A formidable Pembrokeshire artist with an international following who has died, at the age of 90, has been remembered by her colleagues and friends as a stimulating companion and a supreme talent.

Rozanne Hawksley was born in 1931 in Portsmouth and came from London to live in Newport, in the 80s with her husband Brian, joining a group of friends and fellow artists she had often visited, including the late Eirian Short.

She died in Withybush Hospital on December 30.

A textile artist who also worked in mixed media, Rozanne was widely acknowledged as being one of the UK's great textile art innovators. She used the themes of love, death and war in what was said to be a subversive surrealism, which drew controversy in the subtle horror worked into the intricately crafted pieces.

Along with Eirian and Audrey Walker she helped to organize the making of Fishguard’s Last Invasion Tapestry and was also active on the committee of Cwyaith Cymru, developing and supporting public art in Wales.

She exhibited with the North Pembrokeshire Network of Sculptors in the Bishop’s Palace St Davids and with Fishguard Arts Society and contributed regularly to exhibitions in Wales.

Rozanne also exhibited in Europe, Japan and the United States as well as at the site of the concentration camp in Lodz, Poland, the Imperial War Museum, on HMS Belfast on the Thames, and more recently she presented a large installation in the Queen’s House Greenwich. Her work was collected both in the UK and abroad and she had an international reputation as an artist.

Rozanne outlived her two husbands and her children and much of her work relates to her own experiences of loss and lifelong illness. Recently she had been in discussion with the Wellcome Foundation regarding work related to the loss of her baby daughter from complications connected to Thalidomide.

Her work frequently used a variety of materials and skills, to express her ideas and feelings.

Although increasingly suffering from poor eyesight and poor mobility Rozanne worked well into her 80s.

She was also an inspiring lecturer in the Textile Art Department, Goldsmiths College, London.

“Although her life experiences formed the often sober subject matter for her work she was a stimulating companion and fun to be with,” said fellow sculptor and old friend Denys Short.

Rozanne was described by Fishguard Arts Society as a ‘supreme talent’ and a ‘controversial artist’.

“She was probably the most, the grandest we have had,” said the society’s Gaynor McMorrin. “She was just something else. She was an international figure. It was amazing stuff she did. She was very very important to the arts and to us.

“She was the loveliest of people, thoughtful and considerate. She was an amazing mimic and had the brightest eyes.”

Both Gaynor and Denys felt that leading authority in the field of textiles, Mary Schoeser, who write a book about Rozanne’s life and work summed her up in saying: “Rozanne was a formidable artist who broke down barriers through her body of mixed media work that provides a narrative about war and other world events, as well as the role and fate of women.”