Bowness Photography Prize

Entry specifications

The William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize is administered by Monash Gallery of Art on behalf of the Trustees of the MGA Foundation.


  • Entries for the Bowness Photography Prize will be considered from still photo-based media including analogue and digital photography.
  • There are no entry size restrictions, however the final image size and estimated frame size must be specified on the entry form and the judges will select works for the final exhibition based on the exhibition space available.
  • Multi-panel works will be accepted. A multi-panelled work is considered as one work and to be eligible for selection must be entered in its entirety as one digital image.
  • Work/s must have been produced since 1 May 2018.
  • Employees of MGA, the City of Monash, or members of MGA Committee of Management, MGA Foundation, or members of their immediate families are ineligible to enter.
  • Entrants must be Australian citizens or residents for at least 12 months.
  • By entering this prize you are confirming that you are the creator and owner of the entered photograph/s and that exhibition and promotion of your work does not infringe copyright or moral rights and have obtained all appropriate permissions.


  • Entries are to be submitted using the online entry process.
  • Image/s must be supplied as JPEG file/s @ 72dpi, shortest side 1000 pixels.
  • Entrants may submit an artist's statement (120 words maximum) and/or an artist's curriculum vitae (1 page maximum).
  • Entry fee is $55 (GST free). Each entrant may submit up to three images per entry. The entry fee is non-refundable and covers administration and handling.
  • Entries must be submitted with payment by 5 pm Wednesday 10 July 2019.
  • Acknowledgment of entry and receipt of payment will be sent to entrants via an automated email.


  • All entrants will be notified by email whether they have been selected for exhibition or not.
  • Short-listed finalists will be advised by email on Friday 9 August 2019 and will be required to: i) send print-quality image file (15Mb or 300dpi @ 30cm) to MGA by Friday 16 August 2019, and ii) send or deliver their original work to MGA between Monday 9 – Friday 13 September 2019 – early and weekend deliveries by prior arrangement only.
  • Short-listed works must be installation ready and must be available for continuous display from Saturday 5 October – Sunday 17 November 2019. Unframed work will be hung using pins or as the gallery sees fit. While care is taken, unframed works are submitted at the entrant’s risk.
  • All short-listed photographs must be owned by the entrant and available for acquisition.


  • The judges will award an acquisitive cash prize of $30,000 for the winning work. Three Honourable Mentions will also be acknowledged. A People’s Choice Award of $2,500 will be announced at the end of the exhibition.
  • The winning work will be acquired for the Monash Gallery of Art, City of Monash Collection.
  • The judges’ decision will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  • The judges reserve the right not to exhibit any work if the work is not in their opinion of sufficient artistic merit, technical and formal resolution, or framed/presented appropriately. MGA has the right to refuse to display any entry.


  • The entrant agrees to MGA reproducing (with no charge) finalist’s work in all publicity and promotion of the Bowness Photography Prize subject to MGA’s discretion, including exhibition catalogue and marketing collateral. This may include finalist’s images being uploaded to social media sites.

reight and insurance 

  • Delivery and return freight will be at no cost to MGA. 
  • All photographs will be handled by experienced staff in a museum environment. Adequate precautions must be taken in packing works as MGA will not be held responsible for any loss or damage caused to any work while in transit to and from the gallery nor while in storage or on display. Packaging must be suitable for return. Finalists may wish to arrange their own insurance.
  • All photographs MUST be collected from the gallery between Tuesday 19 – Tuesday 26 November 2019.

Warranty provided by you

  • By entering the prize you expressly warrant that you meet all of these entry specifications.
  • You also agree that in the event you are declared a winner of any prize category and it is subsequently determined by MGA or the MGA Foundation, in their sole discretion, that you did not meet these entry specifications, you will return the entire amount of any prize money received by you within 14 days of any request being made for it to be repaid.


  • All personal information gathered by MGA will be used solely for the purpose of administering the Bowness Photography Prize. 
  • For further enquiries please email [email protected] or telephone 03 8544 0500.

