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Dobell Drawing Prize #22

The Dobell Drawing Prize is an unparalleled celebration of drawing technique and innovation. This National Art School touring exhibition showcases 43 of the 64 finalists from the 2021 Prize and includes Euan Macleod’s winning work, chosen by guest judge and acclaimed artist Lucy Culliton. Presenting a range of material approaches – from animation, collage and paper weaving, to charcoal, ink and watercolour – the exhibition demonstrates the remarkable vitality and scope of contemporary Australian drawing.

William Dobell’s love of drawing was recognised in 1993 when the Sir William Dobell Art Foundation (SWDAF) initiated a drawing prize in his name at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. For twenty years, the annual Dobell Prize for Drawing encouraged excellence in drawing and draughtsmanship among Australian artists. Past winners include Kevin Connor, David Fairbairn, Virginia Grayson, Nicholas Harding, Ann Pollak, Gareth Sansom, Jan Senbergs, Garry Shead and Aida Tomescu.

Building on the legacy of this respected award, the National Art School partnered with the SWDAF in 2019 to produce the biennial Dobell Drawing Prize. This new competition preserves an important attribute of the original prize, by not stipulating what a drawing is in the terms and conditions of entry. This allows definitions of drawing to shift and evolve with each exhibition, depending on the entries of the artists and the perspectives of the judges. The Dobell Drawing Prize #22 – the 22nd exhibition in the Prize’s storied history – continues this tradition of fostering conversations around the changing role of drawing within contemporary art practice.

The winner of the Dobell Drawing Prize is awarded $30,000 and their work becomes part of the National Art School Collection. The judging process is initially undertaken digitally by a panel of practising artists. In 2021, the panel included Michelle Belgiorno (artist and trustee at the SWDAF), Simon Cooper (artist and head of studies at the National Art School) and Lucy Culliton (artist and 2021 guest judge). After 64 finalists were selected out of a record 948 entries from around the country, guest judge Lucy Culliton chose the outright winner at the Prize exhibition in March 2021.

Judge’s statement:
‘In the initial stage of judging, I was surprised by the variety of materials artists use to make drawings – from ceramics, stitching and painting to digital technology. In judging the finalists, we selected some of these works because of their drawing merits. The initial round was judged digitally, so when I saw the finalists hung it was a pleasure and a surprise. My final decision came down to a fundamental drawing practice, with my top three finalists being Amanda Penrose Heart, Martin King and Euan Macleod. Euan’s work is fast and immediate drawing, describing a landscape in a blur of activity. There is an accurate freshness I am drawn to, making Euan the winner of this year’s Dobell Drawing Prize.’ – Lucy Culliton, March 2021

A National Art School Touring Exhibition.

Yvonne East, Concerns with representation of the beloved, Austen age 14 (detail) 2020, charcoal on canvas, 74 x 85 cm, image courtesy and © the artist

Exhibition Details

Opening Event: 6pm Friday 2 September
Closes: Sunday 23 October

Drawing Workshop with Anthony Cahill 

This intensive three-hour workshop is available to youth between the ages of 15-17 years. Anthony Cahill is a Drawing Lecturer currently teaching at the National Art School in Sydney and was a finalist in the Dobell Drawing Prize #22, which is currently on display at the Griffith Regional Art Gallery until Sunday 23 October.

Anthony will provide participants with insight into basic mark-making through the practice of drawing. Participants will also gain a better understanding of drawing principles, observation of a subject and mark-making techniques such as outlining and shading.

All materials for this workshop will be supplied. We ask that participants only register for one of the two workshops available. 

Proudly funded by the NSW Government.

Workshop Details

Cost: Free
Age: 15-17 years
Friday 7 October, 9am - 12pm 
Saturday 8 October, 9am - 12pm

Register Now  



Education Information

Educational Tours - Wednesday 7 September to Friday 21 October
We have planned an exciting experience for students to come and learn about the Dobell Drawing Prize #22 and encourage all schools in the local and surrounding areas to consider booking a tour date with us. Guided tours are a free experience and will be presented by the Gallery Coordinator Raymond Wholohan. If you were interested in taking the experience further we have a range of additional activities we can offer.

To book a tour or to enquire about a custom art experience please contact the Griffith Regional Art Gallery on 6962 8338 or email gallery@griffith.nsw.gov.au

Dobell Drawing Prize #22 Education Kit
This resource is written in line with the years 7–10 Visual Arts Syllabus and the Higher School Certificate Visual Arts Syllabus, as a guide to exploring the exhibition or as a pre/post visit resource. It includes two activities suitable for years K-6. Tertiary students and the general public may also find the resource useful. Teachers can use this resource to engage students in a critical appreciation of contemporary drawing. The resource encourages students to consider a range of forms, themes and genres which will inform their own artmaking.

Download Education Kit  

Opening Hours

Saturday & Sunday: 11am - 2pm  
Wednesday - Friday: 10am - 5pm  
Closed: Monday & Tuesday  

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