Awards - Nillumbik Prize for Contemporary Art 2019

Congratulations to the 2019 prize recipients.

Open Prize winner: Julia deVille for As above, so below.
Local Prize winner: Karena Goldfinch for Legacy .
Mayoral Award: Fionna Madigan for Barreenong Rd.
People’s Choice Award, sponsored by Montsalvat: James Barden for Pat's House

All entries were assessed by the Nillumbik Prize assessment panel, comprising of Kirsten Matthews, Consultant and Board Member, Bundoora Homestead and Art Centre, Patrick West, PhD Associate Professor in Writing and Literature, School of Communication and Creative Arts, Deakin University and Grace Longato, Curator and Creative Industries Officer, Nillumbik Shire Council.

All the works selected for exhibition in this presentation of the Nillumbik Prize for Contemporary Art are of a very high professional standard. It should be said that this made judging the prize challenging. This is a very good start to this new phase of the award(s) and the organisers of the award and the Nillumbick shire should be congratulated along with the artists represented.

The more than fifty works on show evidence a highly pluralistic arts culture. Within the exhibition, painting, drawing, printmaking. photography, sculpture, sculpture/jewellery, video, sound works, neon and site specific works are presented. Within most of these categories there are modes of significant divergence.

Amongst the three judges aspects of this plurality and divergence of preference and taste was apparent. It should be mentioned however the the two award winners were on each of our shortlists. The decision of the judges was happily and harmoniously unanimous. Our congratulations to all and on this occasion particularly so to Karena Goldfinch and Julia De Ville.

-Godwin Bradbeer

Congratulations also to all of the 2019 finalists: Lyn Ashby, Robert Baines, Anindita Banerjee, Elizabeth Banfield, James Barden, Lisa Bartolomei/David Coen/Donald Gray/Gillian Lever/Josh Peters, Kate Beynon, Aldo Bilotta, Suzie Blake, Julie Bradley, Fleur Brett, Kiri-Una Brito Meumann, Michelle Caithness, Samraing Chea, Isobel Clement, Kevin Chin, Lou Conboy, Emma Coulter, Peter Daverington, Jennifer Dellaportas, Julia deVille, Megan Evans, Anna Farago, Silvi Glattauer, Erika Gofton, Karena Goldfinch, Amala Groom, Sophia Hewson, Martin King, Tracey Lamb, Hayley Lander, Chris Langlois, Kimberley Liddle, Fionna Madigan, Clare McCracken, Leanne Mooney, Eunice Napanangka Jack and Tobias Titz, Naomi Nicholls, Yuria Okamura, Jasmine Poole, Oliver Poppert, Elvis Richardson, Nina Sanadze, Megan Seres, Daniel Sherington, Julie Shiels, Jason Sims, Vipoo Srivilasa, Tim Sterling, Camilla Tadich, Michael Vale, Damien Veal, Carole Wilson, Susan Wirth.

Image: 2019 Winner Julia deVille, As above, so below.

Video: 2019 People’s Choice Winner James Barden, Pat's House. Video courtesy of Araluen.

Nillumbik Prize for Contemporary Art 2019 Call for Entries Open

Nillumbik Shire Council presents the Nillumbik Prize for Contemporary Art, a biannual acquisitive art prize open to emerging and established artists working in any medium across Australia. Artworks, responding to the themes of Place and Space can take any form, including (but not limited to) sculpture, painting, drawing, printmaking, textiles, photography, installation, sound digital, video, performative. The Prize is presented in association with Montsalvat.

Three monetary prizes are applicable to the Nillumbik Prize for Contemporary Art including:

Open Prize:                         $20,000 acquisitive 

Local Prize:                         $10,000 acquisitive

People's Choice Award:    $500 cash prize sponsored by Montsalvat                      

Shortlist selection panel

Kirsten Matthews, Consultant and Board Member, Bundoora Homestead and Art Centre
Patrick West, PhD Associate Professor in Writing and Literature, School of Communication and Creative Arts, Deakin University
Grace Longato, Curator and Creative Industries Officer, Nillumbik Shire Council

Finalist exhibition

Thursday 30 May - Sunday 21 July
Barn Gallery, Montsalvat
7 Hillcrest Avenue, Eltham

Prize Judges

Godwin Bradbeer, artist
Charlotte Day, Director, Monash University Museum of Art  
Danny Lacy, Senior Curator, Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery

