Presented by Midsumma Festival and Australia Post
Australia's leading queer art award - submissions for the 2019 art prize are now closed
Since its inauguration in 2016 the Midsumma and Australia Post Art Prize has quickly established itself as an important award in the ecology of the arts. With finalists selected from across the country, the non-acquisitive annual award is a survey of outstanding queer artists working across mediums reflecting their potent personal and political perspectives on the world.
With a prize pool valued over $10,000, the art prize is open nation-wide to artists in any medium. Finalists are exhibited at No Vacancy Gallery from 22 January to 3 February 2019 as part of Midsumma Festival.
Judges of the Major Award of $5000 include Francis Parker (MUMA), Madé Spencer-Castle (Centre for Contemporary Photography) and Gary Starr (Australia Post's Executive General Manager, Business and Government; and PostPride Executive Sponsor). The Star Observer Award of $1000 returns in 2019; and Midsumma is excited to introduce the Bundoora Homestead Art Centre Residency Award (includes an artist fee, residency opportunity and public outcome). Throughout the exhibition visitors to the No Vacancy Gallery can vote for the $1000 People's Choice Award.
Midsumma Festival is delighted to present this event as part of our ongoing partnership with Australia Post. Celebrating diversity and inclusion is important to Australia Post. They are committed to supporting their Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer employees and driving positive change to create more inclusiveness not just throughout their workforce but throughout the wider community.
Read on to learn about submitting for the award, or go to 2019 Midsumma and Australia Post Art Prize for details about the 2019 Midsumma Festival exhibition.
Submissions close: Friday 23 November 2018
Finalists notified and announced: December 2018
Exhibition Opening and Awards Announced: Tuesday 22 January 2019
Exhibition: 23 January to 3 February 2019
De-install: Sunday 3 February 2019, evening
The 2019 winners will be announced at the Midsumma and Australia Post Art Prize opening on Tuesday 22 January, except for the People's Choice Award, which will be announced upon conclusion of the exhibition. The 2019 finalists are:
Alisha Abate is an emerging contemporary artist and creative producer, living and working in Melbourne. She graduated from a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Sculptural and Spatial practice) from Victorian College of the Arts. Alisha's family migrated from Italy to Melbourne's West in 1959 where they began working in local industries. Her sculptural practice explores how the living body inhabits space and the reciprocal relationship of how space is seen and constructed.
Alisha has previously participated in residencies at Testing Grounds and Melbourne's Living Museum of the West where her work went on to be published in internationally distributed Inflexion Journal. Alisha has produced shows as a part of Midsumma Festival and Melbourne Fringe, exhibited extensively in galleries around Melbourne and is the recipient of awards from West Space and Chapman & Bailey.
Alun Rhys Jones
Alun Rhys Jones graduated with Honours from the National Art School, Sydney in 2011. His work has been exhibited extensively throughout Australia and internationally. Since graduating he has participated in twelve solo exhibitions and more than 30 group shows. Notable exhibitions include The Binary Show at Crowther Contemporary, Docklands, Melbourne; Solo at The Other Art Fair London, 11th Edition, Bloomsbury, London; #Celebrity at Gallerysmith Project Space, Melbourne; Colour Union™ at Iain Dawson Gallery, Sydney; Solo Show at Edwina Corlette Gallery, Brisbane; POP LIVING at Schwartz Gallery, London; the Salon Des Refusés at S.H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney and Allsorts, Gould Galleries, Melbourne.
Alun Rhys Jones has been shortlisted for over 40 Awards and Prizes including the Doug Moran National Art Prize, the Paul Guest Prize, the Churchie National Emerging Art Prize, the Rick Amor Drawing Prize and the Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing. He has been Highly Commended in the Chippendale New World Art Prize, Clayton Utz Art Award, Waverley Art Prize and the John Olsen Prize for Figure Drawing and was the winner of the North Sydney Art Prize Painting Award in 2012.
