AN artist who takes inspiration from animals found dead by roadside is preparing for a major exhibition.

Judy Hurst, 62, of Lanchester, County Durham, has produced a large body of work on parchment with oil paints, 24-carat gold leaf and cotton-based paper.

Ms Hurst, who used to teach in New Zealand, where she exhibited, has also served in art departments at nine schools, including at Stanley School of Technology.

She said: "My works include major landmarks of the region, including Durham Cathedral. I also make use of Celtic motifs which I have researched."

She added: "Roadkills serve as my one of my sources, as well.

"Since I was young, I have had a fascination with wildlife. While roadkills no longer have breath they are still something of beauty.

"Once the energy has moved on, there is just the envelope left, but it is something which can be used again.

"For me, patterns are the fabric of existence.

"All life is born, lives its span in our world, then moves on. This is the pattern of life.

"Atoms, molecules and cells group together in many different patterns to create all life forms, as well as inanimate forms ranging from the smallest objects to the huge patterns of the celestial galaxies and beyond.

"I draw and paint these patterns, which I see everywhere."

The exhibition, which features work from the past two years will open at the Moot Hall, in Hexham, Northumberland, on December 11 until December 17.