Dobell Drawing Prize #21

Dobell Drawing Prize #21

EXHIBITION DATES: Thursday 28 March — Saturday 25 May 2019
OPENING HOURS: Monday–Saturday, 11am–5pm

Congratulations to Justine Varga who has won the Dobell Drawing Prize #21!

Comments from the Judge’s: “Drawing is a fundamental part of many visual art practices. The winner of the Dobell Drawing Prize #21 uses drawing in the most meaningful and sophisticated way. Her work is a distillation of so many components of our collective lives. Drawing plays a pivotal role in this artist’s exploration of us all. The winning work is a powerful, playful and sophisticated 21st century drawing and a deserved winner.”

Congratulations also to Tony Albert who was highly commended, “Highly commended goes to an artist who is relentlessly and skilfully re-writing dialogues about Australian histories. Drawing underpins his practice. Old Sins Cast Long Shadows uses the most simple drawing techniques to tell a formidably sophisticated story.”


The Dobell Drawing Prize is a new biennial prize and exhibition presented by the National Art School in association with the Sir William Dobell Art Foundation. The Prize is an open call to all artists and aims to explore the enduring importance of drawing and the breadth and dynamism of contemporary approaches to drawing.

The exhibition showcases the finalists’ artworks across a broad range of media that acknowledges the foundational principals of drawing, while also encouraging challenging and expansive approaches to drawing. Submissions are invited for artworks on paper, but may also include wall drawings and larger-scale works and works utilising electronic media.

National Art School envisions the Prize as a platform for the celebration and examination of current drawing practices. The Prize builds on the energy of both emerging artists who make art through drawing, while also celebrating innovation and technical skill of experienced artists.

A drawing symposium, workshops and a range of artist talks will be held in conjunction with the Prize and exhibition, positioning the National Art School and Sydney at the core of contemporary drawing, research and the exploration of ideas.  Drawing continues to be central to the National Art School’s curriculum, and the opportunity to present and reflect the many facets of contemporary drawing offers artists another forum to explore the dynamic medium of drawing.

The new Dobell Drawing Prize is an acquisitive art award that runs in alternative years to the Dobell Australian Drawing Biennial at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, affirming the Dobell Foundation’s commitment to continuing the development of drawing as a medium in its own right, and a fundamental element of the visual arts.


Image: Justine Varga with NAS Director and CEO Steven Alderton



Badra Aji – VIC

Tony Albert – NSW

Leonie Andrews – ACT

Suzanne Archer – NSW

Martin Bell – VIC

M. Bozzec – NSW

Michelle Caithness – VIC

Kristone Capistrano – NSW

Tom Carment – NSW

Tanya Chaitow – NSW

Ari Chand – NSW

Joshua Charadia – NSW

Matthew Clarke – VIC

Penny Coss – WA

Maryanne Coutts – NSW

Fiona Currey-Billyard – NSW

Dagmar Cyrulla – VIC

Madeleine Joy Dawes – VIC

Amy Dynan – NSW

Helen Eager – NSW

Yvonne East – NSW

Stephanie Eather – VIC

David Fairbairn – NSW

George Gittoes – NSW

Richard Goodwin – NSW

Kendal Heyes – NSW

Mark Hislop – VIC

Daniel Hollier – NSW

Pollyxenia Joannou – NSW

Alan Jones – NSW

Locust Jones – NSW

Alex Karaconji – NSW

Sonia Kurarra – WA

Hyun Hee Lee – NSW

Brooke Leigh – NSW

Ruark Lewis – NSW

Tanya Linney – NSW

Lily Mae Martin – VIC

Jonathan McBurnie – QLD

Noel McKenna – NSW

Peta Minnici – NSW

Damian Moss – NSW

Wendy Murray – NSW

Angus Nivison – NSW

Chris O’Doherty (aka Reg Mombassa)  – NSW

Catherine O’Donnell – NSW

Toshiko Oiyama – NSW

Jenny Orchard – NSW

Becc Ország – VIC

Kerrie Poliness – VIC

Monica Rohan – QLD

Wendy Sharpe – NSW

Peter Solness – NSW

Kim Spooner – NSW

Luke Thurgate – SA

Justine Varga – NSW

Mirra Whale – NSW

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