Award founder buys Dunedin artist's work, Otago Daily Times / by Sam Foley

Winning the People's Choice Award at the prestigious Wallace Art Awards in Auckland was humbling and inspiring.

But Dunedin artist Sam Foley says having his winning artwork bought by the art competition's founder was another shade of excitement altogether.

"The fact that it has been installed in James Wallace's house is great. He's got the biggest collection of artwork in the country. It's nice to be part of his collection because it will be seen."

Mr Foley's "kinetic painting" of Canongate and Serpentine Ave at night was popular with crowds viewing the work during its tour around New Zealand art galleries last year.

It used a digital projector to shine lights on the painting, which made street lights glow and cars with headlights shining drive up and down the streets. "It captures people's imagination."

Mr Foley (31) said the idea was inspired by a trip to some of Europe's contemporary art galleries which had projections of moving images on walls.

"So, I thought I would like to do something similar myself, but I didn't want to move too far from what I was already doing. Combining the two mediums sounded like a good idea."

Mr Foley has landscape and historical artworks in many public and private collections throughout Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Germany, and is a regular exhibitor in Auckland, Dunedin and Sydney.

Previous awards for his art include the 2008 Norfolk House Realist Invitational People's Choice Award, first equal in the 2007 Parklane Art Awards and the Peoples Choice Awards at the 2005 and 2003 Cleveland Art Awards.