public response.

Her latest exhibition at Llangefni runs until 24 February.

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