West Australian Aboriginal artist Ben Ward has won the 6th annual John Fries Award 2015 for emerging artists for his painting Our Country, taking home $10,000 in cash. Ward is the first Indigenous artist and first West Australian artist in the history of the award to win the prize. Despite picking up a paintbrush just four years ago, 65-year-old Ward, a paraplegic, has developed a distinctive painting style: using brightly coloured tessellating triangles to depict his local Miriwoong country. At 2.4 metres wide, Our Country is the largest in a series of 18 paintings that represent the landscape as it was before the Lake Argyle Dam, Western Australia’s largest artificial lake, was constructed near Kununurra in the east Kimberley in the early 1970s. Ward says,“…all that’s underwater now, and that’s what I paint. Everything that’s underwater, I remember every bit of it. “I began paint

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