Josie Russell launches career as artist

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The Independent Culture

Josie Russell who suffered horrific injuries in a bloody hammer attack which claimed the lives of her mother and sister has started exhibiting as an artist.

The 23-year-old, who specialises in textiles and mixed media, has recently been showing her work at an exhibition at Plas Newydd on Anglesey.

The artist has been putting her pictures, which include landscapes of North Wales, on sale for up to £200 after gaining a degree in graphic design.

She now plans to travel around North Wales, where she lives and works, showing her work at craft fairs.

Fourteen years ago, Miss Russell was the victim of a hammer attack at the hands of Michael Stone, who brutally murdered her mother Dr Lin Russell and younger sister Megan.

Miss Russell was walking home from school in Chillenden, near Canterbury, Kent, in July 1996 when Stone set upon her 45-year-old mother and sister, who was only six. Then nine, Miss Russell was also attacked and suffered massive head injuries.

She was found unconscious next to the bodies of her mother, sister and family dog, Lucy.

But she miraculously survived and was later able to tell police officers what she could remember.

Writing on her website, Miss Russell does not mention the murders but speaks of her love of art.

She said: "My deep-rooted passion for art and design began when I was very young, and carries on to the present day. In order to define and improve upon the early enthusiasm I felt for arts and crafts as a child, I studied hard to successfully achieve a BA in Graphic Design."

She added: "When I am not working on art and craft projects I can usually be found outdoors - be that in my garden, or else walking through the beautiful hills of the Snowdonia National Park.

"I feel a deep connection with the countryside, so perhaps it is no surprise that the unspoilt mountains, flora and fauna of North Wales form the present basis for most of my creative work."

She went on to tell reporters: "I became aware very early on that beautiful, unique artwork does not have to cost hundreds of pounds to create, or cause a detriment to our surroundings.

"Only the bare minimum of my materials are bought new - canvasses, certain threads or spare parts for my sewing machine."

Stone is currently serving life for the murders and will not be considered for release until 2031 at the earliest.