May 28, 2022

The Fourthny

Art is beauty

A photography prize that busts open blinkered silos

5 min read


Established in 2006, the Bowness Pictures Prize has rapidly grow to be Australia’s most important images prize. Presented by Monash Gallery of Artwork (MGA), and an initiative of the MGA Foundation, it aims to change our lens on pictures as a medium, pushing its boundaries and supporting artists operating across this dynamic present-day exercise.

What maybe can make this prize various from others is that it is very open up: it has no measurement constraints on entries no thematic limitations, no rigid genres, and delivers jointly those people new to the medium together with founded artists shaping photography nowadays.

MGA Director, Anouska Phizacklea instructed ArtsHub: ‘It is these kinds of a vital artform, and the more profile pictures gets within just the broader community, displaying just how highly effective and integral it is to every day daily life and as a way to communicate the subject areas that shape our lives, the improved.’

As an ongoing decide of the prize, Phizacklea mentioned the prize is an anchor to the gallery’s annual software.

‘There are plenty of prizes out there, but the reward of the Bowness Pictures Prize is that it seeks to continue to interact with artists, not only with acquisitions to our assortment, but by way of the Wai Tang Commissioning Award.’

As an entrant to the prize you can be in the running for the main $30,000 acquisition prize, a generous $5,000 People’s Option Award, and the $10,000 Wai Tang Commissioning Award to produce a new human body of do the job.

The benefits of moving into

Merely the finest benefit of any prize, is your operate getting found.

‘The performs are set in front of us, and as a amassing institution, we get to see artists who we really don’t know, who we do not see perhaps since they are regionally based, or not represented. This in convert prospects to a broadening of our exhibition program,’ said Phizacklea.

Each year we glance at the prize and ask how do we want to operate with these artists, and how do we want to create our selection for the future?

Anouska Phizacklea

She ongoing: ‘As judges you have to collaborate as a panel, to carry those people hundreds of entries down to 50 – 60 finalists. We all have to agree upon what will get through, so there is an aspect of dialogue. And with distinctive judges each 12 months, that range variations up the conversation and helps make certain new views come into the prize.

‘…it also implies that your get the job done is remaining location in entrance of some of the top images curators, directors and artists in Australia,’ Phizacklea additional.

She reminded that there is scope for all the finalists to be section of that prize pool thanks to a generous Smith & Singer People’s Alternative Award.

‘It is sizeable at $5,000 that truly helps make an influence to an artist, and men and women have to have to realise how a great deal voting in the prize can actually assist an artist’s observe and allow for their function to develop,’ Phizacklea discussed.

Whilst $5,000 is unbelievable to win, ‘$30,000 is a recreation changer,’ she ongoing of the principal prize, ‘and it goes a long way for an artist!’

She included that while these kinds of wins enable is effective to be created, it also lets the time and place to just pause, ‘something they just cannot manage otherwise economically.’

Jesse Marlow, Laser vision  2011 from the series Do not just notify them, display them. Monash Gallery of Artwork, City of Monash Selection. Courtesy of the artist.

Exhibition option

Added to wins on the table, the Wai Tang Commissioning Award is a golden expert growth option for a photographer, at any phase of their career.

MGA’s curatorial workforce will nominate 4 artists from the 2022 Bowness Images Prize exhibition to be deemed for the award. A person will be awarded a $10,000 commission to build a body of do the job for exhibition at MGA in 2023.

‘The Wai Tang Commissioning Award is actually thrilling! We required to have another ingredient to the prize that would support an artist’s follow,’ Phizacklea explained to ArtsHub.

Wai Tang served on MGA’s Administration Board (2018-2020). Phizacklea reported the commission in her identify captures ‘her enthusiasm for pictures and present-day art. She has been witness to the whole journey of the prize with the organisation. We truly wanted to pay homage to that by supporting an artist to acquire the upcoming stage.’

Katrin Koenning, Three 2018, from the series Lake Mountain. Monash Gallery of Art, City of Monash Selection. Courtesy of the artist and Reading through Space (Melbourne).

Tips on getting into

With regard to traits noticed about latest years, Phizacklea explained: ‘Obviously is effective that react to existing difficulties – the psychological, the social and the environmental always come out.’  She included that throughout these earlier two decades, a lot of artists had been restricted in their practice.

‘They couldn’t do what they normally to do, for case in point functioning with dwell photographic designs, or lockdowns forcing them to operate in domestic interiors. As a outcome, quite a few have experimented with other types of images some have moved back again into the darkish room, when many others have taken on a electronic type.’

Phizacklea explained they have also observed shifts as systems have altered, encouraging audiences rethink what pictures is today.

‘We’ve witnessed a alter in scale and scope as it has turn into significantly less costly to do issues, these as significant wallpaper functions. Artists continue on to adopt and adapt, and that is the important to the prize,’ she additional.

This is exactly where the worth of this prize’s acquisitive foundation will come into participate in. By it MGA have amassed a person of the most interesting collections of modern day pictures in Australia, as a pulse for the medium.

Her information? ‘If you come to feel that your do the job is effective and resolved, then just give it a go!’

Want to know 

Entries open: Wednesday 11 May perhaps 2022
Entries close: 5pm (AEST) Wednesday 29 June 2022
Finalists introduced: Thursday 28 July 2022
Exhibition dates: 29 September – 13 November 2022
Award announcement: Thursday 6 Oct 2022

Prizes include things like: an acquisitive hard cash prize of $30,000 for the profitable function a People’s Alternative Award of $5,000 supported by Smith & Singer, and the 2023 Wai Tang Commissioning Award for an exhibition opportunity.

The prize is open up to all Australian citizens or residents operating in nevertheless pictures, and with a do the job established in the earlier 12-months.

To browse entry specs and find the answers to your questions.



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