Frequently Asked Questions


Is there an age limit?
No, the only restriction is that entrants must be Australian citizens or residents for at least 12 months.

Can artists that are collaborative or artist collectives enter?
Yes. Use only one entry form and nominate one person to be the contact person. It needs to be made clear in the artist statement that the work is collaborative and all artists’ names listed. An additional artist’s CV may be submitted. For more information please contact the gallery on 03 8544 0500 or email [email protected].

Can I enter more than once?
Yes. A completed entry form and entry fee needs to be submitted with each new entry. 

Can I enter photographs taken before 1 May 2018?
As a general rule, no. This is a prize for recent photography and therefore we can only accept recent work. Images will be disqualified if they do not conform to the date requirements. There are instances where we can accept entries for photographs taken before 1 May 2018. The case of found photography which has been subject to recent intervention is a case in point. Also, entries are accepted for photographs that were taken before 1 May 2018 but have been conceptually and formally resolved since that date. If the work has been in progress over an extended period of time the date of the work should reflect this (for example 2017–19). 

What is an artist’s statement?
Your artist’s statement should be a short paragraph (120 words maximum) that provides further understanding of the photograph/s submitted. This can include photographic processes used, when and where the image was taken and what was the intention of the image. Your artist statement can refer to a series of work or separate statements for each work submitted.

What is an artist’s curriculum vitae?
Your artist’s curriculum vitae (one page only) will list training, exhibition and publication histories, awards received and other pieces of biographical or professional information relevant to your work.


Can images be manipulated?
Yes. All still photo-based media including analogue and digital photography will be considered.

Do you accept 3D works?
Yes. An additional image may be included to show an installation view of an object. Please contact the gallery on 03 8544 0500 or email [email protected] if you need to submit additional image/s for this purpose. A description and any installation instructions (ie will your work need a plinth or shelf or can it stand alone?) should be included in the artist’s statement.

Do all images have to be from the same series?

Does the date have to be specific?
No. We only ask for the year that the photograph was produced (2018 or 2019). If the work has been in progress over a longer period of time the date given can be inclusive of two or more years (for example: 2015–19). 

What is meant by the medium on the entry form?
This is a description of the materiality of the final print that will be presented for exhibition if selected as a finalist. This could be a gelatin silver print, a pigment ink-jet print or a chromogenic print, to name just a few print types. This allows the judges to visualise the appearance of the final work. This should not refer to how the image was made but rather how it is/will be printed. Any photographic technique considered significant to any understanding of the work (for example: photogram) can be described in the artist’s statement.

Do you accept lenticular photographs/printing?
Yes. Please use one image to represent the photograph and use the artist’s statement to explain the process. If your work requires more images to illustrate it please contact the gallery on 03 8544 0500 or email [email protected].

What does the image size on the entry form refer to?
There are no restriction on the size, however all entrants must specify the image size and the final framed (or sheet size if not framed) dimensions as height x width x depth (if applicable) cm to be considered.

Can the image size be changed if selected as a finalist?
No, please consider the size of your photograph when you enter. If your work is selected for exhibition, your entry must prescribe to the size indicated on your entry form.

Can work be entered that has been exhibited before or won other prizes?

Can past winners be selected as a finalist?


Do finalist’s works need to be framed for exhibition?
No. Finalists should present their work for exhibition as best they can.


Is there a pre-selection?
No, all judges will consider each entry.

Will the winner be chosen before the exhibition?
No, the judges will meet in the exhibition space to determine the winner and honourable mentions based on the physical prints. If a judge is unable to be physically present for a judging session, the remaining judges will correspond with the absent judge and supply documentation to facilitate a joint decision.


Image: Joseph McGLENNON
Florilegium #1  2014
from the series Florilegium
pigment ink-jet print 127.0 x 100.0 cm
Monash Gallery of Art, City of Monash Collection
courtesy of the artist and Michael Reid (Sydney + Berlin)


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