Fergus Binns wins Australia’s juiciest painting prize

Last week Fergus Binns, 28, was named winner of the $40,000 Judges� Prize in Australia�s 2008 Metro 5 Art Award for painters under 35.”Winning will mean I can put some money back into my practice as an artist.” Binns said. “I currently work part time in hospitality as well as painting in my studio in Collingwood. It’s the first prize I’ve entered so it’s wonderful to get this recognition of my work.” Fergus created his winning work, entitled Mount Kosciusko with receding snow dome,” in the backyard shed at his parents� house in Goonellabah after he and his girlfriend of more than six years, Misty, returned from a trip around the world. According to Binns’s artist statement, the painting of Mount Kosciusko trapped forever in a toy snow dome, pays homage to Eugene von Guerard�s famous 1863 painting North-east view from the northern top of Mount Kosciusko and contains a stark message about the damage inflicted on our environment. In what Misty described as �true Fergus style� he got the time of the presentation wrong, realised he was late, jumped in a taxi and arrived at the Melbourne gallery to a waiting former Victorian premier and a media pack flashing their cameras. Misty said Fergus was �pretty overwhelmed� at winning the competition and all the media attention surrounding him, not to mention the $40,000 prize, which will buy a lot of paint and canvas for a young artist. (Via Northern Rivers Echo)

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