A NEWPORT mosaic artist has described her trip to Chile to undergo a major regeneration project as a ‘life changing’ experience.

Stephanie Roberts, 41, of Malpas, travelled to Puente Alto, a suburb of the capital, Santiago, to take part in the 2014 First International Mosaic Intervention.

Chosen as one of 60 international artists led by art director, Isidora Paz Lopez, Ms Roberts, who works from her studio in Pill, was part of a team of eight UK artists involved.

The mum-of-two worked on the project to adorn the windows of Puente Alto’s town hall in Santiago.

The theme of the project was ‘Magic Garden’, where Ms Roberts created a 1.50m squared mosaic of a humming bird using industrial materials including copper.

She said: “It was amazing.

“It has completely changed my life. I have now got two incredible mentors, Gary Drostle and Carrie Reichardt, who are top mosaic artists in the UK and who will act as my business mentors in the development of my personal art practice.”

The artists were given upturned buckets to sit on and only 72 hours to complete their piece.

Ms Roberts said: “I really wanted to showcase my style to the world, so I chose to redesign my ‘concrete canvas’ to incorporate three elements; a native Chilean flower as pre-drawn on the wall; a lady; and the Chilean hummingbird.

“I respected the brief of the project but was also demonstrating my personal techniques of incorporating metal into my work which allows me to create height and three dimensions.

“I felt honoured to be invited to take part in this incredible international project but I really did not consider how it could change my life.”

Ms Roberts is the co-founder of Newport International Airspace (NIA) and Newport Arts Culture and Heritage Association (NACHA).

She has plans to direct urban art projects in Newport and submit a proposal for the replacement memorial artwork for the Chartist uprising.