Artist Polly Borland has won the Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Photography Award (JUWSPA) with her piece, Two Heads. She joins the likes of Justine Varga, Owen Leong, Shaun Gladwell and other past winners.

JUWSPA is an initiative of the Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Foundation aimed at highlighting Australian contemporary photography and supporting and encouraging those who contribute to the field. Now in its 15th year, the award boasts a striking timeline of brilliant themes and unique approaches to the medium.

The reward is normally a $20,000 cash prize and the addition of the winning piece to the Gold Coast City Gallery‘s collection of contemporary photography. However, this year JUWSPA became the largest award for photography in Queensland and second-largest in Australia with total cash prizes of $50,000.

The winning jackpot was increased by $5000 and another $25,000 was split amongst other acquisitions to the Gold Coast City Gallery collection. Darren Sylvester and Danie Mellor taking home cash prizes for their respective pieces, Broken Model and The distance (envisioning Girrugarr). The award also held great significance as it honoured the late Win Schubert, who passed in April, and her lifelong generosity to, and love for, the field of contemporary photography.

This year saw more than 300 submissions from a diverse range of photographers, many of whom call the Gold Coast home. The Gold Coast City Gallery director, Tracey Cooper-Lavery, spoke of the value this award adds to the livelihoods of those in an around the field of contemporary photography.

“Art prizes like the Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Photography Award play an important role in our local cultural life and profile and promote the work of emerging and established artists to our audience,” she said.

“As the Gold Coast continues to raise its profile on a national level as a home of art and culture we are well and truly setting the scene for our future new gallery and cultural precinct due in 2020.”

“The piece is a compelling, edgy and uncanny photograph…It’s an intriguing essay in pictorial and psychological contradiction and…I found it hard to look away,” said Chris Saines, Director of Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) and judge of this year’s competition

Borland is an established artist who began in the late 1980s with major portrait commissions. Since the early 2000s, her projects, exhibitions and publications have consisted of a range of documentary, collaborative and created subjects. In 1994, she won the John Kobal Photographic Award with her piece Adrianna, Transvestite, Brazil.

To view the winner and other finalists in exhibition, visit the Gold Coast City Gallery for free showings between Saturday 9 September and Sunday 22 October.

See socials from the launch of the Brisbane Art Prize here.


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