Gong for provoking charcoal piece

GOOMBURRA artist Michael Pospischil has won the $10,000 Hugh Sawrey Art Award for 2012 at the Art@Kogan event sponsored by the Western Downs Regional Council.

Mr Pospischil (pictured) won the prize for his charcoal drawing of Brewarrina grazier Bill Hegarty, "Bill's Had a Gutful".

"I made this portrait in 2006 as part of a year long project with my wife Sarah Moles to create an exhibition and book about the sad plight of the Darling River," Mr Pospischil said.

"It was stinking hot and in the middle of the worst drought in living memory. Bill was really down. I drew him at the kitchen table while he talked to Sarah and then went outside to decide on a background.

"It was this vast, flat, empty floodplain with a huge bowl of sky overhead. I placed the treed horizon on his shoulders to give a sense of the oppressive weight of all the problems on him.

"It's probably the best likeness of all the portraits I did for the Dying Darling project and I think it captures the desperation Bill was experiencing.

"He sold up shortly afterwards and now lives in Dubbo."



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