2020 Bowness Photography Prize now open for entries

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The 15th annual Bowness Photography Prize has opened for entries this week.

The annual photography competition is an important survey of contemporary photographic practice, and provides Australian artists with the opportunity to exhibit at one of Australia's leading public galleries. It comes with a $35,000 prize pool. 

In light of the current COVID-19 situation, the competition organiser the MGA Foundation, has reduced the prize’s entry fee from $55 to $35, extended the entry period, and says it intends to work with its partner organisations to help give discounted rates for producing works for final exhibition.

Additionally, in response to the government restrictions on travel and gatherings, the initial exhibition will be showcased virtually this year, but the MGA Foundation has also announced that a physical exhibition is set to take place later in the year, with the winner of the overall prize to be declared in early 2021.

Katrin Koenning, Three, 2018, From the series Lake Mountain. Courtesy of the artist and Reading Room (Melbourne)
Katrin Koenning, Three, 2018, From the series Lake Mountain. Courtesy of the artist and Reading Room (Melbourne)

“At this unprecedented moment in our history, the Bowness Photography Prize takes on new meaning,” said MGA Gallery Director Anouska Phizacklea.

“Perhaps the most important aspect of the prize this year is that it has the incredible ability to bring the photographic community together and rally around the significant role photography and our artists play in society –  something important for us to celebrate at such a challenging time for the creative sector.”  

Joining Anouska Phizacklea on this year’s judging panel will be previous MGA Director Shaune Lakin, and NGA Senior Curator of Photography Fiona Hall.

“We hope that this year's prize will further validate the important role art plays in society by showcasing the best of humanity and consequently provide us all with more hope as we move forward,” said MGA Foundation Chair Kallie Blauhorn, commenting on what she believes the impact of this year’s Bowness Photography prize will be.

The two prizes to be awarded from the competition are the Bowness Photography Prize, which carries with it $30,000 in prize money, as well as the $5000 Smith & Singer People’s Choice Award. Last year’s overall winner was Melbourne photographer Katrin Koenning for her triptych Three.

Entries are open now and will close on July 8, 2020. To find out more about the prize, visit the website here.  

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