Footscray Art Prize 2021 Shortlist Announced


The Footscray Art Prize is a vital event for the local creative community, bolstering the reputation of Melbourne’s western suburbs as a thriving hub for artistic and cultural vibrancy. Over 170 works nationally have been shortlisted for 2021, across the primary, street art and young artist prize. Works are to be exhibited from 7 May – 5 June at Footscray Community Arts Centre (FCAC) and VU at MetroWest.

This year saw a record number of entries to the biennial prize – over 830 – which was reviewed by the judging panel made up of National Gallery of Victoria Curator Myles Russell-Cook, Victorian College of the Arts lecturer Vikki McInnes and former Director of Heide Museum of Modern Art Kirsty Grant.

“What a joy it was to see the breadth and depth of entries into this year’s FAP, and what a shame we couldn’t include every single one in the exhibition. Heartfelt thanks to all of the artists for holding their nerve during these most challenging of times, and hearty congratulations to all the finalists — it’s going to be quite a show!” said Vikki McInnes.

Mediums range from geographical core samples and a hologram device to delicate ceramic porcelain, with recurring themes of isolation and relationships to reflect the events of 2020.

“The entries provided a fascinating glimpse into contemporary creative practice around the country, both in terms of trends in the material means artists are working with, and the issues that are most relevant,” said Kirsty Grant.

The emerging and established artists featured include: Megan Evans, who has made the shortlist for a second year in a row with an intricately beaded piece; Layla Vardo who will show David Attenborough in a new light through her video; and David Cox, an artist from the Warmun Art Centre who reimagines ways of communicating his Dreaming stories.

“Following lockdown, and a year when many artists were forced to adapt their practice to work in new ways and often under extreme circumstances, each of the entries is a testament to the power of all artists creativity during difficult times,” said Myles Russell-Cook.

Footscray Art PrizeThe shortlisted artists go into the running for a total cash prize pool of $28,000, including the coveted $10,000 main prize, with winners announced on Friday 7 May at the exhibition opening night.

The biennial prize is a unique collaboration between Victoria University, Maribyrnong City Council, Footscray Community Arts Centre and the Rotary Club of Footscray, who share a commitment to promoting achievements in the arts.

The Footscray Art Prize and Street Art Prize shortlist will be exhibited at FCAC, and the Young Artists Prize shortlist exhibition will take place at VU MetroWest.

Peruse the list of shortlisted artists and works below.



Ahmad Sabra

Amala Groom & Saha Jones
this is a sign

Anna Kiparis 
Midnight Mass

Carolyn Craig
Proximal Noise: Principles and actions against Anoxia

Cassandra Downs
Bilby Vessel

Cassandra Tytler

Chelle Destefano
Audist College

Ches Mills 

Chloe Lee
Dat Thanh Bakery sign

Darcey Bella Arnold
errored inclusion

David Cox
Two Sisters

Fassih Keiso  
Consolidation: Youth in the Age of War and COVID-19

Georgia Banks
She’s Beauty, She’s Grace

James Hale
25 Special

Jenna Corcoran

Jenna Lee
dis/bound re/bound

Jessie Deane
Needlepoint Night Docks

Johny Salama

Kent Morris
Barkindji Blue Sky – Ancestral Connections #4

Kurt Medenbach

Laura Woodward
And the Sun was filled with Salt

Layla Vardo
Orders of Magnitude

Lee Harrop
And this, too, shall pass

Linda Sok
Salt Water Deluge

Mark Forbes

Megan Evans
Mother Country

Naomi Nicholls
Gradient Cutting #1

Nicholas Burridge
Fluid Rock

Patrick Snelling
My Footscray

Paul Briggs
Enter the Dragon/Footscray

Peter Burke 
Take lasagne out of fridge

Phu La
Neville meets Devil

Riana Head-Toussaint
First Language

Rozalind Drummond
Field Studies

Ryan Andrew Lee
Wonnarua, 2019

Scotty So
As She…

Simon Clark
Gaskin Gardens

Stephen Palmer & Nina Ross 
Union Banner

Tim Van
Featherweight Cannon


Emma Coulter
Spatial deconstruction #25 (perceptual vortex)

Hayden Dewar
I can hear a ringtail possum

Jaime Powell


All young artist entries are displayed in the exhibition.


For more information about the upcoming exhibition and to view a list of shortlisted artists, visit www.footscrayartprize.com

Image 1: Featured works include Bloom 2  by Ceardai Demelza (left) and Self portrait on a Beach Towel by Tom Goodman (right). Photo by Shuttermain
Image 2: Shuttermain

©2021 Footscray Community Arts Centre