Mudgee TAFE photography student Tim White has taken out a Highly Commended award at Dunedoo's Art Unlimited exhibition.
Judge Steven Cavanagh described White's piece "Trudge and Roses" as a confident work in the tradition of still life.
"The formality of this work is reminiscent of 17th century Dutch painting. Attention to lighting and composition is paramount. The elegant and delicate colour is a knock-out," Mr Cavanagh said.
Mr White's piece was chosen for one of three Highly Commended awards from more than 60 entries from photographers from every state in Australia.
He first started experimenting with photography when he moved to Mudgee in 2013, and has since run a photography business, focusing on weddings. Mr White recently started a photography course at Mudgee TAFE, where he was introduced to the still life style.
"Still life by nature is a bit contrived, everything is in your control, from how the light falls to how props are positioned, normally I take photos of what I see, like landscapes and birds. It's not something I would've thought of doing, so its a bit of a change but I really enjoyed it," Mr White said.
"The props were literally just what I had available. The flowers were from my garden, from a rose bush my mother gave me when I bought my house, and the stool is sitting in my lounge room."
Mr White said he enjoyed the process so much that he has since invested new equipment to continue taking photos in the still life style.
Federal Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton, opened the exhibition and paid tribute to the volunteers and Lions Club members who each year make the event possible.
He praised the quality of the works on show and expressed admiration for the way they were presented. This was his first experience of Art Unlimited and he said it would leave a lasting impression.
300 people attended the event on Friday night to admire the 330 entries from artists, photographers and ceramicists from every State in Australia.
The evening brought people back together in an atmosphere of conviviality following the forced cancellation of last year's exhibition.
Art Unlimited event manager Penny Stevens was delighted with the response to this year's event.
"The fact that entries came from every state in Australia demonstrates that Art Unlimited is established as a highly anticipated event on the regional arts calendar," she said.
"The capacity crowd on opening night and the large numbers who visited the exhibition over two weekends show that people appreciate expressions of art such as those offered by Art Unlimited."
The Peabody Wilpinjong Prize for Hanging Art was awarded to Eleanor Anson for her piece, "Aftermath". Wilpinjong Mine environmental advisor Josh Frappell said it was an incredibly powerful piece.
"It's great for Wilpinjong to be able to support an event that encourages and recognises local artists, especially an event that's held right here in Dunedoo," Mr Frappell said.
Orange Regional Gallery director and Art Unlimited judge Bradley Hammond was extremely impressed with the work.
"This painting offers us a personal interpretation of a scene we all know so well. Eleanor's use of copper and silver paint is skilfully applied to present a scene after a bushfire that is both devastating and beautiful or enchanting," he said.
"I selected this painting because of its strange eerie light and the way it stayed with me afterwards, I kept returning to it."
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