Two of Australia’s most notable figures have selected 47 finalists for this year’s Bowness Photography Prize. Bill Henson and Karen Quinlan were joined by MGA Senior Curator, Stephen Zagala to shortlist the record number of entries this year. Established in 2006 to promote excellence in photography, the annual non-acquisitive William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize is an initiative of the MGA Foundation.

KRAWEC Courtney
Courtney Krawec, Gemini rising 2015, from the series In the lake pigment ink-jet print, 80.0 x 120.0 cm, reproduction courtesy of the artist


The 2015 competition attracted 696 entrants, the largest number received in the history of the prize. Stephen Zagala, MGA Senior Curator observed, on behalf of the judges, ‘This year the judging panel looked at over 2600 images and selected a field of 47 finalists to represent the best of Australian photography today. The sorting process provides a remarkable opportunity to engage with contemporary photography from across Australia, and the exhibition will allow audiences to see exactly what happening at the frontiers of photographic practice.’ Fellow judge Bill Henson said of the selection process, that ‘In the end, it really just comes down to how compelling I find a work to be. Matters of subject, issue or agenda have to find a form which is their equal for without that we’re left with something that simply holds no interest for us.’

Valerie Sparks, Le vol 1  2014 from the series Le vol pigment ink-jet print 140.0 x 229.0 cm reproduction courtesy of the artist and THIS IS NO FANTASY + dianne tanzer gallery (Melbourne)
Valerie Sparks, Le vol 1 2014, from the series Le vol, pigment ink-jet print, 140.0 x 229.0 cm, reproduction courtesy of the artist and THIS IS NO FANTASY + dianne tanzer gallery (Melbourne)

The exhibition of finalists opens at MGA on Thursday 01 October, the winner of the $25 000 prize will be announced at the opening. The exhibition runs from 22 September to 22 November 2015.

Finalists for the 2015 $25 000 Bowness Photography Prize are:

Anne Algar, Brook Andrew, Robert Ashton, Svetlana Bailey, Del Kathryn Barton, Clare Bedford, David Bibby, Devika Bilimoria, Frederico Câmara, Peter Campbell, Danica Chappell, Che Chorley, Peta Clancy, Virginia Cummins, Rebecca Dagnall, Cherine Fahd, David Flanagan, Murray Fredericks, Silvi Glattauer, Wayne Grivell, Molly Harris, Kern Hendricks, Lyndal Irons, Mark Kimber, Courtney Krawec, Michael Krzanich, Cathy Laudenbach, Jon Lewis, David Manley, AHC McDonald, Joseph McGlennon, Rod McNicol, Bill Moseley, Ward Roberts, Daniel Shipp, Valerie Sparks, Rodney Stewart, Rebekah Stuart, Ian Tippett, Justine Varga, John Watson, Kim Westcott, Peter Whyte, Amanda Williams, Rudi Williams, Melissa Williams-Brown and Carolyn Young.

View the full gallery of finalists on the MGA website: