Josie Russell, 23, is a phenomenon. Fourteen years ago she, her sister and mother were subjected to a random hammer attack which killed two of them, leaving Josie alive but with severe brain damage.
Josie almost died before reaching hospital. The years that followed were a struggle to overcome her horrendous brain damage and escape the traumatic memories.
Today, Josie Russell is revealing her artistic talent to the world with intricate textile images of her beloved Snowdonia, North Wales in the UK.
Newly-graduated, she has begun exhibiting original fabric works created with scissors and sewing machine from scraps of unwanted material.
She says: “Only the bare minimum of my materials are bought new: canvases, certain threads, or spare parts for my sewing machine. The rest: frames, buttons, beads, ribbons, and off-cuts of strange, striking fabrics, are sourced from extensive rummaging in my local charity shops, recycled from my own clothes, or else kindly donated by generous family and friends.”
Josie works part-time at her local Tesco supermarket. She adds: “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.”
It’s a heart-warming story and illustrates the power of crafts to turn desperate lives around.