SEVEN Hills artist Darren Bell is confident of snatching the top prize of $40,000 in the 2012 NSW Aboriginal Art Prize, despite never having won a prize for his work.
He and 26 finalists are in the running for the best photographic works award, to be announced at Parliament House on October 17.
Bell, 37, was shortlisted for two works, Modern Culture and Kindred (pictured). Each is a dark and beautiful photographic exploration of the blending of two cultures.
"I based my view on comments by the judges, who say they love my works," Bell said.
"My friends and other artists also believe my time has come."
He and another artist Nicole Foreshaw recently exhibited 33 photographic works at Blacktown Arts Centre.
Although Bell describes himself as an amateur photographer, many considered him as one of the most exciting new artists on the contemporary scene.
He works as a client and community contact officer at the Department of Education and Communities in Sydney.
The 2012 Parliament of NSW Aboriginal art Prize will be on display at Parliament House from October 3 to November 4, 2012.
The winner's work will become part of the parliamentary art collection. More than $120,000 in scholarships will also be offered by the College of Fine Arts, UNSW, including the COFA Development Award and two student scholarships at the presentation.
Entry to the exhibition is free, with doors open 8.30am to 5pm Monday to Friday and a special Sunday viewing on November 4.