Lord Mayor Clover Moore has tonight announced the winners of this year's Australian Life and Little Sydney Lives photography prizes. Both exhibitions have now opened in Hyde Park.
"These photography competitions remain one of the biggest highlights of Art & About Sydney," the Lord Mayor said.
"They show us that everyone has a story to tell, everyone has their unique perspective on our country and our city, and everyone has a creative spark that should be cherished.
"This year we had about 2,500 entries to Australian Life, the largest number of submissions we've ever had. There are images from around Australia, from the Kimberleys to Uluru, from Echuca to Bondi Beach, and from Rooty Hill to the Gold Coast."
The Lord Mayor announced that Joshua Morris from Marrickville, NSW won the prestigious $10,000 Australian Life photography prize.
Joshua's image was one of 22 finalist images selected from a record 2,478 submissions by award-winning judges Ken Done, Wesley Enoch and Tamara Dean.
Titled Pepa Molina, and some of the residents of the Parque Habitacional, the judges described the image as "a real celebration of a female artist in the centre of practice."
"This image tells you about the optimism that old people still have - they're sitting there and the dancer is giving it absolutely everything. There are all kinds of stories you can find in the people in the background, and I think it's a very sensitive, well-constructed picture - it's an unconscious piece of beautiful composition," said Ken Done.
"The flourish of her red dress and the passion on her face is so intense - it's amazing. And the people around her have varying levels of engagement; which is just like every artist. It is also a celebration of community - whether you're at the Sydney Opera House or at an old folks' home, there's a sense that an artist has something to bring to your life," said Wesley Enoch.
The Lord Mayor announced that seven year old Kobi Cleary from Meadowbank took out honours in the 3-7 years age category of Little Sydney Lives for his shot, Where's Wally?
Ken Done said: "LEGO has always been beautiful and all kids are used to looking at it, but this picture, because of the Where's Wally? character, makes it a real story."
The Lord Mayor also announced that Patrick McCarthy, age 10, from Normanhurst won first prize in the 8-11 years age category for his image, The Little Things.
The Little Sydney Lives winners - selected from more than 220 submissions - took home a new camera and accessories worth $500.
The Lord Mayor said the Australian Life and Little Sydney Lives exhibitions are a popular feature of the year-round Art & About Sydney program.
"Art is for everyone and art can be made by anyone - the more voices we hear, the more eyes and photographers looking at our world, the richer it becomes," the Lord Mayor said.
"It's wonderful to see the talent of our next generation of young creatives, with more than 220 entries to our Little Sydney Lives competition.
"I congratulate all the winners and encourage everyone to come along to the exhibitions and celebrate these stories and Sydney's creative spirit."
All 22 Australian Life finalist images are on exhibition in large-scale format along the St James walkway of north Hyde Park. The 20 Little Sydney Lives finalist images are on exhibition in Sandringham Gardens, north Hyde Park. Both exhibitions run until 7 October.
The City's Art & About program is an ongoing program of events and celebration of art in unconventional spaces. For more details on Art & About Sydney and the Australian Life and Little Sydney Lives exhibitions go to artandabout.com.au
For media inquiries call 0477 362 550.
For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore, contact Julia Lenton. Phone 0410 748 039 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.