Wyndham City is pleased to announce the winner of the 2020 Wyndham Art Prize People’s Choice Award as local Wyndham artist John Mathet.
Now in its sixth year, the Wyndham Art Prize attracts entries from some of the most accomplished artists across Australia and takes credit for discovering some of Victoria’s greatest new artists.
Mathet won this year’s award with his digital painting work I.D.E.N.T.I.T.Y. attracting the largest, by far, number of votes from the 700 cast by visitors to this year’s exhibition.
Mathet said this artwork was a symbol of self-reflection and how far he has come.
“It is getting to know my background and my identity as well as my culture,” he said.
Mathet said winning the award was an honour.
“That people have stood by me two years in a row is amazing, I feel blessed,” he said.
Arts and Culture portfolio holder Cr Tony Hooper said people had a difficult choice in picking their favourite piece among the many artworks created by talented artists this year.
“Mathet’s work has proven popular among the supporters of the Wyndham Art Prize, as his artwork was chosen as the People’s Choice Award for the second year running.”
“Last year Mathet’s painting “Top of the World” won its way into the community’s heart as he described he was feeling “on top of the world right now” when he created the artwork.”
“Mathet is one of Wyndham’s most loved artists and there is no doubt winning this $2,500 prize for two years in a row will give him the confidence in his skills to branch out even further and represent Wyndham on a statewide, national, or even global level.”
Mathet works mainly in the digital realm but he is also a conventional artist and also teaches young people at the Wyndham Community Education Centre.
Originally from South Sudan, Mathet, moved from Perth to Wyndham four years ago.
His artistic journey began when he was seven years old and he was determined to become a successful artist.
Mathet said his art did not have its place in the small South Sudanese village where he grew up, but his friends and family always supported and encouraged his talents.
“My strengths in art include portrait drawings, where I have grown to love the beauty of creating faces and paying attention to each small detail as I have grown to be passionate and patient with my work,” he said.
“I plan to share messages and stories through my work to educate and inspire society.”