PARRAMATTA Artists Studios' resident artist Tom Polo won the emerging artist award in the Redlands Konica Minolta Art Prize, taking home $10,000.
"It was amazing," the Smithfield resident said.
"It was a nice opportunity to be in the show, the quality and standard of the exhibition was really high. Being awarded was a bonus."
After graduating with honours from the College of Fine Arts (UNSW) in 2006, Polo has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions around Sydney as well as in Melbourne, Brisbane and London.
Polo, 29, said it was "incredible" to be nominated to exhibit by multimedia artist Khaled Sabsabi, along with 19 other emerging artists.
His site-specific wall painting entitled Heads are Turning/Swimming in the Muck/The Future of Honesty was created in three days on location, as other works featured at the show were being installed.
"I wanted to explore the effect of creating a work with a time constraint, no planning and no sketches," he said.
"In this piece, the scale and the way it's painted, it's a reflection of the space it's in.
"It was an interesting experience and placed a certain pressure on the creativity of the work."
Polo, who also works as an educator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, said the prize money would enable him to spend more time on new pieces.
He is creating a work for The List exhibition curated by Megan Monte at the Campbelltown Arts Centre in August.