Danielle Reynolds is a multi-disciplinary artist who creates works that comprise interchangeable components of: large-scale painting, sculpture, moving image, sound and performance. Her work is generated from a studio practice that engages with notions of not knowing and failure as desirable states to work from/with. The resulting work commonly employs recurrent themes of humour, gesture, popular culture and futility. Danielle completed her Honours at VCA (Victoria College of Arts) following the completion of a Bachelor of Fine Arts at RMIT University in 2015. Danielle spent six months studying at Chelsea College of Arts: The University of Arts London. In 2017 she was selected for the Next Wave Kickstart Helix Program to develop and present Canine Choreography in the 2018 Next Wave Festival. Danielle has exhibited nationally and internationally in a number of group and solo shows: most recently she performed and exhibited work in Every Dog Will Have Its Day at Casula Powerhouse, and The Ronan Keating prophecy: Life Is A Rollercoaster ("just gotta ride it") at Mailbox Art Space.
Dexter Rosengrave is a queer transgender emerging artist based in Hobart, Tasmania. Their work currently exists at the intersection of endurance performance, multimedia, gender, body and identity. Rosengrave investigates the materiality of objects and how they transform alongside the body while their performances are self-inflicted agitations that promote corporeal and emotional awareness. Their lived experience of being queer and transgender has recently shifted to the forefront of their practice and they are developing a significant interest in community focused art projects which blend archival documents and personal stories with queer history. Rosengrave completed their Bachelor of Fine Arts with first class Honours in 2018 at the University of Tasmania. They have had several solo exhibitions and numerous group exhibitions and exhibited as part of Dark Mofo Festival in 2018. They have performed for and worked alongside Mike Parr and Marina Abramović and they were recently awarded the 2019 funded Rosamond McCulloch Residency in Paris as well as an ANZ and Sydney Mardi Gras Community Grant.
Ella Sowinska is an artist and filmmaker who graduated with an honours degree in fine art from MADA at Monash University in 2013, and a masters degree in film and television from The Victorian College of the Arts in 2018. Since 2013, Ella has exhibited throughout Australia and internationally in solo and group exhibitions. Her work has been included in the Mildura Palimpsest Biennial, as well as recent exhibitions at TCB and The Honeymoon Suite. In 2018 Ella screened her film Round One at queer film festivals worldwide and was awarded the Emerging Filmmaker Award at Short Cuts Film Festival, Melbourne. Ella's film 80 Ways was exhibited on the online platform Recess in 2018, and received a positive review by MEMO in their recent Best and overlooked of 2018 segment. Working predominately in video, installation and live performance, Ella's recent projects have been concerned with the representation of intimacy and desire in non-fiction screen based works from a queer perspective. Ella lives and works in Naarm Melbourne on the unceded sovereign land of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation.
Georgia Robenstone is a queer artist and writer based in Melbourne, Australia. The general focus of her research is the following question: can a position that is overlooked be reclaimed as a site of power? Her work is the result of this research, and predominantly takes the form of video, performance and text.
Georgia has exhibited widely in Australia, and in the Netherlands while living there in 2012-13. Recent exhibitions include a public projection commissioned by the City of Yarra, and solo shows at Sawtooth ARI in Launceston and Bus Projects in Melbourne. In 2017, she was a finalist in the Keith and Elisabeth Murdoch Travelling Fellowship and the Incinerator Art Award.
Georgia graduated with First Class Honours from the Victorian College of the Arts in 2015, and will commence a Master of Fine Art at the Glasgow School of Art in 2019 with the generous support of the Rae and Edith Bennett Travelling Scholarship.
Kate Just is an established artist who works with sculpture, installation, neon, textiles and photography to produce contemporary art works that promote queer and feminist representations of the body and experience. Specific to Just's practice is the use of knitting as an engaging sculptural medium and an unwitting political tool. In addition to her highly crafted solo artworks, Just often works collaboratively within the community to create large scale, public projects that tackle significant social issues including sexual harassment and violence against women. Kate Just holds a PhD in Sculpture from Monash University, a Master of Arts from RMIT University, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Victorian College of the Arts.
Just has exhibited across Australia in over one hundred group and solo exhibitions including at NGV, NGA, ACCA, Artspace, the Melbourne Art Fair, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Craft Victoria, Gertrude Contemporary, CCP, and PICA. Internationally she has exhibited her work at AIR Gallery in New York, at the ICA in Richmond Virginia, the Rijswijk Museum in the Netherlands, Kunsthalle Krems in Austria, Sanskriti Gallery in New Delhi and Youkobo Artspace in Tokyo.
