Tributes have been paid to an inspirational artist, teacher and founder member of Fishguard Arts Society (FAS) who died last month.

Audrey Walker was born in 1928 in Workington, Cumbria. She went to Edinburgh College of Art from 1944 - 1948 and gained a diploma in Art, specialising in painting.

From 1948 to 1951 she studied at the Slade School of Fine Art, again specialising in painting and she taught drawing and painting in schools and at Whitelands College.

However, in 1961 she made a radical change in her own art practice and began working in textiles.

Speaking to the Western Telegraph in 2007 she said she was inspired by accidentally seeing an exhibition of textile collage and also by the work produced by the students she taught in a large London comprehensive school.

"Some of the kids did wonderful things with textiles. It opened my eyes and I realised that painting doesn't have to be the way into art," she said.

"Then I accidentally saw an exhibition of textile collage. It stopped me in my tracks. I thought 'that's amazing'. I just started making collage and then I got hooked. I love it, I love making surfaces with threads and fibres."

Audrey was an influential teacher and for thirteen

years, head of textiles at the prestigious Goldsmiths College, London.

She retired from teaching in 1988 and came to

live in Dinas Cross. She became a founder member of FAS, and then a trustee, as well as one of the creative forces behind Fishguard's famous Last Invasion Tapestry and more recently the Pembrokeshire banner.

She was well known for her technique of combining hand and machine embroidery with layers of fabrics to create a rich surface.

Her work became more figurative in later life. She said she was inspired by 'passing moments, glances and encounters as well as narrative themes' and often based her work upon observation, memories and myths.

In 2007 Audrey was the first textile artist ever to win the Sotheby's Prize, saying at the time that 'it sort of delighted' her to be chosen.

Sotheby's then bought and donated her piece Lot's Wife to the Victoria and Albert Museum. As well as the V&A her work is included in many prestigious collections including that of the Crafts Council and private collections in Japan, America, Australia and Europe.

"Audrey was a well-loved and admired artist within the society," said FAS' Gaynor MacMorrin. "It is with great regret we heard of her passing.

"There will be a celebration of her life and work when circumstances allow."