Key Dates    

Entries open: 10am, Monday 11 February
Entries close: Midnight, Friday 12 April   
All entrants notified by: Friday 26 April       
Finalists to deliver works by: Sunday 26 May    
Exhibition opening: 6.30-8.30pm, Thursday 30 May    
Finalist exhibition: Thursday 30 May-Sunday 21 July                       
People's Choice Award announced: Monday 22 July  

How to apply

Apply online through the Nillumbik Shire Council website here

To complete the online form you will need the following: 

  • Artist CV (no more than one page for each artist)

  • Artwork statement (max 100 words)

  • Image or video of artwork (up to two still images, JPG format, no less than 1MB; digital video or sound file formats)

  • Credit card for payment of entry fee

  • Read the conditions of entry in Related Information 

For more information contact Grace Longato, Curator and Creative Industries Officer on 9433 3131 or


Article: Jo Lane's 'drawing strength' exhibition

Montsalvat’s current Barn Gallery exhibition ‘drawing strength’ by Jo Lane has been featured in Art Almanac!

Curator Jo Lane, with Montsalvat Arts Manager Jeannette Davison, brings a group of international and Melbourne-based artists together for ‘drawing strength’, an exhibition of works offering up new ways to experience and think about drawing. Once seen as a preparatory phase for other artworks, and at times discarded in favour of finished work, drawing is now recognised as one of the most explosive forms of contemporary art making.
28 November 2018 | Art Almanac

To read the entire article please visit the website here

Image credits:
Top image: James Bonnici, Cavity, 2018, charcoal and carbon pencil on 600gsm paper, 76 x 56cm unframed
Bottom image: Jo Lane, Paon, 2018, graphite and colour pencil on black card, 97 x 71cm

Shinobu Kobayashi - Studio Furniture 2018 Exhibition

Montsalvat studio artist, Shinobu Kobayashi, is exhibiting in this year’s Studio Furniture 2018 Exhibition.

AWR Studio Furniture 2018 is an exciting landmark exhibition produced and sponsored by Australian Wood Review magazine and Bungendore Wood Works Gallery, and presented by Felder Group Australia.

One hundred and five submissions were received from Australia, New Zealand, USA, Denmark and Romania. The works created by 70 shortlisted entrants include beautifully designed and handcrafted tables, drinks cabinets, drawer chests, credenzas, chairs, chaises, rockers, boxes, mirrors, lighting and wall hung cabinets.

The exhibition will run from October 20, 2018 to January 31, 2019 at Bungendore Wood Works Gallery, NSW. All works are for sale.

Awards valued at over $21,000 will be presented at the opening on October 20, 2018 during the inaugural Wood Dust Australia festival. These include:
Bungendore Wood Works Gallery, NSW – $10,000, $3000, $2000 cash awards.
Felder Award for Fine Woodworking – Hammer N4400 bandsaw valued at $3166.
The George Ingham Fine Chair Making Award sponsored by Adrian Potter. 
Interwood Design Award sponsored by Interwood.
Emerging Designer Maker Award sponsored by Studio Woodworkers Australia

For more information please visit the Wood Review website here


MEDIA RELEASE: Montsalvat Appoints New Executive Director


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Monday October 22, 2018

Montsalvat today announced the appointment of a new Executive Director, Dr Jacqueline Ogeil.

Dr Ogeil is the Founder/director of the Woodend Winter Arts Festival, the inaugural Director of Duneira and the Founder/Director of the ARIA finalist baroque ensemble Accademia Arcadia.

Montsalvat Chair, Morag Fraser AM, said the appointment signals a fresh new era for Montsalvat and the Board is looking forward to assisting Dr Ogeil in her exciting new role.

Dr Ogeil said “I relish the challenge of making Montsalvat a player on the international artistic stage. Montsalvat has held a place in the hearts and psyche of the creative scene since its formation. I am delighted and honoured to join its community”.

Having formed not-for-profit organisations, Ogeil has directed relationship building, advocacy and communication, collaborative initiatives, fundraising, marketing, governance, strategic planning, administration and staffing, as well as maintaining her performance profile. Her creativity and wide-ranging experience have resulted in an ability to problem-solve with ingenuity.

In 2014 Dr Ogeil was a recipient of a Margaret Lawrence Bequest for Women in Arts Leadership, and in 2015 was named by Westpac and the Financial Review as one of the 100 Women of Influence.

Dr Ogeil is an internationally respected artistic leader, performer and musicologist, specialising in historical keyboards (fortepiano, harpsichord, organ) with critically-acclaimed CDs (11 in total) including world première recordings of Buxtehude cantatas, and Scarlatti sonatas performed on the world’s oldest piano (Portugal, c1750) and the historic organ in San Vicente de Fora in Lisbon. Many of her CDs have being named CD of the week by ABC Classic FM and 3MBS. Her Patrons have included Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, Sir Rupert Hamer and Barry Jones.


