Napier Waller Art Prize
Entries for the 2022 prize have now closed.
The Napier Waller Art Prize is open to all current and former service personnel in the Australian Defence Force. The prize encourages artistic excellence, promotes the transformative power of creativity, and raises awareness of the experiences and talent of service personnel.
Initiated in 2018, the Napier Waller Art Prize was named after Mervyn Napier Waller, an Australian artist who enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force in August 1915. In May 1917 he was wounded in the right arm while serving with the 11th Field Artillery Brigade during the fighting at Bullecourt. His arm was later amputated, and during his convalescence he learned to write and draw with his left hand, saying, “an artist draws with his head, not his hands”. In 1937 Waller was chosen to create the mosaics and stained glass windows in the Australian War Memorial’s Hall of Memory.
Serving personnel and veterans are invited to enter an original artwork and artist statement. Entries will be judged by a panel of art experts and professionals, and a winning artwork selected on merit. Entries using diverse artistic media and original concepts are encouraged.
The winning work is accessioned into the Australian War Memorial collection, with the winning artist receiving a $10,000 cash prize. The winning entrant will also receive the opportunity to undertake residency program, organised by the Art Section at the Memorial. The length and location of this residency will be determined according to available resourcing, and the winning artist’s practice. Finalists’ works are displayed on the Australian War Memorial’s website for the general public to vote for the People’s Choice award, the winner of which will receive $5,000.
The judging panel for this year’s Prize consisted of:
- General Angus Campbell AO DSC, Chief of the Defence Force;
- Matt Anderson, PSM, Director, Australian War Memorial;
- Laura Webster, Head of Art, Australian War Memorial;
- Professor Paddy Nixon, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University, University of Canberra;
- eX de Medici, former Official War Artist;
- Dr Deborah Hart, Henry Dalrymple Head Curator, Australian Art, National Gallery of Australia;
- Fiona Borthwick, Senior Curator, Centre for Creative Health, Hospital Research Foundation;
- Gary Dawson, Vice President – Strategy, Thales Australia.
An exhibition of Highly Commended works will open at Australian Parliament House in June 2022. An online exhibition of all shortlisted works will be launched on the Memorial’s website in June 2022.
“We tell our stories with what we have, not with what we hope that we might have....My work is made up of a whole lot of individual pieces of yarn, and there are a whole lot of stories from myself that have gone into it, so the threading together of those stories is the therapeutic nature of it.”
- Matt Jones, Winner, 2020 Napier Waller Art Prize
For any enquiries about the Napier Waller Art Prize please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A bibliography of international research in the field of creative arts and health can be found here.
The Napier Waller Art Prize is presented in partnership by The Road Home, the University of Canberra, Thales Australia, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.