2023 York Botanic Art Prize calls for entries

York-Art-Prize-Finalists-in-the-2020-Prize-Exhibition-photo-by-Louise-CoghillExpressions of interest are now invited for the 2023 York Botanic Art Prize from artists working across all mediums, including, and not limited to, painting, mixed media, works on paper, digital, video, photography, sculpture, jewellery and textiles.

Established in 2020, the York Botanic Art Prize is a much anticipated biennial event in the Australian art prize calendar. Held in the historic Wheatbelt town of York, in the Ballardong region of Western Australia it has a prize pool of $12,000.

Artists must respond specifically to the theme of native Western Australian flora and reference specific WA species; and work in any medium, expanding the field of what botanic art can be.

For the first time entries will be accepted from international artists in addition to entries from artists Australia-wide. Artists whose work challenges traditional notions and conventions of botanical art, in a sense botanical art in the expanded field are encouraged to enter.

Director Jenny Garroun said that the prize was created to showcase artistic engagement with Western Australia’s incredible native flora, and to draw attention to the issues and challenges that face its protection and conservation.

“Through the prize we hope to connect art with science, to drive change, conserve our natural environment and preserve biodiversity for the long term future of our planet, and in that process support new and important creative works,” said Ms Garroun.

More than 9000 people visited the exhibitions of the finalists held in 2020 and 2021. In 2021 the York Botanic Art Prize had 49 finalists were selected from 160+ entries. The winner was Mark Mohell for his video work Eupnea, 2021, digital video 00:02:00, species Eucalyptus Teraptera.

“A friend gave me the brochure for the inaugural art prize and since then I’ve submitted works to the York Prize,” said Mr Mohell. “In much of my recent work, I have focussed on the native plants of the Canberra region, so the prize aligned perfectly with my current area of focus.”

“When I read about the prize it prompted me to looking at other regions and how plants growing there are adapting to the areas in which they grow. This study has broadened the reach of my practice to see how plants adapt to their environment and the diversity around them, from a small plant to large ones.”

“Winning the prize validated my practice, made me more accepting of my art practice. To be recognised by your peers drives your passion. You see your work as a valid form of art.”

“Submitting to the prize does take work. The submission process and the calibre of previous work is taken into consideration, but I think this extra effort really reflected in the high calibre of entries for the prize,” said Mr Mohell.

With environmental scientist and presenter of ABC’s Gardening Australia, Professor Josh Byrne as Patron, the profile of the York Botanic Art Prize continues to grow. Judging panel in 2023 includes Dr Laetitia Wilson, Professor Fiona Stanley and Ron Bradfield Jnr. The Winner will receive $11,000, while the People’s Choice Winner will receive $1,000.

An exhibition of finalists will go on display from 26 November 2023 to 31 January 2024 at Gallery 152, 152 Avon Terrace, York (WA). The Winner will be announced on Sunday 26 November 2023. For more information and entry guidelines, visit: www.gallery152.com.au for details. Submissions close 18 July 2023.

Image: Finalists in the 2020 Prize Exhibition – photo by Louise Coghill