The National Portrait Gallery's 2021 National Photographic Portrait Prize exhibition season will be extended until January 16, 2022. For the 2021 edition - named Living Memory to reflect the events of late 2019-2020 - the judges (National Gallery of Australia director Nick Mitzevich, National Portrait Gallery director Karen Quinlan and photographer Bill Henson) selected 79 works, more than double the usual number, to acknowledge the impact the pandemic has had on the creative community. Sydney photographer Joel B. Pratley was announced the 2021 winner in a live-streamed event on July 30 for his portrait Drought Story, of farmer David Kalisch in the midst of an unexpected dust storm. The Highly Commended prize went to Julian Kingma for Tom at the drain, and Melbourne artist Kristina Kraskov's portrait I'm just a suburban fashionista was awarded the Art Handlers Award in early August. All works from the exhibition can be viewed at portrait.gov.au/livingmemory. Audiences can also vote on the $5000 People's Choice Award, which will be announced in late October.
Megalo Print Studio is holding the online exhibition Ligature, featuring prints from VCA Editions. Since its foundation in 2015, VCA Editions has worked with artists to produce limited edition prints, enabling these artists to experiment with new materials, processes and techniques through collaboration with expert printers. In this exhibition are screenprints, lithographs, digital and C-type prints by such artists as Tony Garifalakis, Fiona McMonagle and Zilverster (Irene Hanenbergh and Sharon Goodwin). The exhibition is online from September 11 to October 16 at megalo.org/ligature.
The Street Theatre is inviting artists in the ACT and surrounding areas - writers, actors, directors, musicians, designers, dancers, video artists - interested in partnering and collaborating to develop live performance concept treatments for production at The Street. Artists receive a $5000 payment and free access of up to two weeks' creative space in 2021. COVID-19 restrictions apply. Work can also be undertaken online. Applications close on September 15, 2021. For more information and the application, visit thestreet.org.au and click on "Artists".
Portraiture Comes Home
The National Portrait Gallery has lots more happening online for lockdown. On Saturday, September 11 from 2-4pm is the drawing workshop Looking to pounce (free via Zoom and live on Facebook and YouTube), focused on ways of looking and engaging with drawing as a process rather than the creation of a finished product. On September 17 at 3.30pm is Bring on Spring! (free via Zoom and live on Facebook and YouTube), a flower-making workshop hosted by craft-based designer Kitiya Palaskas. Mindfulness Monday will begin on September 20 at 12.30pm (free via Zoom) and continue on Mondays into November. It's a virtual tour of Living Memory. On Wednesday, September 29 at 11am (free via Zoom and live on Facebook and YouTube) is Storytime - The Best Worst Day Ever hosted by Sophy Henn, followed by a craft session. Interactive tours of the galleries and collections via Zoom will be held every Tuesday from 12.30-1pm. Bookings and event updates at portrait.gov.au/liveonline.
2021 Carstairs Prize
The National Association for the Visual Arts has announced the Carstairs Prize has been boosted from $3000 to $10,000. This prize supports art projects that embrace participatory and collaborative experiences, and brings participants into active dialogue with the artist(s). Proposals may, but are not required to, explore collaborative arts practice in a time of pandemic and physical distancing. Applications close on October 17, 2021. See visualarts.net.au/nava-grants.