19-year old artist wins top ASOC award

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A 19-YEAR-OLD ARTIST from Sydney has won the ASOC Best in Show award, it was announced last night at the opening of the Artists’ Society of Canberra spring exhibition, the highlight in its calendar year.

Fraser Pollock with his winning work, "Sunday Afternoon.”
Fraser Pollock with his winning work, “Sunday Afternoon.”

Co-judges, artists Ruth Waller and Suzanne Moss praised the young artist, Fraser Pollock from Rose Bay NSW for his winning abstract painting, “Sunday Afternoon.” They had immediately been attracted, Waller said, by his “pure painting”, distinguished by a “beautiful sense of colour” and “fresh, confident sense”.

President of ASOC, Alan Jones, could not conceal his “shock and surprise” at the top prize having gone to such a young artist, but with a well-known wish to see ASOC spread further into the community, he was plainly delighted and had rushed to the phone to make sure Fraser’s parents would be on hand for the occasion.

According to the winning artist’s father, Chris Pollock, Fraser has been painting since he was small, and was largely self-taught, although now he was taking classes in the Waverley Woollahra Art School with painter Chris Rochester.

“Although all our children are artistic, he is the artist,” his father said, adding, “He paints and draws 12 hours a day and would do it all day long if we didn’t notice.”

Fraser’s mother, the well-known financial commentator, writer and an advocate for children with intellectual disabilities, Fiona Place, told “CityNews”, “Fraser is very strong… his art is not ‘outsider art’ — it stands on its own,” Ms Place said that his work has been selling well, with one work recently fetching $2,500.

Peg Minty's daughter Helen and describes her mother's work to (l to r) John Hindmarsh, Kate Lundy, Ruth Waller, Suzanne Moss and Alan Jones (rear)
Peg Minty’s daughter Helen and describes her mother’s work to (l to r) John Hindmarsh, Kate Lundy, Ruth Waller, Suzanne Moss and Alan Jones (rear)

At the crowded opening, following a speech by chairman of the Cultural Facilities Corporation, John Hindmarsh, about culture and art, it was announced that the Peg Minty Prize For Landscape, a memorial prize sponsored by the late artists Minty’s daughters Heather and Helen, had gone to Megan Dixon Dawes for her pastel work, “Harsh Country IV.”

With over 300 paintings to see, created by enthusiastic local artists, falling into categories for 8 fine art media plus miniatures and sculpture, along with a student award and the usual prizes for best abstract, portrait or figure, landscape, still life, flora or fauna, and artwork in the distinctive “In the Style of a 19th Century Master” section.

ASOC Spring Exhibition, Albert Hall, Commonwealth Avenue, 10am to 5pm, September 24 – 27, works are for sale.

The full list of winners is below:

  • Peg Minty Prize for Landscape Megan Dixon-Dawes Harsh Country IV
  • ASOC Prize – in the style of a 19th Century Master Louise Emmett Kosciusko Country after W. C. Piguenit
  • Best Abstract Fraser Pollock Tides Alight
  • Best Still Life Camelia Smith Red Kale
  • Best Portrait or Figure Isla Patterson In Deep Thought
  • Best Miniature Cheryl Hodges Jewel Beetle Specimens
  • Best Flora or Fauna Carla Begbie Scarlet Robins
  • Best in Show Fraser Pollock Sunday Afternoon
  • Acrylics First Stanley Jones Mountain Retreat
  • Second Tracy Creighton Menindee Magic
  • Third Di Mortimer Magnolia
  • Highly Commended Ann Gould Cracking up
  • Highly Commended Antonio Jose Arjonilla Patwork
  • Drawing First Patricia Wheatstone Bush Track
  • Second Tim Hardy Back Street, Newtown
  • Third Brigitte Causebrook In my Garden, the Kale that wanted to be a dancing orchid
  • Highly Commended Maria Boreham Corymbia ficifolia
  • Highly Commended Sonia Spratt Quizzical Beings
  • Mixed Media First Tracey Creighton Tribal Dance
  • Second April Suen Toy Cheung Floral Bed of Roses
  • Third Val Fitzpatrick Chronicle of Totems
  • Highly Commended Maureen Lawrentin Poppies
  • Oils First Alan J. Jones Melaleuca Avenue, Tura Heads
  • Second Nicki Hall Cascades Bushland
  • Third Mitchell Jones Old Tree
  • Highly Commended Alison Rimes Free Range
  • Highly Commended Sukhvinder Saggu Still Life #19
  • Printmaking First Gillian Bellas The Edge of the Forrest
  • Pastels First Megan Dixon Dawes Harsh Country III
  • Second Tim Hardy Gully Blue Gums
  • Third Dian Jones Waiting for me?
  • Watercolour First Ray Barnett Before Parade
  • Second Josie Barac Mossy
  • Third Bill Causebrook Mt Ainslie
  • Highly Commended Cheryl Hodges Heleborus
  • Highly Commended Bruce Morris Street Scene II
  • Highly Commended Victoria Doyle Red Kayak – Day’s End

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Helen Musa
“CityNews” arts editor


  1. I would like to thank Helen Musa for not using the words disability or down syndrome in her article. Such refreshing reportage brought tears to my eyes. I would also like to thank the photographer for portraying Fraser in a light which did not highlight here’s what is known as his disability. Ypu broke new ground thank you,

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