$10,000 Percival Photographic Portrait Prize awarded
Every two years, the Townsville City Council’s 2018 Percival Photographic Portrait Prize awards an overall winner $10,000. An acquisitive prize, the winning image becomes part of the city gallery’s permanent collection. In 2018, the Prize was awarded to Kellie Leczinska for her portrait, Mbathio, Marrickville.
The prize was judged by Judy Annear – previously Senior Curator of Photographs at AGNSW, where she established the collection and curated major national and international exhibitions, and Cherie McNair – Director Australian Centre for Photography.
Townsville City Council Galleries received 140 entries for the Percival Portrait Photographic Prize 2018 exhibition, with 77 finalists ( of which 32 are from the region) on display at The Pinnacles Gallery (Riverway Art Centre). The exhibition, which runs until 15 July.
About the image
“I met Mbathio at her fabric shop in Marrickville,” Leczinska says. “I was incredibly inspired by this strong and driven mother who dedicates her time assisting outreach communities in Africa.” She photographed Mbathio, lavishly dressed in her store, amongst the textiles she sources from local producers in Western Africa, supporting women in developing countries.
In 2018, Leczinska will continue her series about inspirational women in leadership roles. “I am hoping that the images portray that in every dark place there is help and always hope for the future,” she says.
Mbathio immigrated to Australia from Senegal a decade ago. She works as an epidemiologist, and in recent years commenced a project developing a Maternity Waiting Home in Senegal. The country has one of the highest infant and maternal fatality rates in the world, and claims more than 1,800 mothers and 35,000 babies each year. The Maternity Home provides a temporary place for at-risk pregnant women living in remote areas granting access to an equipped hospital for a safe and supervised delivery.