A FIRST-TIME digital media piece by 18-year-old Nik Lee has won him a national arts award.
The grade 12 Launceston Church Grammar School student won the $10,000 Macquarie Digital Portraiture Award for a 12-minute video of an actor reciting Jean-Paul Sartre's novel Nausea.
Nik was flown to the ceremony at the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra on Thursday night and was back at school yesterday.
"I think I'm still a bit shocked," he said yesterday.
"I didn't think I'd win, so when they announced my name and asked me to go up and say something, I could only say thank you." The piece, titled Our only concern is the void, is a collaboration with the actor - friend and fellow grammar student - Henry Strong reading and offering his own interpretations of Sartre's work.
It was shot from one angle in Henry's house over several hours and is a discussion between Henry and Nik, who is sitting off camera.
Nik said he liked the casual aesthetic of the room with Henry sitting on the lounge and talking to him.
He took advantage of attending the ceremony in Canberra to meet and discuss his future options with those from the National Portrait Gallery, along with other digital artists, as he said he was still determining what area of study he would go into next year.
However, he is keen to apply to an arts school in New York.
Earlier in the week, Nik was announced runner-up in the RACT Insurance Tasmanian Portraiture Prize with his digital photograph titled The Land shadowed by everyone's moving mountain - Chapter nine.
Artist and Grammar head of art Paul Snell said he'd worked with really talented students over the past 25 years, but Nik stood out because of his drive, thought processes behind the works and his fantastic eye for detail.