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1 February 2023

Snapshot of a nation through the eyes of artists

Olive Cotton Award for photographic portraiture open for entries

The Dengs 2021

The 2021 Olive Cotton Award Highly Commended – Rusty Crawshaw, The Dengs 2021, Pigment print 100cm x 150cm.


Entries are now open for the prestigious Olive Cotton Award for photographic portraiture, held biennially at the Tweed Regional Gallery.

Entries are welcomed from photographers resident in Australia, with both professional and emerging artists encouraged to submit new portraits.

Gallery Director Susi Muddiman OAM said the prestigious acquisitive award is a much-loved part of the Gallery’s exhibition program and ensures the quality and relevance of the Tweed Regional Gallery's collection of Australian portraits.

“This will be the second time an entrant can submit up to two works. We hope to see artworks that celebrate and challenge the notion of what a contemporary photographic portrait can be,” Ms Muddiman said.

“The major award of $20,000 is generously funded by the family of the late Olive Cotton, one of Australia's leading 20th Century photographers.”

The Friends of Tweed Regional Gallery and Margaret Olley Art Centre Inc. sponsor additional acquisitions through the Directors' Choice awards to the value of $4,000. This year will see the People’s Choice Award doubled to $500.

The 2023 award judge is Dr Daniel Mudie Cunningham, an independent curator and critic renowned for his work with contemporary Australian artists and collections. He is also a practising artist whose work over three decades is the subject of a survey exhibition at Wollongong Art Gallery in mid-2023. Previously, he was the Director of Programs and Senior Curator at Carriageworks from 2017-2022. He has held leadership and curatorial roles at Artbank and Hazelhurst Arts Centre, and teaching and research positions at Western Sydney University, where he completed a BA Honours (First Class) in Art History and Criticism in 1997 and a PhD in Cultural Studies in 2004.

Visitors to the exhibition can cast their own vote in the People's Choice Award for the duration of the exhibition. The exhibitor with the most votes will receive $500, donated by the Friends of the Gallery.

Entries for the Olive Cotton Award close at 5 pm on Sunday 30 April. Finalists will be announced on 29 May 2023 and winners announced on 15 July. The finalists' exhibition will be on display from 14 July to 24 September 2023.

To enter and for further information, visit the Gallery website: Olive Cotton Award | Tweed Regional Gallery.

Float 2021

Director’s Choice Acquisition, Gerwyn Davies (born 1985) Float 2021, archival inkjet print. Collection of the Tweed Regional Gallery. © The artist.


Photo 1: The Dengs - Highly Commended 2021 Olive Cotton Award
CAPTION: The 2021 Olive Cotton Award Highly Commended – Rusty Crawshaw, The Dengs 2021, Pigment print 100cm x 150cm.

Photo 2: Float 2021 - Director's Choice Acquisition 2021 Olive Cotton Award
CAPTION: Director’s Choice Acquisition 2021, Gerwyn Davies (born 1985) Float 2021, archival inkjet print. Collection of the Tweed Regional Gallery. © The artist.

Photo 3 (inset): Vice Versa 2021 - Winner 2021 Olive Cotton Award
CAPTION: Winner 2021 Olive Cotton Award, D-Mo (born 1977) Vice Versa 2021, Hahnemühle photo rag. Collection of the Tweed Regional Gallery. © The artist.

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Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre
2 Mistral Road (corner of Tweed Valley Way, Murwillumbah South)
PO Box 816 Murwillumbah, NSW 2484

The Gallery is open from Wednesday to Sunday 10 am to 5 pm (Café 8:30 am to 4 pm).


We wish to recognise the generations of the local Aboriginal people of the Bundjalung Nation who have lived in and derived their physical and spiritual needs from these forests, rivers, lakes and streams over many thousands of years as the traditional custodians of these lands.
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