TRACING history through the lifelines within a brick struck a chord with judges in the Art of Norfolk Plains competition, celebrating 200 years' settlement of the district.
Richard Klekociuk's abstract in pencil won the $2000 acquisitive prize, which was announced at Eskleigh last night.
``It's an unusual abstract composition that shows good use of the medium,'' agreed judges Dr Edna Broad and Eva Mehegan, of Klekociuk's work, entitled Norfolk Plains Landscape DNA.
``It's a good design, enhanced by excellent presentation.''
Other winning works included Darren Meader's Expanse of Farmland _ Norfolk Plains, which won the $300 prize for landscape; Philippa Hirst's Early Settlers Resting Place (Heritage); and Phillip Austen's Course Steward (Longford Cup) & Mount, which won the people of Norfolk Plains section.
Hirst looked to the pioneers of the district buried in the grounds of Longford's historic Christ Church for her inspiration. Among the headstones she honoured in watercolour were those of Wilfred Wilmore, Thomas Reibey and James Hortle.
Two other works were highly commended, a pastel of Eucalypts on Panshanger Road by Dan Villiers and Rachel Howell's watercolour Poppy Fields, Woolmers Lane.
An exhibition of all the finalists was opened last night by Dr Nic Haygarth.