Tropical fruit takes out $50k art award

·1-min read

Perth artist Nathan Beard has been named as the inaugural winner of the $50,000 Minderoo Artist Fund Award.

His winning project, titled Low Yield Fruit, is a series of sculptures made from cast bronze and silicone, inspired by fruit from Thailand.

"My background is Thai Australian, and tropical fruit is a pretty great metaphor for exploring ideas of acquired taste," he said.

The 35-year-old artist described the prize money as life-changing, enabling him to make art without juggling other work, but he said he was surprised to hear he'd won.

"It was really lovely, I got pretty emotional... I hadn't really won anything like that before."

The fund offers grants or residencies to 10 mid-career West Australian artists each year, with the award winner chosen from the participants.

The award was announced at a presentation in Perth on Thursday night.

The Minderoo Foundation is one of Australia's largest philanthropic organisations, funded by dividends from iron ore miner Fortescue Metals Group.

Fortescue has been involved in a long-running dispute with WA's Yindjibarndi people over the payment of compensation for mining carried out on their land without an agreement.

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