A YOUNG artist is holding her first solo exhibition ‘Contemporary Icons’ in Hartlepool Art Gallery.

Nichola Wiltshire combines religious images with her research into fashion photography, symbology and repetitive patterns seen in Islamic art.

The Dundee-based artist was inspired by visiting Greek Orthodox churches on the island of Aegina.

She said: “It is usually the subject, and use of, painting that makes it an icon, yet these paintings represent normal people with halos and priestly robes.”

Born in Cambridge, the artist received her degree at the University of Westminster in 2009 and her post graduation qualification in fine art at Dundee’s Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design last year.

The works in her exhibition, which runs from Tuesday, October 4 until November 10, includes images painted on metallic and African fabric that explores the beauty and meaning of religious art.