Finalists announced for 2024 National Photography Prize

Murray Art Museum Albury (MAMA) photo by Jeremy WeihrauchMurray Art Museum Albury (MAMA) has announced the 14 contemporary artists who have been selected as finalists for the $30,000 National Photography Prize 2024, Australia’s longest-running acquisitive photographic award.

Established in 1983, the biennial acquisitive Prize offers a unique opportunity to consider the vital role of photography in contemporary art in Australia. The Prize brings together artists from across the nation who are pushing the boundaries of photographic practice, expanding and developing existing languages and techniques.

The 2024 National Photography Prize finalists include leading Australian artists and collectives Alex Walker & Daniel O’Toole, Ali McCann, Ali Tahayori, Ellen Dahl, Ioulia Panoutsopoulos, Izabela Pluta, Kai Wasikowski, Nathan Beard, Olga Svyatova, Rebecca McCauley & Aaron Claringbold, Sammy Hawker, and Skye Wagner.

Selected by an expert panel comprising Bala Starr, Director, La Trobe Art Institute, Bendigo, Tiyan Baker, 2022 National Photography Prize Winner, and Nanette Orly, Curator, Murray Art Museum Albury, the finalists’ works traverse numerous themes and concepts including the environment and its degradation, family histories and connection to place, as well as spanning diverse photographic practices from large-scale installations, collages and assemblages, archival and chemical, to more intimate moments.

“MAMA is thrilled to announce the finalists of the National Photography Prize 2024,” said Nanette Orly, Curator, Murray Art Museum Albury. “The selected artists are engaged in incredibly diverse photographic practices which speaks to the incredible breadth of Australian contemporary photography.

“Each artist challenges and complicates photographic processes, while respecting the history, and contributing the future, of this artistic medium. We are looking forward to bringing these works together to develop a deeper appreciation for each artists’ practice with our local community and visitors to the region,” said Orly.

“It was by turns exciting, revelatory, and thought-provoking to review the diverse applications for the National Photography Prize 2024,” said Bala Starr, Director, La Trobe Art Institute, Bendigo. “The calibre of the submissions was outstanding. The works displayed a deep commitment to experimental methods of making, framing, and installation.”

“Through complex and nuanced installations, many seemed to be asking, what can photography do? The framing of this prize, including artist fees, high-level curatorial engagement and an exceptional exhibition environment, sets it apart from others in Australia and attracts the best photographic artists at all stages in their careers,” said Starr.

“The selected finalists all had very different relationships to photography,” said Tiyan Baker, Winner, National Photography Prize 2022. “Some were interested in photomontage, others in chemical processes, family or place, and others didn’t even take the photos themselves.”

“What they all share is a clear intention in their works, and the artistic skill to express themes that interest them, with feeling, originality, and intelligence,” said Baker.

The National Photography Prize 2024 and the John and Margaret Baker Memorial Fellowship judge will be Nici Cumpston OAM, Artistic Director, Tarnathi and Curator, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art at Art Gallery of South Australia.

In addition to the $30,000 major prize, the $5000 John and Margaret Baker Fellowship is awarded to an exceptional emerging artist, alongside a number of focused acquisitions.

Previous National Photography Prize recipients include Tiyan Baker (2022), Debra Phillips (2020) and Amanda Williams (2018), and John and Margaret Baker Fellowship recipients include Sara Oscar (2022), Hayley Millar-Baker (2020), and Ioulia Panoutsopoulos (2018).

The National Photography Prize exhibition will take place from 23 March to 1 September 2024. The winner will be announced at the opening on Saturday 23 March 2024 at Murray Art Museum Albury (MAMA). Entry to the exhibition is free. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Murray Art Museum Albury (MAMA) – photo by Jeremy Weihrauch