A JAPANESE–themed exhibition created by community groups and schools has been praised by women in the know.

Members of the North-East Japanese Women’s Association visited the display in Bishop Auckland Town Hall, today (Thursday, February 27), which was created for community arts festival Febfest.

Sue Snowdon, Lord Lieutenant of County Durham, organised the visit after being so impressed with the work.

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“It is just tremendous,” she said. “I wanted to share it with these ladies as I think the work really captivates their culture.

She is hoping many of the exhibits will be used in further exhibitions or put on display in North-East offices of Japanese businesses.

Sayoko Smith, chairwoman of the North-East Japanese Women’s Association, said: “The standard of work is really high. You can tell they know a lot about our culture and it has helped us learn about theirs.”

Jane Crawford, festival director from Daisy Arts, added: "Every year Febfest works hard to attract new partners in its aim to promote the creativity of our local community.

"This year the town hall has once again provided their gallery space for these brilliant works themed on Japanese art and culture.

“To have the opportunity for some of these pieces to be exhibited further afield within our region is a wonderful opportunity."