Polixeni Papapetrou wins $30,000 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize
Polixeni Papapetrou has been named as the winner of the $30,000 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize for her piece, Delphi, from the series, Eden. In 2017, the judges selected 59 finalists from 897 entries – the largest number of entries in the competition’s history. The Bowness Photography Prize became acquisitive for the first time this year, so Papapetrou’s winning work will become part of the Monash Gallery of Art (MGA) collection.
The prize was established by the MGA Foundation in 2006 to promote excellence in photography, and is open to any Australian photographer, amateur or professional, across any genre of photography, provided that the work has been produced in the last 12 months.
Each year a panel of three judges consider hundreds of entries and curates an exhibition of finalists before settling upon a single winner. This year’s panel consists of Australian architect, art patron and academic, Corbett Lyon, artist and educator, Dr Susan Fereday, and MGA Senior Curator, Stephen Zagala.
The exhibition of the 59 finalists also highlights some of the most interesting work being created by photographers today, and the Bowness Photography Prize has become an important annual survey of contemporary photography in Australia. Click here to see all the finalists.
In Eden I photographed girls adorned with floral arrangements to reflect on their metamorphosis from child to adolescent and adolescent to adult, and a oneness with the world, fertility and the cycles of life. By reflecting on the changing body of young people as they shed one skin for another, we are embedded in the cycles of life. The seasons of growth, blossoming and wilting are visibly illustrated in the life cycle of the flower which also highlights our mortality. In this world of flowers and girls, budding, blossoming, eventually consigned to wilting, culture folds itself upon nature in a floral embrace that cancels the gloom of inevitable mortality in this miraculous thing we call life.