Melville Contemporary is an art prize for experimental art. It awards commissions to five Western Australian artists to produce exploratory new work for group exhibition at Goolugatup Heathcote. From this exhibition, a final winner is invited to exhibit solo at Goolugatup in 2024-25, including a free residency, and an additional artist fee.
Our 2023 finalists are Akira Akira, Dan Bourke, Jess Day, Natsumi de Dianous, Tom Mùller. The program will also commission new music to premier at the opening, from artist Mei Saraswati.
Melville Contemporary is a biennale program presented by the City of Melville and Goolugatup Heathcote, first held in 2021.
Melville Contemporary has been redesigned for 2023. It is now focussed awarding commissions for the production and exhibition of new work.
Melville Contemporary is a biennial commissioning art prize open to professional artists based in WA. Artists are commissioned to create new artwork/s for group exhibition, in any artform or materials. The prize is non-acquisitive.
The prize supports ambitious practice from WA contemporary artists by providing a paid opportunity to make and present experimental work to the public. We are particularly interested in work that is exploratory – where artists try new things or work in unusual ways or ideas.
Artists are selected from a public callout – it is free and easy to apply – simply upload a concise CV, link to artist website and to socials. Applications are checked against selection criteria, and then passed to a judging panel who select five winners based on their previous arts practice. These winners are commissioned to produce new work for group exhibition at Goolugatup in September 2023.
Each artist is provided a $3,000 commissioning fee, as part of total prize package of $20,000+. Artists are also supported with curatorial assistance, promo, install, sales support, photographic documentation. At the exhibition opening, one final winner receives invitation to exhibit solo in 2024-25, an opportunity with $2,786 additional artist fees and a free residency.
This prize is only open to professional contemporary artists – those with recognised exhibition history and/or relevant formal education. Artists must be Australian citizens or permanent residents and be based in WA or consider it home.
Applications open 18 Nov 2022 – 11 Jan 2023, and finalists are notified 25 Jan. Exhibition scheduled 23 September – 22 October 2023.
Galleries 1 & 2 at Goolugatup Heathcote, 58-60 Duncraig Rd, Applecross WA 6153.
In its inaugural year, the winner of Melville Contemporary's $15,000 acquisitive main prize was Pascale Giorgi.
Pascale Giorgi, My Own Private Lion (South Fremantle Rosemary), 2021, concrete, cement oxide, carnauba wax, rosemary essential oil, 7 x 14 x 26 cm.
Our judges said: Pascale’s sculpture is a complex migration story told with elegance, humour, and deceptive simplicity. The technically deft work makes great use of irony to critique ideas of taste and culture. Its innovative use of smell connects with viewers’ own memories, while its aesthetics reference a much broader history in a way that is both satirical and affectionate.
Highly Commended winner was Ross Potter.
Ross Potter, I Don’t Feel So Well, 2021, drawing, paper, mixed media, 40 x 50 cm.
Our judges said: Ross’ innovative sculptural drawing tells a personal story in a psychologically gripping way. The work is technically inventive, extending drawing into three dimensions and marking an exciting new direction in the artist’s practice. While the work is specific in scope, its visceral form gives a sense of bodily tension that is widely relatable.
Our full list of finalists was Sam Bloor, Mathew Clark, Erin Coates, Jennifer Cochrane, Rebecca Dagnall, Tarryn Gill, Pascale Giorgi, Sohan ArielHayes, Rusty Maeva, Lia McKnight, Ross Potter, Sally Stoneman, and Dung-Chuan Wen.
Goolugatup Heathcote is a cultural precinct overlooking the river in Applecross, WA. The heritage site is home to thriving cultural and recreational activities including a contemporary art gallery, museum, restaurant, artist studios, public markets and events, and creative small businesses.
The Gallery presents an annual program of contemporary art exhibitions across three gallery spaces. It also hosts an art prize each year, alternatively the Digital Art Prize and the Melville Contemporary Prize. Late each year, it presents a major exhibition as part of Tilt – a significant site-responsive commission.