A WOMAN has defied all odds and had her art displayed at a prestigious Rome exhibition despite her disadvantages.

Carol Anne Lee, from Prestwich, had three of her most personal paintings shown at the Rossocinabro contemporary art gallery in Rome.

Much of her work is a celebration of others who have seen similar success in spite of challenging circumstances.

She did not have the opportunity for a formal education in art, having to take care of her younger sister after they were abandoned at an early age. For years afterwards, she experienced a catalogue of emotional abuse within her family.

That all changed six years ago, when Carol Anne built a studio in her garden and dedicated her time to perfecting her craft.

Since then she has been selected for various exhibitions and displays at Hebden Bridge and Manchester Printworks.

Carol Anne has also done work for Christie’s, who sold her paintings and donated the proceeds to children’s hospices.

Eventually she was contacted by Cristini Madini, director of Rossocinabro and offered the chance to exhibit there.

Carol Anne said: “To be selected for this exhibit, I finally feel worthy and I now know what I have achieved so far is of value.

“Six years ago I was in a terrible situation but if it hadn’t been for that, I probably wouldn’t have developed into the artist that I am now.

“It just goes to show that if you’ve got art in you, then it doesn’t matter where you start, you can make something of it and turn a bad situation around.

“I want to paint people from difficult circumstances and I have a real fascination about, and respect for those who had disadvantages and rose above prejudice.

“I love to paint from the heart for my love of these women that have risen high from the worst backgrounds when all was against them. I am most comfortable when I can do this kind of art for some reason.”

The three paintings which are now on display in Rome are entitled Worthy Woman, Soul Temptations at the Printworks and Little Soulie.