Artist dies after brain tumour

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AN award-winning artist has died after suffering from a brain tumour.

Selina Maria di Girolamo was a popular figure on the local art scene and played a key role in establishing and running the town’s Arts Forum. A talented painter in her own right, she used a mix of media to explore the local landscape and its relationship with shamanic and pagan beliefs.

Having moved to Hastings in 2004, she threw herself into the artistic community and began using her paintings and drawings to reflect the diversity of local beaches, woodland and downland. An elected member of the Royal Society of British Artists, South Coast Artists and former chair of the Education Committee at the Federation of British Artists, she was a passionate advocate for the arts and her work is highly sought after.

Both her paintings and her raku-fired goddess sculptures have been exhibited widely locally and internationally. She has also won a host of awards, including the Creating Reality Award and the St Cuthberts Mill prize for works on paper. She passed away last month, on February 18 at home with her family - husband Mike Fairclough and three boys Johnny, 23, Taliesin, 13, and Indigo, 6. Her sister, Emilia di Girolamo, was among those who paid tribute. She said: “Selina was not only a successful artist but also a truly inspirational woman who devoted much of her energy to empowering women and educating parents about the importance of long term breastfeeding and attachment parenting. A mother herself from the age of 17, she understood the prejudices and difficulties facing teenage or single mums and made it her mission to help any expectant mother she came across. As a family we take great comfort in knowing there are so many children out there who benefitted as a direct result of the contact their parents had with Selina.”

As well as her love for art, she was also a passionate advocate for women’s rights and wrote for a host of journals on the subjects of parenting and witchcraft.

Her stunning drawing, The Black Madonna, was selected as the image to represent the International Women’s Day Centenary Gala at St Mary-in-the-Castle this month and proceeds will go to her favourite charity, Womankind.

Selina di Girolamo was laid to rest during a pagan burial at Clayton Wood Natural Burial Ground which was attended by more than 200 people. The Arts Forum also held a minute’s silence prior to the opening of its latest exhibition.