A powerful portrait by young Tasmanian artist George Kennedy, who spent the first 20 years of his life as a female, has won a prestigious prize.
Titled Mongrel it was the judges' unanimous choice as the winner of the $10,000 RACT Insurance Tasmanian Portrait Prize in a field of more than 100 entries.
Mr Kennedy, 24, said he had come to "endearingly refer to myself as a mongrel, a hybrid of many opposing natures".
"I spent the first two decades of my life as a female," he said.
"That version of myself remains a part of me, though I no longer see her when I look in the mirror, her appearance erased by hormones and surgery."
Judge and Archibald prize winner in 2001, Nicholas Harding said the judges were impressed by the calibre and high quality of works as well as the refreshing diversity portrayed in the artwork.
"The judges' final decision was a very unanimous one, and we were all were struck by both the vulnerability and the self-awareness of George's portrait," he said.
"All of the judges were drawn to Mongrel, not only for its beautiful aesthetic balance but also to the story behind the artwork which speaks of George's journey to transform his gender identity."
The annual competition is for artists aged 30 and under to produce a portrait of a living Tasmanian who is important to them.
This year's runner up was Chas Hughes of Hobart for his painting titled A night at the buffet.
Joshua Andree, of Hobart, won the sponsors' Choice award with his entry Self Portrait with Overturned Wheel Barrow.
RACT Insurance chief executive Trent Sayers said the prize had become an invaluable contributor towards Tasmania's burgeoning creative sector.
"RACT Insurance is honoured to be associated with this award which was established to foster the development of emerging Tasmanian artists and provide an opportunity for the public to appreciate their talents," Mr Sayers said.
"Picasso famously said 'Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life', and as the only Tasmanian based insurance company, we are privileged to be able to support local initiatives such as the TPP which contribute so much to the state's vibrancy.
"Now in its 12th year, the competition has seen more than $100,000 go towards ensuring top young Tasmanian artists can continue to follow their creative pursuits and we are looking forward to continuing our partnership for years to come. "
An exhibition, showcasing the works of all 33 finalists will be on display at the Queen Victoria Museum Inveresk in Launceston from Friday November 1 to Saturday, 17 November and the Paranapel in Devonport from Saturday November 23 to Sunday, January 19.