CALL FOR ENTRIES: William & Winifred Bowness Photography Prize responds to COVID-19 and affirms its support of artists

Published by: Monash Gallery of Art | 25-May-2020
In 2020 MGA celebrates its 30th anniversary and the Bowness Photography Prize marks its 15th year. Over the last 15 years, the Bowness Photography Prize has emerged as an important annual survey of contemporary photographic practice in Australia and one of the most prestigious prizes in the country. The MGA Foundation is proud to announce the 2020 Bowness Photography Prize will proceed this year. In 2020 the prize will continue to grow and adapt as it responds to COVID-19 and the significant impact this is having on artists. The MGA Foundation recognises the importance of supporting practicing artists at such a challenging time, and the heightened impact the $30,000 Bowness Photography Prize and $5,000 Smith & Singer People's Choice Award will have on the recipients. #bownessprize @mga_photography #australianhomeofphotography
Venue: Monash Gallery of Art
Address: 860 Ferntree Gully Road Wheelers Hill VIC 3150
Date: Entries close 5pm Wednesday 8 July 2020
Call: 03 8544 0500
In light of COVID-19 restrictions and the impact on the sector the MGA Foundation has made a number of alterations to the prize this year. This includes reducing the entry fee from $55 to $35, extending the entry open period and working with its partner organisations to provide discounted rates for the production of works for exhibition. The MGA Foundation is committed to ensuring a physical as well as a virtual exhibition and has postponed the exhibition to later in the year, with the announcement of the recipient of the prize moving to early 2021.

Anouska Phizacklea, MGA Director commented that: At this unprecedented moment in our history, the Bowness Photography Prize takes on new meaning. The MGA Foundation were unwavering in their commitment to the prize as a response to the impact COVID-19 is having on practicing artists, recognising the significant financial impact the awards would have on the recipients. The Bowness Photography Prize remains a celebration of photographic practice in Australia, and gives artists at any stage in their career the opportunity to get their work seen, not only by the judges, but also by audiences as they delve into the diversity of photographic practice. Perhaps the most important aspect of the prize this year is that it has the incredible ability to bring the photographic community together and rally around the significant role photography and our artists play in society “ something important for us to celebrate at such a challenging time for the creative sector.'

The MGA Foundation is thrilled to announce that MGA Director Anouska Phizacklea will be joined on the judging panel by previous MGA Director and prize judge, Shaune Lakin, NGA Senior Curator of Photography and acclaimed artist Fiona Hall.

Kallie Blauhorn, Chair of the MGA Foundation commented, As a milestone year for the Bowness Photography Prize, we are excited to welcome back former MGA Director Shaune Lakin who will judge alongside renowned artist Fiona Hall. Joining MGA Director Anouska Phizacklea on the judging panel, they will select the best contemporary Australian photography for our 15th anniversary exhibition.

The MGA Foundation have always believed in the artistic importance of the Bowness Photography Prize and this year, in the wake of our global health issues, it takes on new social meaning. We hope that this year's prize will further validate the important role art plays in society by showcasing the best of humanity and consequently provide us all with more hope as we move forward.'

Important dates
Entries open | Wednesday 20 May “ 8 July 2020
Finalists announced | Thursday 13 August 2020
Exhibition dates | 31 October 2020 “ 7 February 2021

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