Looking down the lens of Australian Life

CoS-Dominic-Lorrimer-Haka-2019One of the country’s most prestigious photography competitions is inviting casual camera buffs and professional photographers to take part in its 18th year.

The Australian Life photography competition highlights life in Australia through the lens of photographers across the nation, from the epic to the intimate to the harsh and the fragile.

The City of Sydney’s annual competition offers a $10,000 cash prize and the opportunity to feature in an outdoor gallery along the St James walkway in Hyde Park.

A selection of 28 finalist images, and the stories behind each photograph, will feature in the gallery that will launch on 16 September. And, for the first time, there will be a People’s Choice award – a $5,000 Olympus professional pack will be presented at the closing of the exhibition on 10 October.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the much-loved competition was an opportunity for photographers to share their most engaging images from the past year that portray Australian life beyond the icons.

“Everyday occurrences, fleeting moments, unusual places, diverse cultures, celebrations and natural or artificial environments are the kinds of images we want to see,” said the Lord Mayor.

“What life is like in Australia and what it means is different for everyone and it’s always intriguing to see people’s unique perspectives captured in an image. Like many events in Sydney, we were disappointed to cancel last year’s competition because of the pandemic so I’m thrilled that our very popular competition can now go ahead.”

In 2019, Dominic Lorrimer from Darlington won the $10,000 prize for his work Haka. Captured at Lakemba mosque following the Christchurch massacre, the image shows students from Punchbowl High School embracing in a moment of reflection before performing the Haka outside the mosque.

The judges described the work as “a powerful image of unity during a distinct time in Australia and New Zealand’s history.”

A panel of judges, including National Geographic photographer, Michaela Skovranova and Magnum Photo Agency member, Trent Parke, will select the final 28 images. The 2021 winner will then be announced at the opening of the Australian Life exhibition which will be curated by photographer Sandy Edwards.

Australian Life is part of the City of Sydney’s year-round Art & About program of events and temporary art projects in unusual spaces throughout the city. Entries are now open and close at midnight on Friday 25 May 2021. For more information, visit: www.artandabout.com.au for details.

Image: Dominic Lorrimer, Haka, 2019 (detail) – courtesy of the City of Sydney