“In Dr. Ogeil I believe you have something of a national treasure.” Edward L. Kottick Professor Emeritus, School of Music, The University of Iowa, USA.

Jacky Ogeil will be performing with Accademia Arcadia at the Melbourne Recital Centre on Friday 23rd November 2018, 6pm

Primrose Potter Salon, Melbourne Recital Centre
For more information and to book tickets visit:


Jacky Ogeil will be performing with the Melbourne Baroque Orchestra on Sunday 25th November 2018, 3pm.

Church of All Nations
180 Palmerston St, Carlton VIC 3053
For more information and to book tickets visit:

About Montsalvat:

Montsalvat is a National Trust Listed property, located in Eltham, where emerging and established artists create, present and perform their work. It is Australia’s oldest continuing artist colony, with studios being occupied by a wide variety of artists including painters, ceramicists, jewellers, glass artists, textile artists, sculptors, writers, musicians and woodworkers. Established by Justus Jörgensen in 1934, the 48,500 m2 property is home to over a dozen buildings, houses, halls and richly-established gardens. It is loved by locals and tourists alike and hosts a rich calendar of artistic events including concerts, exhibitions and festivals. It is also a place to learn – with a newly opened ceramics centre offering beginner to master classes, plus jewellery-making and painting courses.

Montsalvat is a not-for-profit entity and since 2006 has been managed by Montsalvat Limited, governed by a Board of Directors working on an honorary basis.

Article: Melbourne Composers' League, Elbow Room: Mini Festival

An article has been written by Alan Holley about the Melbourne Composers’ League concert held in Montsalvat’s Barn Gallery on Sunday 30th September 2018.

Holley writes:

In the historic Montsalvat in the hills just out of Melbourne two concerts of 19 new works were presented by the Melbourne Composers’ League in just one day. The MCL is a rarity in Australia - a group of composers who band together to present new music with a focus on composers from Victoria. Appropriate then that the concert was held in the grounds of the important mid-20th century artist colony, a place devoted to communal artistic endeavours.

Encompassing composers of differing professional development, MCL concerts can be varied but all surely offer up a few gems. There was no theme in the selection for this one day mini festival and the music presented was a cross section from some of the members. And still it ran like clockwork due to the sterling efforts of co-curators Johanna Selleck (composer/flautist) and Colin McKellar.

To read the entire article click here


Current Artist in Residence, Chalise van Wyngaardt, opens play in this year's Melbourne Fringe Festival

Our current Artist in Residence Chalise van Wyngaardt opens her new play Objectophilia as part of the Fringe Festival on the 14th of September.  Written by Charlise during her residency here at Montsalvat, it’s a must see!


What kind of love is too taboo for you to accept? Queer spoken word artist and theatre-maker Chalise van Wyngaardt throws out the question this Melbourne Fringe in her latest one-woman play: Objectophilia, a psycho-romantic drama with a not-so-conventional love interest: a lamp. Poetic spoken-word monologue and neurotic physical theatre collide as Chalise dives into the mind of the Objectophile (or Objectum-Sexual), cracking open a conversation that will make you wish you stayed home with a nice RomCom.

The core focus of Chalise’s spoken-word and theatre has always been the intersection of faith and sexuality. She received full house standing ovations last Melbourne Fringe and has toured her spoken word poetry through numerous events and festivals across Australia. Objectophilia is Chalise’s most daring step yet, towards solving the age old conundrum: What is the nature of love and sexuality?

‘It started off as a joke,’ says Chalise, ‘I was drinking beers with a mate one night, and he started impersonating a hypermasculine aussie bloke who was so lonely, he formed an intimate relationship with a lamp. He just would not let this joke go, telling me in length about all the dates he’d go on with this lamp, ‘till he started crying about the fact that the bartender laughed his relationship off and wouldn’t serve his lamp a drink at the pub. Then it struck me – this story sounds exactly like the story of being queer in a conservative right-wing society!’

Chalise’s research found an entire community of ‘objectum-sexuals’ (a term coined by the woman who married the Berlin Wall) whose coming-out stories sound all-too-similar to her own story, and to so many stories in the LGBTQI community. ‘So where’s the line?’ Asks Chalise, ‘and if there isn’t one, where’s our trigger?’

