Winning artist has a brush with big time

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THE Tasmanian-born artist who was awarded the 11th Glover Prize said the $40,000 from the nation's richest annual landscape award would ensure he didn't have to take up a day job, ahead of the impending birth of his second child.

Mark Rodda, who was born in the state's South before relocating to Victoria, was chosen out of 260 entries for his painting of the Tasmanian Highlands titled South From the Labyrinth to Mount Olympus and Lake St Clair.

Rodda's fourth entry took home the $40,000 prize, which he described as the biggest thing to happen to his career despite rarely painting actual landscapes before this.

``If I didn't get this, I would have had to get a day job in a couple of months because my money from selling paintings was running out,'' he said.

``So now I can just paint, paint, paint.''

Rodda admitted his upbringing in the state's South helped him capture the Tasmanian landscape in his painting, an aspect praised by the judges.

New Norfolk's surrounded by mountains on all sides and I think it seeps into your subconscious when you're away,'' he said. Judges Michael Edwards, director of Contemporary Art Spaces Tasmania, Queensland Art Gallery Australian art curatorial manager Julie Ewington and artist Tim Storrier said the curiosity of the piece was a big factor in its win.

``When you look at it you cannot be sure exactly where, as a viewer of the scene, you are meant to be standing. It's as if the land is falling away, dropping away beneath you, so that you are floating, disembodied,'' the judges said.

John Glover Society chairman Andrew Heap said the standard of entries was getting higher.

The Glover Prize exhibition will be held until Tuesday at the Falls Park Pavilion at Evandale.

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