Kate Power is a graduate with first class Honours from the South Australian School of Art. She has been awarded the Constance Gordon-Johnson Sculpture and Installation Prize, Carclew Professional Development grants and Helpmann Academy grants. Power has exhibited at West Space (VIC); Ace Open (SA); the Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia (SA); Lawrence Wilson Gallery (WA); BLINDSIDE (VIC); Fontanelle (SA); Paper Mountain (WA); FELTspace (SA) and Light Square Gallery (SA). She has recently undertaken residencies at The British School at Rome, NARS Foundation in Brooklyn, New York and SIM in Reykjavik, Iceland.
Nicholas Smith is an artist working in Narrm, Melbourne. He graduated from Monash University with a Bachelor of Fine Art (Honours) in 2013. Recent shows include: Cooled pride, roused ardour, BUS Projects, 2018; I am crying, Firstdraft, 2017; Swaddle me, West Space, 2017; Forget-me-not, Recess, 2017; Feint Understanding, Tcb Art Inc., 2016; searching for something, Mildura Palimpsest Biennale #10, 2015. He has recently held a residency at Frontyard Projects Inc. in Marrickville, Sydney, and a collaborative residency with Olivia Koh and Jimmy Nuttall at NextWave's Brunswick Mechanics Institute. In 2019, he will be undertaking a ceramics residency at Kingston Arts.
Olivia Koh is a video artist and recently participated in an Artist Development at the Brunswick Mechanics Institute with Nicholas Smith and Jimmy Nuttall. Solo exhibitions include For Huntz (BUS Projects, 2017), and if that were your name (tcb art inc., 2016). Recent group presentations include Artist Facilitated Biennale (2018-20), Act 1: Anxiety (with Rosie Isaac, Nicholas Smith, Jimmy Nuttall, MPavillion, 2018), I break away from all conventions that do not lead to my earthly success and happiness (SOP, 2018), how can you tell for sure (Contemporary Art Tasmania, 2017), Specimen (ccp, 2017). She undertook a residency at Green Papaya Art Projects in Manila (2017) through the NAVA Freedman Travelling Scholarship (2016-18). She co-organises recess [recess.net.au] with Nina Gilbert and Kate Meakin, an online platform for moving-image works.
Born in Melbourne in 1987, Paul Yore completed studies in painting, ancient history, archaeology and anthropology at Monash University in 2010. Recent exhibitions include: It Takes a Village, Humber Street Art Gallery, Hull; Paul Yore, Sunday Art Fair, London; and Mad Love, A3 Arnt Art Agency, Berlin. Yore has undertaken residencies at Artspace, Sydney; Seoul Artspace Geumcheon; and Gertrude Contemporary Artspaces. A recipient of several grants including an Australia Council Arts Project Grant and a Marten Bequest Travelling scholarship, Yore's work is represented in collections including the Heide Museum of Modern Art, Si Shang Art Museum and the Buxton Contemporary Art Museum.
Rosie Isaac is an artist and a writer. She makes performances, texts and sculptures and is particularly interested in authority, morality, language and myth. Recently her works have been made in and about a church, a library, a courtroom and a hotel.
Rosie Isaac graduated from a Bachelor Fine Art (Hons) at MADA in 2014 and undertook a year of study at the Glasgow School of Art in 2011-12. Isaac's recent solo/collaborative exhibitions and performances include: Intestine in my eye, Next Wave Festival 2018; X minute house, with Aodhan Madden, MUMA/NETS touring exhibition Seeing Voices, 2018; Back Ward Play, Gertrude Glasshouse, 2017; AGILE LIE, West Space, Melbourne, 2017; There will be a lot of repetition here, as part of Polyphonic Social, curated by Liquid Architecture, Abbotsford Convent, Melbourne, 2017. Isaac was a studio resident at Gertrude Contemporary 2016-18.
Sean Miles (Ngati Raukawa) is a cute queer trickster artist living as an uninvited guest in unceded Kulin nation territory.
Their multi-disciplinary art practice spans across performance, photography, video, installation and sculpture.
