TOWNELEY Hall plays host to an exhibition of work from an up and coming Burnley-born artist this month.

Fiona Rose Batey, 21, was left bed-bound for several months as a teenager after becoming ill while on holiday, during which time her interest in art flourished and drawing became her therapy.

Since then she has gained a distinction for BTEC Art and Design, won first prize in the Pendle Open Arts exhibition and presented Prince Charles with a gift of her work on his visit to the town last year, a screen printed ink drawing of a Burnley landscape.

Fiona said her illness, which she suffered shortly after leaving school, gave her the chance to develop her skills.

She said: “It had a silver lining, and in this instance, it was my artwork.

“My love of drawing kept me positive when I was low and the months I spent on my sketches helped my creativity and skill.

“What I love about art is freezing a perfect moment of emotion, passion or beauty and sharing it with others.

“I take my inspiration mainly from people around me, family and friends.”

Such is her burgeoning reputation that the world famous Saatchi Gallery displays her work for sale on its website.

Fiona’s biggest break comes later this month, when she will appear on the BBC programme Show me the Monet, beating thousands of applicants for the chance to meet judges and display her work.

Visitors will be able to view Fiona’s work at Towneley Hall until August 2.