Women's Art Prize

International Women's Day is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future.

Each year, Randwick City Council hosts an art exhibition in honour of International Women's Day. The competition is open to female artists who live in, work, study or visit Randwick City.  This competition encourages women to showcase their creative talents, recognising the important contribution women make to families, workplaces and communities.

The top 50 artworks will be on display at Lionel Bowen Library Gallery from 14 March to 27 April, during library opening hours.

The Award Winners

Open category

Tied winner: ‘Morning Swimmers’ by Anne Cahill
Prize: $1500
Judge’s comments:
This work was stunning. Depicting a group of early morning swimmers in a local rock pool the work captures time and a sense of place. Its high technical skill and ability to render light which places this work amongst the highest calibre of impressionist works.

‘Morning Swimmers’ by Anne Cahill

Tied winner: ‘Chinoiserie and Cactus Flower’ by Natasha Ruffio
Prize: $1500
Judge’s comments:
There’s something strong and delicate in this artwork; it references Japanese and Asian art in its plasticity and perceptive but is also very much of this place. It feels like an allegory on many levels.

‘Chinoiserie and Cactus Flower’ by Natasha Ruffio

Runner-up: ‘My DNA’ by Natalie Bateman
Prize: $500
Judge’s comments:
This is a powerful, personal piece that speaks to cultural strength and also of exploring identity. Visually beautiful, the combination of dot painting over flat background brings a depth pf meaning to this strong statement of identity.

‘My DNA’ by Natalie Bateman

Youth category

Winner: ‘For Juliana’ by Natalie Townsend
Prize: $500
Judge’s comments:
This digital artwork fits within the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day - the DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality. It depicts a young woman with hair swept back confidently meeting the stare of the viewer. Around her neck and décolletage are three cats in play. The composition and the sitter’s pose and selecting of subjects leans on Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and his intent to show links between the cosmos and nature. By appropriating Leonardo’s manner and style, the artist takes a feminist stance through the female gaze therefore subverting established patriarchal art cannons.

‘For Juliana’ by Natalie Townsend

Runner-up: ‘Painting, Watching, Sitting’ (appropriation of Philip Guston's "Painting, Smoking, Eating", 1972) by Charlie Kennedy-Wade.
Prize: $300
Judge’s comments: The unusual jagged composition caught our eye. The work technically very strong, quirky and moving. It feels very authentic and contemporary, addressing themes of mental health.

‘Painting, Watching, Sitting’ (appropriation of Philip Guston's "Painting, Smoking, Eating", 1972) by Charlie Kennedy-Wade.

Local category

Winner: ‘Earth Equilibrium’ by Angela Nashaat
Prize: $1500
Judge’s comments: This impressive, high-quality collage shows how illustrative arts are an effective artistic approach to increasing awareness of current philosophical and political considerations. This critical post-humanist work crosses the nature/culture divide, nation/state borders, and champions more-than human beings.

‘Earth Equilibrium’ by Angela Nashaat

Councillor's Choice Award

Winner: ‘Big Hat’ by Desanka Aleksovska
Prize: $300
Judge’s comments:
Congratulations Desanka, the skill and composition of this painting drew us in immediately. It reminded us of the rocks along one of Randwick’s iconic beaches in Maroubra or Coogee. It is a really touching depiction of quality time spent together rambling on the rocks on a summery afternoon but also sharing silence.

‘Big Hat’ by Desanka Aleksovska

Runner-up: ‘Everything Else is Brown’ by Zoe Jones
Prize: $150
Judge's comments:
We kept being drawn back to ‘Everything Else is Brown’ after viewing all the works.

In this painting we saw a reference to Australian artist John Brack’s iconic painting Collins St at 5pm from the 1950s. Collins St at 5pm was inspired by Brack’s own feelings of dread and drudgery working the nine-to-five office lifestyle. But the painting is also a tribute to an enduring sense of individuality.

Zoe’s painting places a girl in pink centre stage, holding her bright-eyed cat and displaying a bold individuality and resilience contrasting with the dreary but also brutal drudgery in the day to day.  We found this especially thoughtful as it was the work of a young artist.

Everything Else is Brown’ by Zoe Jones

The People’s Choice Award, which is a single prize of $200, will be announced at the end of the exhibition period on Friday 10 March.

Categories & Prizes

This year Randwick City Council has expanded the prize categories, including a new Open award prize with a $2000 prize pool.

