COFA graduate Nigel Milsom has won the 2012 Sulman Prize for his painting depicting the social isolation of gambling.

Milsom has both a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Master of Fine Arts from COFA.

Milsom’s oil on linen painting, titled Judo House pt 4 (Golden Mud), explores gambling in every day life, “whether it be with one’s life, money, career or simply in the day-to-day decisions we all make,” Milsom explains.

He was inspired to paint the image after meeting a widowed man at a bus stop, whose only form of social interaction was a weekly trip to the leagues club, where he would bet on the horses.

Milsom says he aimed to capture feelings of “social loneliness” and mystery in his winning work.

The $30,000 prize, awarded by the Art Gallery of NSW, was judged this year by Susan Norrie. The Sir John Sulman Prize is awarded annually for the best subject/genre painting and/ or mural project by an Australian artist.

The exhibition runs concurrently with the Archibald and Wynne Prizes, at the AGNSW, until June 3.