Eco-themed work wins Metro Art Award - Art Collector

Paul White, Lost Dreaming of Dinosaurs Under Fossil Fuelled Rainbows, 2010. Pencil on paper, 110 x 170cm. Courtesy: the artist

10 August 2010 | Paul White’s Lost Dreaming of Dinosaurs under Fossil Fuelled Rainbows has won the Metro Art Award. The 170cm wide work on paper depicts junkyard-style stacks of stripped down cars.

“These cars that once used fossil fuels have now become extinct like dinosaurs,” says White. “Stripped for their parts, they are decaying and useless. But nevertheless, there is still some sort of beauty.”

White was selected by a judging panel including painter and former winner Sam Leach, dealer James Makin and National Gallery of Victoria curator Judith Ryan.

Leach said of the winning work: “This work won on several counts. The strength of White’s drawing, his draughtsmanship and composition, is astounding. He also moves beyond the traditional 19th century notion of depicting the beauty of nature to portraying a haunting beauty in industrial waste.

"In doing so, he has successfully defined a new version of artistic romanticism for our current era. At the same time, he clearly understands and highlights the environmental problems associated with our throwaway society. It’s a brilliant conceptual work on all levels.”

Also highly commended by judges was 25-year-old painter Sophia Hewson, who entered a oil and resin on board painting of a woman riding a plastic dolphin, titled
There Should be a Book Written on Italian Men. Painter Ben Sheers was awarded the people’s choice.

The winners will be exhibited with 24 other finalists at Melbourne’s Metro Gallery until 15 August 2010.

Jane O'Sullivan