A WORCESTERSHIRE artist has scooped a prestigious art award and hopes it will raise the profile of her bespoke business.

Bewdley design and décor artist Karen Parody, who specialises in abstract paintings for restaurants, offices and hotels, has won the ‘Bewdley Open Studio Prize’ – an award which is part of an exhibition for the 2012 Worcestershire Arts Trail.

Miss Parody’s innovative ‘Oriental Mystery’ piece was chosen ahead of 28 other shortlisted entries by landscape painter Robert Perry.

Miss Parody, who can count a middle-eastern Sheikh amongst her fans after spending nine years producing one-off pieces for palaces and famous five-star hotels in Dubai, believes the award could help provide a springboard for ‘Art²’ – her business which she set up two years ago after returning to the UK. She also hopes it will encourage more young people to take up painting.

She said: “It’s a big honour for me to be given the award and to be recognised by someone so widely respected as Robert Perry. I am extremely passionate about my work and always look to push the boundaries with new ideas. These are designs I have been lucky enough to exhibit across the world but receiving a highly regarded local arts award is something special.

“With the amount of intrigue the exhibition has created, I hope it will also boost interest in the bespoke services I can offer interior designers, property developers, restaurateurs and the general public. I am also passionate about inspiring the next generation of creative talent so the exhibition and my work can hopefully leave a legacy and get more young people interested in art.

“The award gives me an amazing springboard to showcase myself further to people across the Wyre Forest. Even though I spent an amazing nine years in Dubai, it’s an ambition of mine to become established locally and regionally.”

Miss Parody, who is 41, studied fine art locally in the 1990s and went on to win commissions for London restaurants and famous hotels. She said that the Wyre Forest provides the perfect “inspiration” for her nature-inspired work.