William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize exhibition

Established in 2006 to promote excellence in photography, the annual William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize is an initiative of the MGA Foundation. The Bowness Photography Prize has become one of Australia’s most coveted photography prizes.

© Jacqui Stockdale. Duel of the mount 1 2018, from the series, Ghost Hoovanah. Chromogenic print, 140 x 110 cm, courtesy of the artist and Olsen Gallery (Sydney).
Artist statement: ‘Duel of the Mount 1’ depicts a pair of ‘intruders’ or ‘newcomers’ into the Australian narrative. It is part of my recent photographic series titled, Ghost Hoovanah (2018) that speaks to the history of migration through a complex system of symbols and visual cues. Both costumed horse and rider stand defiantly in front of a seven metre hand-painted backdrop of mullocks (waste rock from gold mining). In 1851 this location became part of the Chinese precinct in Bendigo, Victoria known as Die Gum San, meaning Big Gold Mountain. I use this background scene as metaphor for a land of dualities.
© Jacqui Stockdale. Duel of the mount 1 2018, from the series, Ghost Hoovanah. Chromogenic print, 140 x 110 cm, courtesy of the artist and Olsen Gallery (Sydney). Artist statement: ‘Duel of the Mount 1’ depicts a pair of ‘intruders’ or ‘newcomers’ into the Australian narrative. It is part of my recent photographic series titled, Ghost Hoovanah (2018) that speaks to the history of migration through a complex system of symbols and visual cues. Both costumed horse and rider stand defiantly in front of a seven metre hand-painted backdrop of mullocks (waste rock from gold mining). In 1851 this location became part of the Chinese precinct in Bendigo, Victoria known as Die Gum San, meaning Big Gold Mountain. I use this background scene as metaphor for a land of dualities.

The exhibition features the shortlisted works for the 2019 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize. This year, 58 pieces have been selected by the judging panel: Director of Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Chris Saines, acclaimed artist Dr Christian Thompson AO, and MGA Director, Anouska Phizacklea.

© Ingvar Kenne. 
Untitled 2018, from the series, The Ball. Chromogenic print, 70 x 70 cm, courtesy of the artist.
Artist statement: Bachelor and Spinster Balls take place across rural Australia, events originally designed to overcome distance; formalised social congregations providing an opportunity for locals to meet potential life partners. They have, over time, dissolved into chaos, anarchy and an urge to disconnect from the established.
Today B&S Balls are symptomatic of apathy towards times gone and indeed what lies ahead. Without that connection back in time, can we form an idea of what the future should behold?
Here, the steadfast pattern of confusion and disorder begin to reveal something else. The chaos becomes both a representation and a metaphor for living only in the now with an intensity that perhaps suggests that life is forever and neither yesterday nor tomorrow matter.
© Ingvar Kenne. Untitled 2018, from the series, The Ball. Chromogenic print, 70 x 70 cm, courtesy of the artist. Artist statement: Bachelor and Spinster Balls take place across rural Australia, events originally designed to overcome distance; formalised social congregations providing an opportunity for locals to meet potential life partners. They have, over time, dissolved into chaos, anarchy and an urge to disconnect from the established. Today B&S Balls are symptomatic of apathy towards times gone and indeed what lies ahead. Without that connection back in time, can we form an idea of what the future should behold? Here, the steadfast pattern of confusion and disorder begin to reveal something else. The chaos becomes both a representation and a metaphor for living only in the now with an intensity that perhaps suggests that life is forever and neither yesterday nor tomorrow matter.

The selection of Australian artists presents a picture of Australia as a multicultural, quirky, and extraordinary place. The shortlist reveals artists’ continued fascination with exploring and pushing the boundaries of the photographic medium, embracing its capacity to explore a diversity of voices and perspectives.

© Benjamin Liew. Broken 2018, from the series, Torino the Italian Greyhound. Pigment ink-jet print, 45 x 60 cm, courtesy of the artist.
© Benjamin Liew. Broken 2018, from the series, Torino the Italian Greyhound. Pigment ink-jet print, 45 x 60 cm, courtesy of the artist.

Katrin Koenning won the $30,000 acquisitive William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize with her work Three, from the series, Lake Mountain (2018). Colour Factory Honourable Mentions went to Zia Atahi, Polly Borland, and Angela Tiatia.

Finalists

Rochelle Marie Adam, Riste Andrievski, Jonathan Armstrong, Zia Atahi, Simon Aubor, Sarah Barker, Sofi Basseghi, Greg Bilton, Polly Borland, Anna Carey, Céleste Cebra, Danica Chappell, Peta Clancy, David Collins, Ross Coulter, Emilio Cresciani, Chloe Dann, Gerwyn Davies, Shoufay Derz, Jo Duck, Stephen Dupont, Cherine Fahd, James Farley, George Fetting, Robert Fielding, J Forsyth, Andrea Francolini, Jon Frank, Lee Grant, Mark Harper, Fiona Kemp, Ingvar Kenne, Katrin Koenning, Benjamin Liew, Louis Lim, Ruth Maddison, Koji Makino, Danie Mellor, Anne Moffat, Bill Moseley, Tajette O'Halloran, Sean Paris, Sonia Payes, Clare Rae, Asanka Brendon Ratnayake, Justin Ridler, Simone Rosenbauer, David Rosetzky, Jo Scicluna, Vivian Cooper Smith, Jacqui Stockdale, Nathan Stolz, Angela Tiatia, Lisa Tomasetti, James Tylor, Justine Varga, Lydia Wegner, and Adele Wilkes.

Follow this link to view all the finalists.

© Adele Wilkes. Untitled 2018, from the series, Of rats and roses. Pigment ink-jet print, 35 x 55 cm, courtesy of the artist.
Artist statement: Spanning documentary film, photography, and video art, and compelled by a fascination with personal and communal mythology, my work often inhabits the ambiguous realm between reality and fiction. I seek out elevated, cinematic moments in everyday life, and combine the observational and candid with elements of invention or intervention.
‘Untitled’ depicts a young drag queen named Max. It is from a broader series in which, over the past five years, I have documented Melbourne’s queer nightlife while following the story of Rat, a sixty-something punk who, after visiting a drag show, was galvanised to gender transition, eventually becoming Milly Rose. My film and photographic project, Of rats and roses, captures this inclusive, diverse subculture which has supported countless people to transform and express themselves through performance art.
© Adele Wilkes. Untitled 2018, from the series, Of rats and roses. Pigment ink-jet print, 35 x 55 cm, courtesy of the artist. Artist statement: Spanning documentary film, photography, and video art, and compelled by a fascination with personal and communal mythology, my work often inhabits the ambiguous realm between reality and fiction. I seek out elevated, cinematic moments in everyday life, and combine the observational and candid with elements of invention or intervention. ‘Untitled’ depicts a young drag queen named Max. It is from a broader series in which, over the past five years, I have documented Melbourne’s queer nightlife while following the story of Rat, a sixty-something punk who, after visiting a drag show, was galvanised to gender transition, eventually becoming Milly Rose. My film and photographic project, Of rats and roses, captures this inclusive, diverse subculture which has supported countless people to transform and express themselves through performance art.

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