Arresting artworks pay off for Tom Polo

PARRAMATTA artist Tom Polo creates art that captures the viewer's attention. He changes his works over a period of time, sets them up to look as though something is happening or just leaves portraits on the floor.

His unusual practices have created a buzz and captured the attention of established artists such as Khaled Sabsabi who has noted Polo's interactive techniques. The established west Sydney artist has chosen Polo to present work in the 18th annual Redlands Konica Minolta Art Prize at the National Art School gallery, from Friday to Thursday, May 16.

Polo said it was a surprise to be nominated for the prize. "It's really nice to have the support of a fantastic artist," he said.

Polo will show Heads are Turning (Something to Fall Back On), a large-scale installation in the gallery that includes a painted wall with abstract figures, portraits and gestures against a blue background. Polo said the work explores psychological change and transformation.

The competition offers $36,000 in prize money across three categories: the established artist prize supported by Konica Minolta ($25,000); the emerging artist prize supported by Allens ($10,000) and a viewer's choice award ($1000). Polo said winning the emerging artist category would enable him to continue his work.

"It'll basically allow me to do some research for further work," he said. "It would allow me to maintain my studio practice and support my career."

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