Youth - Young women and girls from 12 to 18 years of age (inclusive)

Local - Open to women over 18 who live, study or work in the Randwick LGA

Open - Open to anyone with a connection to Randwick LGA

Councillors' Choice - The women Councillors of Randwick nominate a first and second prize

People's Choice - This award will go to the artist whose work receives the most votes




Cr ChoicePeople's Choice

1st Prize - $350

1st Prize - $1500

1st Prize - $1500

1st Prize - $300


2nd Prize - $150

2nd Prize - $500

2nd Prize - $500

2nd Prize - $150

2022 Prize winners

12-19 Years old category

1st prize: Niranjana Ghosh for ‘Joker’
2nd prize: Emelia O’Leary for ‘Working Conditions for Women Making Garments in the third World’
3rd prize: Jasmine Miller, for ‘COVID City’
Councillor’s choice: Jessica Mang for ‘Mistress’

20 Years and over category

1st prize: Elena Guerrero for ‘The ship I arrived in’
2nd prize: Aileen Anderson for ‘Between the Lines’
3rd prize: Anne Ring for ‘The Couple’

Councillor’s choice:

Tanya Duckworth for ‘Dames d’Heremes: Selle des steppes’

2021 Prize winners

12-19 Years old category

1st - Gabrielle Collins, Brigidine College  Randwick, For "My Indeigenous and Egyptian Identity"
2nd - Niamh Robb, Brigidine College Randwick, For "Emote"
3rd - Ellen Chiem, age 13, For "Now and Us"

20 Years and over category

1st prize -  Philipa Granwal, for "My Daughter's Bedside Table"
2nd prize - Lucy Deverall, for "Submerge"
3rd prize - Alana Best, for  "Somewhere 2"

Councillors' Commendation

Each year a Councillors' prize is awarded, which is judged by Councillor Kathy Neilson, Councillor Lindsay Shurey and Councillor Alexandra Luxford. For the first time in eight years of judging, the councillors couldn't come to a conclusion on who should be awarded their prize, so two joint winners were declared and awarded to:

Chelsea De Jong,  OLSH Kensington, for "Bondi Blues"
Patricia Maradno, Brigidine College, for "In Hand"

2021 Winners

2020 Prize Winners

2020 Women's Art Prize Winners

2019 Prize Winners

20 years and over category

First Prize - Jodie Clarke for Coy. The judges said this is a strong and arresting work that uses unusual mark making techniques and colour with a powerful central figure that challenges feminine ideals and stereotypes and draws on the pin-up photographic image.

Second Prize - Terry Lavis for Coogee Sentinels. The judges said this is an accomplished seascape painting with powerful colours and contrasting shapes, textures and light.

Third Prize - Heather Egan for Yin and Yang. The judges said this is a mysterious small work that draws in the viewer with narrative elements that are not easily interpreted – technically impressive.

12 to 19 years category

First Prize - Venus Lacoste for In my room. The judges said this work is intimate and immediate capturing a personal space that is well known to the artist and showing a confident use of line.

Second Prize - Loran Puyat for Everything must go. The judges said this is a slick and attractive graphic behind which lie interesting questions about objectification and commodification of women.

Third Prize - Jessica Scandurra for Portrait of a mother. The judges said this is a skilful digital drawing of a mother that draws connection to “Mother Nature”

Councillor’s Commendation

Councillors Commendation - Olivia Leung for Please… Councillors Neilson and Shurey found this to be a powerful and arresting image with a strong political message showing emerging skills as a painter.

Council would like to sincerely thank the two judges for 2019:

  • Anie Nheu, is an accomplished artist and AIRspace Projects Inc. committee member; and
  • Kirsten Mattson, has more than 20 years experience working in the arts including the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Smithsonian Institution and Philadelphia Museum of Art.

2018 Prize Winners

12 to 19 years category

First Prize -  Family Circle by Kayla Bennett - The Judges said that this is a subtle and highly accomplished painting. The artist skilfully uses a restrained colour palette and an asymmetric formal composition to reflect on her cultural heritage.

Second Prize - Amy dreaming by Amy Lynch - The Judges comments were that this is a highly thoughtful and sensitive drawing rendered with a skilful contrast of detail and negative space.

Third Prize - Abstraction of Scale by Venus Lacoste - The Judges said that this is a complex and beautiful work that demonstrates a clear understanding of harmony and use of colour in its design.

20 years and over category

First Prize - West MacDonnell Ranges by Christina Rofe - The palette of this painting captures the ever-changing colours of the West MacDonnell Ranges and the semi-abstracted execution reflects the essence of this dynamic and sometimes overwhelming landscape. The innovation of this painting is its vertical composition which allows the artist to visually describe both the details of the foreground vegetation and sublimity of the distant ranges.

