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William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize, now a total prize pool of $35,000

BY Monash Gallery of Art | 14-Jun-2019
Support from the MGA Foundation and Sotheby’s Australia brings the prize pool for the 2019 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize to a total of $35,000 – an exciting prospect for Australian artists working with the medium of photography.
Venue: Monash Gallery of Art
Address: 860 Ferntree Gully Road Wheelers Hill VIC
Date: 29 May - 10 July 2019
Web: http://mga.org.au/bowness-prize
: https://www.facebook.com/Bowness.Photography.Prize/
: https://www.instagram.com/mga_photography/
: https://twitter.com/MGA_photography
EMail: bowness@monash.vic.gov.au
Call: 03 8544 0500
William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize
Portrait of Behrouz Boochani, Manus Island 2018
from the series Remain
courtesy of the artist
The Bowness Photography Prize has become an important survey of contemporary photographic practice and one of the most prestigious prizes in the country, providing Australian artists with the opportunity to exhibit at one of Australia's leading public galleries. Since 2017 the prize has been acquisitive and the $30,000 cash prize awarded to the winner ensures that it continues to provide a significant boost to an artist’s career. The Sotheby’s Australia People’s Choice Award has been doubled this year from $2,500 to $5,000.

Anouska Phizacklea, MGA Director commented that: ‘The Bowness Photography Prize creates an annual snapshot of what is going on in photography in Australia today and contributes to MGA’s mission of championing and supporting contemporary photographic artists. With no entry restrictions on size, genre or format, the prize celebrates the diversity of photographic practice and gives artists at any stage in their career the opportunity to get their work seen, not only by the judges, but also by new audiences and collectors. It will be incredibly exciting to see what our artists have in store for us this year.’

Joining MGA Director, Anouska Phizacklea, on the judging panel is the Director of Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Chris Saines and acclaimed artist Dr Christian Thompson AO. Saines is a leading light in the arts and cultural sector with over 35 years of experience leading galleries in Australia and New Zealand as a director, curatorial and collection manager, educator and curator. Thompson has built a reputation as one of Australia’s most significant contemporary artists, whose multidisciplinary practice engages mediums such as photography, video, sculpture, performance and sound. Thompson is represented in the MGA Collection as well as other leading national and international collections.

Kallie Blauhorn, Chair of the MGA Foundation commented, ‘With such a high calibre of judges, this year's prize is sure to attract some of Australia's best photographic talent. While we do not envy the judges’ task of selecting finalists, we know that their diverse perspectives and shared passion for the craft, will make for a great group of contemporary photographs. The Foundation, along with MGA supporters and the arts community, will surely be treated to a wonderful exhibition later in the year.’

History of the prize:

In 2005 the MGA Foundation was established with the aim of supporting MGA and its significant collection. At the time, Bill Bowness was Chair of the Board, and, under his leadership, the Board and the newly constituted Foundation soon recognised the importance of providing a platform for contemporary Australian photographers to showcase their work, which would simultaneously raise the profile of MGA and its unique commitment to photographic art. The following year the MGA Foundation launched the inaugural William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize to promote excellence in photography across all photographic media and stylistic genres by both established and emerging artists with work produced within the last year.

Important dates:

Entries open | Wednesday 29 May – 10 July 2019
Finalists announced | Friday 9 August 2019
Exhibition dates | 5 October – 17 November 2019
Winner announcement | Thursday 10 October 2019