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Olive Cotton Award for photographic portraiture 2015

2015 Olive Cotton Award Exhibition Catalogue (3.86mB PDF)

Exhibition Finalists

Matthew Abbott
Michele Aboud
Belinda Allen
Louise Allerton
Melissa Anderson
David Apostol
Dean Beletich
Simon Bernhardt
Brett Boardman
Michael Borzillo
Chris Budgeon
Billie Ann Bull
Daniel Campbell
Nick Chiarizia
Eva Collins
Nadine Cooper
Charles Coverdale
Katrina Crook
Ellen Dahl
Sean Davey
Mark Davis
Raimond de Weerdt
Tamara Dean
Karen Donnelly
Peter Erickson
Carla Feltham
Liss Fenwick
Michael Flatt
Kylie Foley
Rebecca Geddes
Tara Gilbee
Dean Golja
Georgia Graffin
Natalie Grono
Imogen Hall
Scott Hannaford and Rohan Thomson
Sahlan Hayes
Robyn Hills
Lisa Hogben
Kelly Hussey-Smith
Jodie Hutchinson
Lyndal Irons
Darren James
Camilla Johansson-Merrick
Ingvar Kenne
Shea Kirk
Liz Looker
Jon Love
Jessica Matino
Rosie McIntyre
Sandra Murphy
Debrah Novak
Zofia Nowicka
Jac Price
Zorica Purlija
Joanne Saad
Karl Schwerdtfeger
Tia Scott
Samuel Scoufos
Elise Searson
Laura Seeds
Laki Sideris
Stuart Spence
Cyrus Tang
Janet Tavener
Natalie Tirant
Tobias Titz
Craig Tuffin
Rhiannon Tully
Frances Valentine
Linda Wachtel
Perri Wain
Hilary Walker
Louise Walpole
John Watson
Carrie Webster
Louise Whelan
Peter Whyte
Richard Windeyer
Fiona Wolf-Symeonides
William Yang
David Young

Olive Cotton Award 2015

Olive Cotton Award for photographic portraiture

A $20,000 biennial national award for excellence in photographic portraiture dedicated to the memory of Olive Cotton, one of Australia’s leading twentieth century photographers. The winning work is acquired for the Gallery’s Collection.
The exhibition is selected from entrants across Australia and is a significant opportunity for both emerging and established photographers.

In 2005 Tweed Regional Gallery launched the Olive Cotton Award for photographic portraiture, funded by Olive Cotton’s family and dedicated to her memory as one of Australia’s leading twentieth century photographers.
The Award has grown and gained national recognition attracting entries from well-known and emerging photographers across Australia.

The Olive Cotton Award now boasts a major acquisitive biennial prize of $20,000, selected by the Award judge. In addition, the Friends of the Tweed Regional Gallery and Margaret Olley Art Centre Inc. fund $4000 for the acquisition of portraits from the exhibition entries to be chosen by the Gallery Director. Visitors to the exhibition may also vote for their 'people’s choice', which awards $250 for to the most popular finalist.

The Gallery thanks art dealer Josef Lebovic and photographer Sally McInerney, Olive Cotton’s daughter, for their ongoing support of the Award and also the Friends of the Gallery committee for their contributions, both financial and practical, to the Award and public program events. We also thank the many volunteers who assist with the huge task of receiving and despatching artworks and many other facets of the Prize organisation.

Parke_Trent_CAndid portrait of a woman on a street corner 2013

Trent Parke
Candid portrait of a woman on a street corner 2013
pigment print
Acquired as the Winner of the Olive Cotton Award for photographic portraiture, 2013

Dean_Tamara_Damien_Skiper_Olive Cotton Winner 2011

Tamara Dean
Damien Skipper 2011
pure pigment print on rag paper
Acquired as the Winner of the Olive Cotton Award for photographic portraiture, 2011

A short biography of Olive Cotton

Olive Cotton
Adapted from information provided by Sally McInerney, May 2005.

Olive Cotton (1911-2003) discovered the art of photography in childhood and stayed committed to it all her life. Her mother was a talented painter who died young; her father, a geologist, had learnt the elements of photography for his journey to the Antarctic in 1907 and later taught it to his children.

Having graduated with an Arts degree, Olive Cotton worked successfully as a photographer at the Dupain studios in Sydney until the end of World War II, then moved with her new husband Ross McInerney, to the bush near Koorawatha, NSW. For 20 years she had no access to darkroom facilities, but kept taking photographs.

In 1964 Cotton opened a small studio in Cowra and took local portraits, weddings and commissions. After a 40 year absence from the city art scene she re-emerged in 1985 with her first solo show at the Australian Centre for Photography in Sydney, she then concentrated on rediscovering and printing her life's work. A major exhibition of Cotton's works was shown at the Art Gallery of NSW in 2000.

Last Updated: 11 August 2015