Local Pilbara artist Tessa Laing took out the CITIC Pacific Mining (CPM) sponsored Emerging Artist category, for her piece called Pelago, at the recent Cossack Art Awards.

In its 25th year, the awards are renowned as one of the richest and most significant regional art competitions in the country.

On the night Gary Rayson, CPM General Manager Health and Safety, presented Tessa with the $8,000 cash prize for her category.

“Every year we’re blown away with the ability these young artists have for being able to tell a story through their art,” Gary said.

Tessa said it was her memories of growing up in Karratha that inspired her painting, which represents human interaction with the environment.

“I’ve been coming back for school holidays for years and each time I come back the landscape changes, with new structures like the Pelago buildings popping up all the time,” Tessa said.

The judges commented that Tessa’s piece was like the “Pilbara Luna Park”, showing technical skill in her ability to portray a serious topic with humour.

This is not the first prize Tessa has won for her art. She’s also been recognised in a number of other art awards for her work in portraits, costume design and film.

Tessa would like to use this prize money to further her studies at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA), putting it towards a Props and Scenery course.

CPM has proudly supported the Young Emerging Artist category since 2008.

Click here to view all winning entries from this year’s event.