Point Cook artist Anindita Banerjee, whose work explores her cultural heritage and the ethnic rituals of her birthplace, has taken out the prestigious People’s Choice Award for the Wyndham Art Prize.
Ms Banerjee was recognised as having created the most popular artwork at a special event at the Wyndham Art Gallery on Thursday, 8 June.
Taking home $2,000 for her efforts, Wyndham City’s Arts, Culture and Heritage portfolio holder, Cr Tony Hooper, said Ms Banerjee should be proud of how far she had come as an artist in such a short time.
“Just a few years ago Ms Banerjee was working in the IT industry before making the daunting decision to become a professional artist,” Cr Hooper said.
“Ms Banerjee is a real success story. She originally approached Council’s Arts and Culture Team for advice on how she could make a living out of her art. Later she had a consultation with the curator of the Wyndham Art Gallery, in which she was faced with some hard truths about what she needed to do in order to grow as an artist,” he added.
Cr Hooper said this then led Ms Banerjee to decide to go back to university to get qualifications in her new field and is now studying to complete her PhD in Creative Arts at Deakin University and even has her own business as an art teacher.
“The fact that she has now been awarded as having the most popular artwork in the Wyndham Art Prize, an exhibition which was held at the same gallery she approached for advice just a few years ago, is really amazing,” he said, calling her a “great example of a very committed artist whose career is going ahead in leaps and bounds”.
He added that visitors to the Wyndham Art Gallery obviously felt a strong connection to her work, with it receiving twice the number of votes than the next closest candidate.