12 Finalists shortlisted for the National Photography Prize 2020

22 November 2019

Murray Art Museum Albury is thrilled to announce the names of the 12 finalists that have been shortlisted for the National Photography Prize 2020.

The National Photography Prize is a biennial prize supported by the MAMA Art Foundation with a $30,000 first prize. As the oldest acquisitive photography prize in Australia, it has been instrumental in building MAMA’s strong photography collection.

In addition to the $30,000 first prize, an emerging artist from amongst the finalists will be awarded the $5000 John and Margaret Baker Memorial Fellowship.

The 12 finalists are:
Anthea Behm
Danica Chappell
Elise Harmsen
Ali McCann
Hayley Millar-Baker
Kent Morris
Sarah Mosca
Phuong Ngo
Lillian O’Neil
Emma Phillips
Debra Phillips
Justine Varga.

Each artist will have the opportunity to present a small body of recent works, allowing audiences to develop a deeper appreciation for the artists’ practice.

The exhibition of finalists opens on 21 February 2020, with the announcement of winners on 1 May. The exhibition will form part of a broader ‘Season of Photography’ which will include a solo exhibition by James Tylor exploring the destruction of the Murray Darling River system, and a retrospective of pioneering female photographer Olive R Odewahn, active in the early 20th Century in rural Australia.

The Prize is generously supported by the MAMA Art Foundation. Tony Smith, Chair of the Foundation says “The MAMA Art Foundation is extremely proud to be the long term partner and supporter of the National Photography Prize. We recognise the significance of staging the Prize in Albury, regional NSW, which has been a site of experimentation and championing of Australian photography for decades. Our continued commitment to the National Photography Prize will mean that this experimentation will continue, the artists involved will be supported, and the medium will continue to be nurtured in Albury and across the country.”

The National Photography Prize is an incredible opportunity, once every two years, to interrogate the artwork of artists who extend the medium of photography.

The artists selected for the finalist exhibition represent a breadth of Australian photographic practice. The artists are in turn engaged with photography as it relates to sculpture and painting, documentary methods, narrative explorations, agitating the medium physically, working directly with negatives, altering printing processes and both analogue and digital collage techniques.

The concerns within the artists’ work relate variously to the legacy of colonisation within this country, the relegation of women within dominant art histories, ruminations on systems of record, and of course trajectories of photographic and film based media.

MAMA is teaming up with PHOTO2020, a new international photography festival, as presenting partners. MAMA will be offering an exciting mix of photography related programs throughout the duration of the festival (23 April – 10 May). The exhibition will close 31 May.