2021 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize call for entries and judges revealed

MGA-Christian-Thompson,-Rule-of-three,-2020Over the last 15 years, the William and Winifred 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.

Entries are now open and MGA invites artists to submit photographic work created over the last year – a year that we will all never forget, with the shortlisted works exhibited at the gallery in September.

“The last year has been one of turmoil, as the global pandemic began to transform all our lives,” said Anouska Phizacklea, MGA Director. “This rapid change marks a paradigm shift in the way artists live and work.”

“The Bowness Photography Prize is an anchor to our annual programming, and this year’s prize will speak to a pivotal moment in all of our lives. How artists have chosen to respond to this shift is something that we are eagerly anticipating – as artists add their voices to our cultural record.”

The winning work will be awarded $30,000 and will be acquired into MGA’s nationally significant collection of Australian photographs. The Smith & Singer People’s Choice Award will be voted by the public with the recipient receiving $5,000.

The MGA Foundation recognises the importance of supporting practicing artists, and the positive impact the prize money for both the winner and Smith & Singer People’s Choice Award will have on the recipients.

MGA is also welcoming back Colour Factory as a supporter of the Honourable Mentions selected by the judges. Colour Factory is a fine art photographic studio in Melbourne offering fine art printing vouchers to the three recipients.

“We are excited to start another season of entries for the Bowness Photography Prize. With a focus on excellence, this prize continues to highlight Australian contemporary photography,” said Kallie Blauhorn, Chair of the MGA Foundation.

“Each year we are amazed by the calibre of creativity from both emerging and established artists and cannot wait to see what this year’s prize brings.”

“We look forward to receiving entries from photographers across the country whom, if selected, will be a part of the 2021 Bowness Photography Prize exhibition later in the year and be eligible to win our $30,000 award.”

The MGA Foundation has also announced that MGA Director Anouska Phizacklea will be joined on the judging panel by award winning artist Del Kathryn Barton and Karen Quinlan AM, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, Australia. 

Entries for the William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize are now open and close Wednesday 30 June. Finalists announced: Thursday 29 July. Exhibition dates: 9 September – 7 November. Award announced: Thursday 16 September 2021. For more information and entry guidelines, visit: www.mga.org.au for details.

Image: Christian Thompson, Rule of three, 2020 from the series Flower walls, 2018–20 chromogenic prints 120.0 x 120.0 cm (each) Monash Gallery of Art, City of Monash Collection  courtesy of the artist, Sarah Scout Presents (Melbourne) and Michael Reid (Sydney + Berlin)