Winners of the 2018 Midsumma and Australia Post Art Prize
Finalists of the 2018 Midsumma and Australia Post Art Prize
Winners of the 2017 Midsumma and Australia Post Art Prize
Midsumma Art Prize, donated by Martin Foley MP, Member for Albert Park, Minister for Equality: Rafaella McDonald
Star Observer Prize: Natalie Jeantou
People's Choice Prize: Dalton Stewart
Finalists of the 2017 Midsumma and Australia Post Art Prize
Finalists of the inaugural 2016 Australia Post Art Prize
Virtual Tour 2018
For the 2018 exhibition, the main award of $5000 went to Tama tk Sharman for their outstanding installation "oh my how things change rua/II_(phalloplasty for poor cunts)" with the supplementary awards going to Lesley Turnbull for her stunning photographic series "S k i n s" ($1000 Star Observer Prize) and Xanthe Dobbie for her digital work "21st Century Greatest Hits Screensaver Pack" ($1000 People's Choice). Judges of the major art prize included curator Kelly Gellatly (Director, The Ian Potter Museum of Art), independent artist and writer Abbra Kotlarczyk (Art+Australia, un magazine, Das Platforms) and Andrew Walduck (Australia Post Executive General Manager for Trusted eCommerce Services).
Conditions of Entry
The Midsumma and Australia Post Art Prize recognises outstanding queer artists who are Australian residents, and:
- are submitting work created in the last two years.
- are submitting original artwork for which they hold the copyright.
- are submitting work not previously exhibited as part of this Art Prize.
- were not a Midsumma and Australia Post Art Prize winner in 2018.
- are not employees (or the immediate families of employees) of selection committee members, judges or Midsumma Festival, or Australia Post staff directly associated with the competition.
- are not relatives of staff on the selection committee or judges.
Works of all mediums and scale will be considered and artists can submit as many artworks into the competition as they like.
All finalists will be required to:
- exhibit their submitted artwork during Midsumma Festival 2019 at No Vacancy - QV Gallery, 30 – 40 Jane Bell Lane, Melbourne. See Key Dates.
- install and de-install their artwork as per the Key Dates.
- cover any costs associated with the display of their work (eg. hanging hooks, technical equipment including TV monitors, projectors, speakers etc). Artists should note that Midsumma Festival has limited access to TV monitors and projectors, and that we cannot guarantee that these will be provided.
- pack works and arrange freight to and from the exhibition, if necessary.
- consent to Midsumma Festival and Australia Post publishing the artwork (including photographs) to publicise this competition in connection with the Midsumma Festival or for the purposes of promoting LGBTQIA+ inclusion.
- consent to their work being featured in an online virtual tour of the exhibition.
For the purposes of insurance, once artworks are brought into the gallery (No Vacancy), the gallery temporarily takes ownership of the works to ensure it is covered under their contents insurance. Artwork is not insured during transport to and from the exhibition.
Selection and Judging Process
Major Prize Determination
People’s Choice Winner Determination
About the Bundoora Homestead Art Centre Residency Award
Sale of Artworks
This is a non-acquisitive art prize. Artists may choose to make their work(s) available for sale through the sales system facilitated by Midsumma Festival. No commissions are taken on artworks sold and Midsumma Festival takes no responsibility for soliciting the sale of artworks.
If sold, artists are responsible for packaging their work ready for transfer of ownership at the conclusion of the exhibition. Failure to do so will incur a $50 packaging fee taken from the sale of the artwork.
Artwork that is not collected by the purchaser within 3 months of the exhibition closing will be returned to the artist. In this instance, ownership of the artwork will transfer back to the artist and the artist will retain the income from the sale (or deposit in the instance that only a deposit was made by the purchaser).
When applying online you will be asked to provide the following information:
- The artist’s name, contact details and other personal information;
- ABN (if applicable) and GST status;
- The title of the artwork submitted;
- The year the artwork was created;
- The medium and dimensions of the artwork;
- The sale price of the artwork (where applicable; including GST if applicable);
- Notes on display of the artwork;
- An artist statement for didactic (1200 character limit, including spaces);
- The artist’s CV (maximum one page in length; provided as a weblink);
- A biography of the artist for didactic (1200 character limit, including spaces);
- Images of the artwork - a weblink to a maximum of three (3) high resolution images. This will be used for assessing your application and may be used for promotional purposes. Please utilise a filename with the artist’s full name to allow for easy identification.
- Full-length version of your video or audio work if applicable, as a weblink. Please also provide any applicable passwords. This will be used for assessing your application;
- Headshot of the artist (jpeg format; high resolution) for inclusion on the Midsumma website.
Submissions for the 2019 Midsumma and Australia Post Art Prize have now closed
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