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Byron Shire
October 18, 2021

Tweed gallery’s $20,000 national photo award draws record entries

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The winner of the previous Olive Cotton Award in 2015, Natalie Grono, Pandemonium's Shadow 2015, pigment injet print.
The winner of the previous Olive Cotton Award in 2015, Natalie Grono, Pandemonium’s Shadow 2015, pigment injet print.

A record 489 entries for this year’s prestigious Olive Cotton Award, a national biennial competition for portrait photography based at the Tweed Regional Gallery, has organisers excited about the increasing quality of entries.

The $20,000 prize for the winning entry has drawn many of the country’s top photographers.

The award is held to honour the memory of one of Australia’s leading 20th century photographers, Olive Cotton.

Well-known and emerging photographers from throughout Australia have submitted new works for the competition, with more than 70 entries shortlisted for exhibition.

This year’s awards judge, the National Gallery of Australia’s esteemed Senior Curator of Photography, Dr Shaune Lakin, said his task of selecting a shortlist was particularly challenging because of the high calibre of the entries.

The shortlisted photographs will go on public display at the Tweed Regional Gallery from Friday 21 July, with an official opening of the exhibition on Saturday 22 July at 5.30pm. Members of the public are welcome to attend the free opening ceremony and awards presentation.

A $20,000 prize is up for grabs for the overall winning entry, which will be announced by Dr Lakin during the opening ceremony and will be acquired to join the gallery’s permanent collection.

Gallery director Susi Muddiman will also select additional works for acquisition, using $4,000 fund allocated by Friends of the Tweed Regional Gallery and Margaret Olley Art Centre.

All other works in the exhibition will be available for sale.

Visitors to the exhibition may also vote for their ‘people’s choice’, with a $250 prize for the most popular finalist.

A full list of finalists is available on the gallery’s website at http://artgallery.tweed.nsw.gov.au/PrizesAndAwards/OliveCotton.

The Olive Cotton Award exhibition will run until Sunday 8 October. The Gallery is open Wednesdays to Sundays from 10am to 5pm (closed Mondays and Tuesdays). Entry is free to view the exhibition.


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