Celebrating excellence and innovation in the watercolour medium
Entries for The Elaine Bermingham National Watercolour Prize in Landscape Painting are now open until 5pm Friday 17 July 2020.
This is a unique triennial art prize that aims to celebrate excellence and innovation in the watercolour medium.
This non-acquisitive prize is open to all Australian artists over the age of 18 years. Selected finalists will be exhibited in the Grey Street Gallery, located within Griffith University’s Queensland College of Art at South Bank, Brisbane.
The overall winner will receive a $20,000 cash prize generously donated by Elaine Bermingham. Two highly commended prizes of $5,000 each will also be awarded, a substantial increase from the previous time the prize was awarded in 2017.
Part of Elaine Bermingham’s generous donation will be dedicated to restoring, conserving and researching watercolour artworks held in the Griffith University Art Museum Collection.
Elaine’s passion for the visual and dramatic arts was the primary motivation for establishing ‘The Elaine Bermingham National Watercolour Prize in Landscape Panting’. After decades as a highly successful businesswoman and entrepreneur within Australia and abroad, Elaine remained closely connected with the South-East Queensland area, and in particular the Gold Coast. It is therefore fitting that the Bermingham Prize has been brought close by to Griffith University’s Queensland College of Art, located in South Bank, Brisbane.
Elaine honed her business skills in the real estate, hotel management and rental car industries. She spent thirty years in America where she formed her own corporation and developed successful travel programs between the USA and Australia.
Elaine remained a strong ambassador for the visual and dramatic arts throughout her career, and viewed her pursuit as a benefactor as her own contribution to the arts community. She saw watercolour painting as an underrated artform, and was passionate about promoting the medium through the establishment of the Bermingham Prize.
For the purpose of this prize ‘Landscape’ is defined as any form of land or environment and does not exclude peopled landscape, seascape, or urbanised and rural habitat.
We are pleased to announce our panel of highly regarded pre-selection judges this year: Dr Elisabeth Findlay, Director of the Queensland College of Art, Griffith University; artist and Queensland College of Art Painting Convenor, Julie Fragar; and Director of Griffith University Art Museum Angela Goddard. This year’s selection of judges brings a diverse range of both creative and professional expertise to the judging process.
The judging panel will assess hundreds of submissions from across Australia to choose the best watercolour artworks. Finalists will be announced in early August 2020 and their artwork showcased in the finalist exhibition opening Thursday 26 November 2020. The major prize and two highly commended awards will be announced at the opening event on Friday 27 November 2020, open to the public from 6 – 8 pm.
Given the effect that Covid-19 has had on the arts industry, this year we have increased the prize money on offer, whilst reducing the entry fee for submission.
- A $40 entry fee will be charged per each individual entry, with a maximum of three artworks permitted.
- If you are an art student at a tertiary institution in Australia, the entry fee is $20 per artwork, with a maximum of three entries permitted.
Please view the 2020 terms and conditions of entry.
How to enter
Complete the entry form below and proceed directly to payment link.
2020 Pre-selection Judge
Director, Queensland College of Art, Griffith University, Brisbane.
2020 Pre-selection Judge
Artist, Doctorate of Philosophy, Lecturer in Painting and Fine Art Program Advisor at QCA, Griffith University, Brisbane.
2020 Pre-selection Judge
Director of Griffith University Art Museum. Previously Curator of Australian Art - QAGOMA, Brisbane.
The winner of the inaugural 'Elaine Bermingham National Watercolour Prize in Landscape Painting' 2017 was Jackson Slattery for his artwork ‘Trafalgar/Mile Ex’ 2016.
This diptych is composed of an image from Slattery's family home in Trafalgar, Gippsland (Victoria) and a found image of a squat in Montreal, Quebec (Canada). Slattery's practice attempts to walk the line between sincerity and indifference, both conceptually and formally. By collecting disparate and diverse images and meticulously reconstructing them, Slattery alludes to a narrative of events that is concerned as much with fiction as with the realities from which they are extracted. Slattery goes to great lengths to minimise any sense of preciousness in his watercolours, with a tendency to paint squalor and decrepit objects to create works that are equally disjunctive and elusive.
2017 winners announced
Posted 14 February 2017
The winner of the inaugural 'Elaine Bermingham National Watercolour Prize in Landscape Painting' 2017 is Jackson Slattery for his artwork ‘Trafalgar/Mile Ex’ 2016.
2017 judges and finalists announced
Posted 24 November 2016
Twenty-two artists have been selected to exhibit in the inaugural ‘Elaine Bermingham National Watercolour Prize in Landscape Painting’ finalist exhibition 2017.