41st People’s Choice Art Awards Winner Announced

A passionate farmer’s daughter from the regional town of Xantippe, near Dalwallinu has been voted as the Murdoch University People’s Choice Award winner in the City of Melville Annual Art Awards, with her artwork The Decaying Kind #3. Lara Sawyer was one of 250 artists who submitted work in this year’s exhibition which attracted over 1200 visitors.

Lara’s portrait of Gary Sawyer, her third cousin, is the third in a series of works that explore the plight of farmers, a topic close to her heart as a fifth generation farmer.

“My series of rusted and decaying portraits visually represent the diminishing respect from the mainstream towards the agricultural industry in Australia. As a farmer's daughter, I have observed this loss of culture and a lack of empathy from society towards those who deserve our recognition and respect,” Lara said.

City of Melville Mayor Russell Aubrey congratulated Lara, who had faced strong competition with over 470 votes counted for the popular Peoples’ Choice Award,

“Lara’s work has caught the eye of many with her beautifully authentic and eye-catching portrait; the character of her subject drawing the viewer in to ponder his story. We are delighted have acquired this work for the City’s collection,” said Mayor Aubrey.

“The Art Awards exhibition never fails to amaze me, bringing together the talent of seasoned artists, emerging artists and local students to collectively yield an exhibition of immense creative excellence,”

“Thirty-five artworks were sold with a total value of $27,000, which is wonderful result for those artists whose creations have now found pride of place in a new home,”

“Thank you to all the artists who entered this year; the quality of the exhibition is testament to all of the individual’s dedication to their chosen practice, and without you we would not be able to offer our community this wonderful free annual event,”

“Thank you also to the continuing support of our generous sponsors Murdoch University, St John of God Hospital Murdoch and Garden City Booragoon.”

For more information regarding the City’s art projects and exhibitions visit www.melvillecity.com.au/arts.