Rosalind Bieber gets her teeth into painting - using chalk and dental concrete

Artist Rosalind Bieber could be called the new material girl - and it's nothing to do with Madonna.

Ms Bieber started out as a solo harpsichordist but her career was cut short by injury at the age of 27. Determined to find a new career, she discovered by chance the links between art and music, bought a book on how to draw and became an artist.

But she was dealt another setback 10 years ago, this time by carbon monoxide poisoning which left her "allergic to most things in the world, including electricity, light and noise". It also left her weighing little more than 5 st and her life was saved by intensive care at a special hospital in Hemel Hempstead.

But Ms Bieber was not parted easily from her second career. She changed all the materials with which she worked and to which she was allergic and is currently holding her first exhibition with the new ones at the Spiro Ark in central London (above, Snoozing).

Ms Bieber, 64 and born in Southport, tells People: "I experimented with all sorts of different materials and now I use things like chalk, sand and dental concrete. I try to work as much as possible with natural materials, otherwise I cannot use them.

"I am a free thinker and the images in this exhibition are timeless. I produce a lot of images of people because when I was young in Southport I was lonely and bored. I would run to the bus stop to chat to strangers, so people and queues appear a lot in my work.

"Art has saved my life as much as everything that was done in the hospital," she adds.

Her work is on display at her website, www.rosalindbieber.net

    Last updated: 11:33am, October 7 2010