Chalise is in love with language, and language loves her right back. As a poet and performer she has never not impressed me.’ Steve Smart, MPU President

“Chalise has sparks of Dante, Keats, Shakespeare, Ginsberg, with even more raw power than Patti Smith…” ―Peter Davis, 3CR Spoken Word

September 14 – 21 (excl. Monday 17th)
Times: 7:45 PM (6:45 PM Sunday) (50 minutes)
Venue: Son of Loft, Lithuanian Club, 44 Errol St, North Melbourne
Tickets: Full $20, Conc. $18.50, Preview $17, Group 4+ $17.50ea

TO BOOK TICKETS visit or call (03) 9660 9666
For media enquiries contact: Chalise van Wyngaardt, 0402 709 606 or


Jessica Jarvie - Winner, Peoples Choice Award, The Nillumbik Prize 2018

The winner of the Peoples Choice Award, The Nillumbik Prize 2018 was drawn on 18th July 2018 and the winner is Jessica Jarvie for her artwork, Winter Blues. 

The People Choice award of $500 is offered to the artist of the work deemed most popular by the people throughout the duration of the Nillumbik Prize 2018 finalists exhibition.

The Nillumbik Prize is a diverse exhibition which welcomes a broad variety of mediums and this year was no exception. The 2018 call out received entries spanning video, sculpture, painting, photography, installation, textiles, ceramics and glass, to name a few. Montsalvat was thrilled to, once again, host and administer this prize from the initial call for entries, all the way through to the resulting exhibition, and have enjoyed the experience of sharing it with our visitors over its' two month duration (31 May - 22 July 2018).

An enormous congratulations to Jessica Jarvie!

Congratulations also to all of this year's applicants who have each brought such passion and appreciation to this annual art prize. 

Image: Jarvie Jessica, 'Winter Blues', watercolour on paper, 67cm x 86cm

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Siri Hayes - Winner, The Nillumbik Prize 2018

The winner of the Nillumbik Prize 2018, as well as two Highly Commended awards, were selected and announced by Mark Feary, Artistic Director of Gertrude Contemporary, at the official opening of the exhibition on Thursday 31 May 2018. 

Siri Hayes was named winner of The Nillumbik Prize 2018 for her work Yellow oranges and purple browns, and Samuel Condon and Ash Keating were both awarded high commendations. Mark Feary had this to say about the Prize and his selection;

'Some 15 years after its founding, the Nillumbik Prize demonstrates its capacity to evolve and reflect the shifting nature of artistic practice. In selecting Siri Hayes as the 2018 recipient for her work 'Yellow oranges and purple browns', I was attracted to her abstraction of the photographic. It is a digital image of an image not yet formed, and indeed one that will never be revealed. With a nod to modernist abstraction in painting, the work nevertheless positions itself very much within a contemporary context. 
The work of Ash Keating similarly reflects upon the medium of painting. Yet instead of a canvas, Ash uses a vast concrete wall of an unremarkable industrial facility. As if to note the blight of such bland architecture, the artist paints its entire surface as if to evaporate the vision of the building entirely. Samuel Condon’s skillfully rendered painting has a scale that encourages intimacy. Somewhat timeless in its representation, the work shows its capacity to be highly representational, while almost dispensing with the full plane of the canvas.' 

The Nillumbik Prize is a diverse exhibition which welcomes a broad variety of mediums and this year was no exception. The 2018 call out received entries spanning video, sculpture, painting, photography, installation, textiles, ceramics and glass, to name a few. Montsalvat was thrilled to, once again, host and administer this prize from the initial call for entries, all the way through to the resulting exhibition, and will enjoy the experience of sharing it with our visitors over its' two month duration (31 May - 22 July 2018).

This year, the Nillumbik Prize received 182 artwork entries from 136 artists who either reside in or have a connection to the Nillumbik Shire. The selection panel consisted of Anthony Fitzpatrick of TarraWarra Museum, artist Christine Johnson and Grace Longato, Cultural Collections Officer at the Nillumbik Shire Council. We offer our thanks to the selection panel for their expert insights and integrity which resulted in a wonderfully diverse exhibition.

We would also like to thank Mark Feary sincerely for his generosity in judging The Nillumbik Prize 2018, and for his considerate and thoughtful evaluations of the many works on show. 

Last, but most certainly not least, we extend our enormous congratulations to the winners, the finalists, and all of this year's applicants who have each brought such passion and appreciation to this annual art prize. 

Visit the exhibition to have your say in the People's Choice Award, which will be drawn and announced on Wednesday the 18th July.

Image: 2018 Winner Siri HayesYellow oranges and purple browns, 2017, inkjet on cotton rag paper, 77cm x 77cm

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