____ The Alice Art Prize & the John Leslie Art Prize ____

The Alice Prize and the John Leslie Prize – contemporary Australian art prizes are testimony to the talent, depth, and variety within Australian contemporary art.

The fluid ‘spontaneous’ beauty of Thea Anamara Perkin’s Tent Embassy – says so much with so little.

Highlighting the diversity of subject matter accessed by Australian landscape artists, the JLP represents a thrilling roller coaster ride through a snapshot of some of Australia’s best.

The haunting luscious bravura of Willis’ Ancient Being #3, the spartan beauty of Tomasetti’s fresco plaster Kailash from the Air and the gritty desolate ‘realism’ of Guerilla Bay 2 by Romeyn to cite three, indicate just the tip of the iceberg.




Inaugurated in 2000, the John Leslie Art Prize is a national, biennial prize for landscape painting, named after the former Patron of the Gippsland Art Gallery, John Leslie OBE (1919-2016).


Gippsland Art Gallery is pleased to announce the finalists for the ‘John Leslie Art Prize 2020’.
Winner John Leslie Art Prize 2018: Vanessa Kelly, Wyatt Brothers Chicory Kiln, Corinella Gippsland, 2018, Acrylic on linen, 90 x 120cmCollection Gippsland Art Gallery. Acquired, 2018.

This year the Gallery received 409 artworks submitted by 334 artists from all over Australia. The three-member selection panel, comprising Gallery Director Simon Gregg, Curator Erin Mathews, and Art Critic Robert Nelson was impressed by the quality and variety of entries.

A total of 50 works have been selected as finalists for this prize.

Each of the finalists will be vying for the $20,000 Prize, with the winning work to be automatically acquired for the Gallery’s permanent collection.

There is also a $1,000 Prize available for the Best Gippsland Work.

Vote for your favourite artwork in the online People’s Choice Award for the John Leslie Art Prize 2020.


Click on a few favourites to highlight details!



Announcing the winner of The Alice Prize 2020

Thea Anamara Perkins, Tent Embassy


Thea Anamara Perkins, Tent Embassy, Acrylic on clayboard, 40.5cm x 30.5cm,  / Collection Alice Springs Art Foundation
The inspiration for my painting is a treasured family photo of my grandfather Charles Perkins and aunt Rachel Perkins taken during a land rights protest outside Old Parliament House in Canberra.

My grandfather was born at the Bungalow (then the Half-Caste Institution) in Mparntwe/Alice Springs. This image is reflective of the way that politics was personal for my grandfather, and that he dedicated his life to the fight for justice for our people.

Judge’s Comments

Thea Anamara Perkins has honed her attention on a singular moment in time that has both great personal and political potency. Her exquisite jewel-like embrace of painting and its potential reinvigorates realism and conveys both familial tenderness and profound historic change in this country.  – Rhana Devenport (Judge)


This artwork has been acquired by the Alice Springs Art Foundation and gifted to the people of Alice Springs.

Click the Araluen Arts Centre to view the exhibition online.


Archibald Prize finalist in 2019
Thea Anamara Perkins’ subject is contemporary Aboriginal artist Christian Thompson.
‘I met Christian when I was nine and he has been part of our family ever since. I have always admired Christian’s work and the inner world that generates it.’

In his images, he will often meld into a dreamscape and is often partially or largely concealed. It was my intention to bring him unadorned, as an individual, to the forefront,’ says Perkins.

‘In making this portrait I felt the importance of creating representations of Indigenous people in our multifariousness.

I think it is also important to represent our queer community. Christian’s heritage is alluded to in the stem of Desert Slipper, which grows on Bidjara country in Barcaldine, Queensland, where he is from.
Thea Anamara Perkins, Christian, acrylic on clay board, 61 x 46cm

Pink felt dynamic and I hoped to capture Christian’s gentleness and what he calls his “feminine Virgo moon-rising energy”. I let him arrive at his pose naturally and focused on the face and hands, and let the clothes merge into the frame.’

Born in Sydney in 1992, Perkins is an Arrernte and Kalkadoon woman. She…was a lead artist in the restoration of the 40,000 years mural in Redfern. This is her first time in the Archibald Prize.


Thea Anamara Perkins

I’m overjoyed as an Arrernte woman that this work has it’s home in Alice Springs on country.

“It’s truly a profound honour to be the recipient of the Alice Prize in the company of so many incredible artists that I respect and admire. I dedicate it to the memory of my grandfather Charlie and my great grandmother Hetti, especially in trying times like these I look to them for inspiration.”


John Leslie Art Prize: Artist’s dealer galleries

Min Woo Bang: Linton and Kay Perth:  Mitchell Fine Art Brisbane: Wagner Contemporary Sydney

Betra Fraval:  James Makin Gallery Melbourne

Tuppy Ngintja Goodwin: Mimili Maku Arts  via Alice Springs

Judy Martin:  Mimili Maku Arts  via Alice Springs

Adam Pyett: Sophie Gannon Gallery Melbourne

Annika Romeyn: Flinders Lane Gallery Melbourne

Leah Thiessen: Flinders Lane Gallery Melbourne

AJ Taylor: Martin Browne Contemporary  Sydney: Jan Murphy Gallery Brisbane

Sarah Tomasetti: Australian Galleries Melbourne and Sydney


Look out for more contemporary Australian art prizes on liberal eclectic in 2020!

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