Second Prize - Aussie backyard in summer by Jeanette Glass - Judges comments were, this collage beautifully encapsulates the casual, carefree and happy haven that is the suburban backyard in summer. The artist has cleverly combined photography and paint, ink and textiles to evoke a domestic scene that embodies the Australian vernacular.

Third Prize - Self-portrait by Melinda Hayton - The Judges said this painting is a self-portrait within a self-portrait of the artist’s home and working life that seamlessly blends references to art history and art making. Symbolism is thoughtfully applied; the portrait’s subject gazes outward flanked by a symbol of mortality on one side and a sleeping dog on the other.

Councillors Commendation - A piece of my imagination by Samantha Alvarez - We felt that this portrait cleverly uses back lighting to create a pensive expression which leads the eye down the cascade of fish and back up to the face of the young girl. We were left wondering, ‘what was she thinking?

2017 Prize Winners

12 to 19 years category

First Prize  - Casey O’Regan for Caitlin. The Judge felt that this painting demonstrates remarkable skill in handling the brush and the medium of oil paint. It is a slightly unsettling image as the viewer has no choice but to engage directly with the subject of the painting who seems to have a story to tell. The artist skilfully leaves the story making to the audience.

2017 Woman's Art prize winner 1st 12-19Second Prize - Heritage by Alyssa Silva Judge’s comments were, A beautiful painting made complex through a refined system of mark making. The composition is interesting because it crops the subject as camera would, yet, at the same time, it highlights important traditions

2017 Woman's Art Prize 2nd 12-19Third Prize - Respect by Adena Sheps The judge said, “This new media work captures the spirit of International Women’s Day. The graphics are reminiscent of the 1960s-70s when the second wave of feminism emerged creating a lively link between then and now. It’s gutsy and we need more of this.

2017 Women's Art Prize winner 3rd 12-19

20 years and over category

2017 Woman's Art Prize 1st 20 plus

First Prize - Winter at Wylie's Pool by Sandra Routh. This work shows excellent observations of perspective and the interaction of light, shadow and colour. Interesting because it is an observational work with hints of geometric abstraction. It seems to hold ’new world’ promise in much the same way as is found in the work of ‘David Hockney’.

Second Prize - Nerium by Yuko Takeshita  Judge’s comments were, A small painting abstracted by being painted on the bask of Masonite. Gentle in both execution and form. It captures those peaceful spaces still to be found in Sydney.

2017 Women's Art Prize 2nd 20 plus

Third Prize - Relief by Alexandra Russell-Floyd The judge said, this work is an adventurous excursion beyond the conventional ‘rectangle or square’ format. The work locates itself in an interesting space between painting, clothing and the body. It’s a little bit rebellious which is very fitting for International Women’s Day.

2017 Woman's Art Prize winner 3rd 20 plus

Councillor's Commendation

Birdsong by Anne Ring We felt that this was a charming photograph.

2017 Women's Art Prize Coucillor Commendation

2016 Prize Winners

20 years and over category

First Prize - Coastal Vista by Jan Cook The judges said this was a quiet and sensitive response to the landscape and showed great control of the medium.

1st Prize over 20

Second Prize - Green Man by Lyn Campbell The judges said this was a well executed and composed mosaic showing creative flair.

Third Prize - Litchfield Swimming Hole by Betty Rovner The judges said this was an interesting contemporary response to landscape painting with hyperreal touches.

12 to 19 years category

First Prize - Marrow Graves by Yasmin Carter The judges said this was as engagingly complex and well balanced investigation of new media.

1st Prize 2016 WAP 12-19

Second Prize - Aspite by Jasmine Trindall The judges said this was a great use of Space and symbolic imagery.

Third Prize - Reach for the Sky by Pia Michalandos The judges said this was a dynamic and surprising composition.

Special Award - Desire by Eliza Graaf The judges said this was materially engaging and an interesting visual critique of identity

Councillor's Commendation

Malala By Matraville High School Councillor Shurey and Neilson felt that this was an interesting and complex work which speaks to young women in particular and is highly appropriate for International Womens Day. This work is a collaboration made by students at Matraville Sports High School.

Councillor Award winner 2016

Congratulations to all our winners! Randwick City Council would like to sincerely thank the two judges for 2016 - Sylvia Ross from the UNSW and Sally Clarke, Artist and Manager of Air Space Projects.

Last Updated: 14 March 2023
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