A Tom Price local has taken out top prize at the Cossack Art Awards for her hyper-realistic portrait of a beloved community member. The 31st Cossack Art Award winners were announced on Saturday, July 22 with more than 280 pieces of art submitted into the competition this year for a total prize pool of $89,000. Jenna Pickering won the award for Best Overall Artwork for her piece Looking Beyond, a detailed portrait of Tom Price’s beloved Aunty Joyce. She said she was first drawn to painting incredibly realistic portraits because people’s faces fascinated her. “I love portraits and don’t paint much else besides the features of people,” she said “I enjoy realism, which most people find quite boring, but when I look at someone I think that they’re a work of art so why would I not want to include every single feature on their face? “Each wrinkle, each hair, each individual part of their face is their story.” Pickering received $20, 000 for taking out the top prize and she said that given the level of competition, she was completely surprised to have won. “This is the first award I’ve ever won and to win the top prize is incredible because there were so many great pieces of art,” she said. “I couldn’t have been more surprised and more in shock.” Best Painting by a Pilbara Artist and Best Pilbara Landscape Painting were won by Pine Byrne and Lyne Franke respectively. Pickering moved to Tom Price six years ago and said that the region had heavily influenced her art. “The longer you live up here, the more it gets in your blood and you don’t want to leave,” she said. “It’s such a beautiful place and you just get to know everyone and though I haven’t lived here forever, I just can’t seem to leave.” The Cossack Art Awards are an annual event that showcases work from across the Pilbara and Australia.