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Last Updated: Saturday, 31 December 2005, 09:23 GMT
Honour for award-winning artist
Shani Rhys James
Shani Rhys James is an award-winning artist
A nationally-acclaimed artist is one of seven people from mid Wales recognised in the New Year's Honours list.

Australian-born Shani Rhys James, 52, from Llangadfan, near Welshpool, Powys, receives an MBE for services to art.

Owen Watkin, chief executive of Ceredigion Council, is awarded an OBE for services to local government.

Irene Rees, from Lower Cwmtwrch, Swansea, receives an MBE for services to community transport in Powys.

Ms James was born in Melbourne, but she has lived in Wales since 1984. In 2003, she won the prestigious Jerwood Prize for Painting.

Detail from Black Cot by Shani Rhys James
It's lovely to receive an honour and be recognised
Shani Rhys James

She is also a graduate of Central Saint Martin's College of Art and Design in London.

Of her award, the married mother of two grown-up boys, said: "It's lovely to receive an honour and be recognised.

"It's sort of strange living in the countryside. You think you're isolated, but things happen to you for focussing on your craft."

She added: "It's odd being an Australian because I suppose I'm a republican, but as a child we sang God Save the Queen in the playground."


Ms James' work draws on childhood memories, re-interpreted to create haunting figures that stare out of her oil paintings.

Other honours include a CBE for Professor Norman Palmer, chair of the Illicit Trade Advisory Panel and Treasure Valuation Committee, from Builth Wells.

He receives the award for services to art and to law.

Other recipients are Peter White, former secretary of the Royal Commission of the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales. Mr White, from Aberystwyth, is awarded an OBE for services to heritage.

Mary Bott, from Aberporth, Ceredigion, receives an MBE for services to the community, while Patricia Smith, executive officer of Jobcentre Plus, from Cardigan, Ceredigion, is recognised and gets an MBE.

Artist James wins Jerwood Prize
20 May 03 |  Entertainment



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