Congratulations Lara Sawyer from Xantippe WA, who recently won the Murdoch University People's Choice Award in the City of Melville's Annual Art Awards 2017, for her drum lid portrait of Gary Sawyer - The Decaying Kind #3.
Lara is the CRC trainee until March next year, when she will leaving to attend Curtin University for a Fine Arts Degree.
The artwork is the 3rd work in her series 'The Decaying Kind' and is of Gary Sawyer a local farmer in the Dalwallinu shire who is also her 3rd cousin. Lara did the artwork for her WACE final artwork in 2016 and was featured in the year 12 perspectives earlier this year at the Art Gallery of WA. Her work explores the plight of farmers, being a 5th generation Farmer it is a topic that she keeps close to her heart and impacts her life greatly and she hopes to continue to advocate for her farming heritage.
"My series of rusted and decaying portraits visually represent the diminishing respect from the mainstream towards the agricultural industry in Australia. A once proud industry is now hidden behind layers of false propaganda showing the happy smiles of local farmers in your nearest food market. 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. I aim to communicate our plight and the decay of our kind."
The artwork was purchased by Melville City Council, where it will go into their public art collection and will be hung in one of the Melville public spaces
City of Melville's Mayor Russell Aubrey congratulated Lara, who had faced strong competition with over 470 votes counted for the popular Peoples' Choice Award. Mayor Aubrey said, "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 to have acquired this work for the City's collection".
Bree Franz, Manager of Kalannie Community Resource Centre and the committee are very proud of Lara being the 41st recipient of the award. The people of Kalannie are delighted that Lara's talents are being recognised state wide and look forward to her becoming an international artists in the future. Lara was one of 250 artists who submitted work in this year's City of Melville art exhibition which attracted over 1200 visitors.