$100,000 national art prize supporting contemporary Australian artists under 40.

Sydney-based artist Sarah Contos won the inaugural Ramsay Art Prize 2017, with her work Sarah Contos Presents: The Long Kiss Goodbye. The winning work of art brings together personal remnants of Contos’ practice, resulting in a colossal quilt that she describes as her most ambitious work to date.

Chosen from more than 450 entries from across the country, and selected by a panel of international and national contemporary art experts, Contos’ Ramsay Art Prize 2017 entry is now part of the Art Gallery of South Australia’s collection.

The judges of the Ramsay Art Prize 2017 were Rhana Devenport, former Director, Auckland Art Gallery, contemporary Australian Artist Nell and Leigh Robb, Curator of Contemporary Art, Art Gallery of South Australia.

Nell speaks to what this Prize means for artists when she says that ‘this Prize represents a rare combination of opportunities – to be included in a curated exhibition at the Art Gallery of South Australia; to be acquired into the Gallery’s collection and to receive a major financial reward that will fuel future work. For all the finalists, the very opportunity to be selected for exhibition at the Art Gallery is immeasurable’.

Julie Fragar was the winner of the Lipman Karas People’s Choice with her work Goose Chase: All of Us Together Here and Nowhere.

Presented by
  • James & Diana Ramsay Foundation
People's Choice Prize
  • Lipman Karas Logo
Installation view Ramsay Art Prize, Art Gallery of South Australia, 2017

Installation view Ramsay Art Prize, Art Gallery of South Australia, 2017, featuring Tony Albert, Girramay, Kuku Yalandji people, Queensland, Exotica (Mid Century Modern): photo: Saul Steed

Tony Albert

Mining imagery and source material from across the globe and drawing upon personal and collective histories, Tony Albert questions how we understand, imagine and construct difference...

Installation view Ramsay Art Prize, Art Gallery of South Australia, 2017

Installation view Ramsay Art Prize, Art Gallery of South Australia, 2017, featuring Khadim Ali, The Arrival : photo: Saul Steed

Khadim Ali

Born in Pakistan, Khadim Ali is an Afghan Hazara and among the third generation of family members to find themselves displaced from their homeland...

Installation view Ramsay Art Prize, Art Gallery of South Australia, 2017

Installation view Ramsay Art Prize, Art Gallery of South Australia, 2017, featuring Jacobus Capone, Forgiving Night for Day: photo: Saul Steed

Jacobus Capone

The intrepid practice of Jacobus Capone is hinted at in this work filmed in Lisbon, Portugal over seven consecutive sunrises. Titled Forgiving Night for Day, the work is a reflection on ‘saudade’...

Installation view Ramsay Art Prize, Art Gallery of South Australia, 2017

Installation view Ramsay Art Prize, Art Gallery of South Australia, 2017, featuring Celeste Chandler, Heroic Painting: photo: Saul Steed

Celeste Chandler

Celeste Chandler is fascinated by figurative painting – an age-old art form with a contemporary identity crisis. In Heroic Painting she paints her own face fifteen times..

Sarah Contos Presents: The Long Kiss Goodbye, 2016, Gift of the James & Diana Ramsay Foundation for the Ramsay Art Prize 2017, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide

Sarah Contos Presents: The Long Kiss Goodbye, 2016, Gift of the James & Diana Ramsay Foundation for the Ramsay Art Prize 2017, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide. Courtesy of the artist and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney and STATION Gallery, Melbourne: photo: Saul Steed.

Sarah Contos

Working across collage, sculpture and installation, Sarah Contos references popular culture, eroticism and art history. In Sarah Contos Presents: The Long Kiss Goodbye, the artist brings together...

Installation view Ramsay Art Prize, Art Gallery of South Australia, 2017, featuring Georgina Cue, Living Room (Aelita), Living Room (Meller), Living Room (Sonia)  photo: Saul Steed

Installation view Ramsay Art Prize, Art Gallery of South Australia, 2017, featuring Georgina Cue, Living Room (Aelita), Living Room (Meller), Living Room (Sonia) photo: Saul Steed

Georgina Cue

Referencing Russian constructivism, German expressionism and graffiti culture, Georgina Cue used DIY materials such as cardboard and spray paint to create a series of large-scale stages...

Installation view Ramsay Art Prize, Art Gallery of South Australia, 2017, featuring Keg de Souza, We Built this City and Justine Varga, Antidote, Cerebration, Abrasion, Ripe, Marking Time : photo: Saul Steed

Installation view Ramsay Art Prize, Art Gallery of South Australia, 2017, featuring Keg de Souza, We Built this City and Justine Varga, Antidote, Cerebration, Abrasion, Ripe, Marking Time : photo: Saul Steed

Keg de Souza

Keg de Souza has formal training in architecture and an interest in alternative and radical spaces. In We Built This City, salvaged tents are cut apart and reconfigured...

Julie Fragar, Australia, born 1977, Goose Chase: All of Us Together Here and Nowhere, 2015, Brisbane, oil on board, 160.0 x 122.0 cm; Gift of the Art Gallery of South Australia Contemporary Collectors 2018, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, Courtesy the artist and Sarah Cotter Gallery, Sydney.

Julie Fragar

Julie Fragar made the large painting, Goose Chase: All of Us Together Here and Nowhere, after her trip to the Azores Islands in Portugal in search of her ancestor Antonio de Fraga...

Installation view: 2017 Ramsay Art Prize featuring The persistent yellowing (time piece) by Teelah George, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide; photo: Saul Steed.

Teelah George

In The Persistent Yellowing (time piece), Teelah George employs embroidery and bronze to consider time, materiality and the inevitable entropy of all things. ‘Yellowing’ refers to the colour yellow...

installation view: 2017 Ramsay Art Prize featuring All of your women and some of mine by Natalya Hughes, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide; photo: Saul Steed.

Natalya Hughes

All of Your Women and Some of Mine by Natalya Hughes features paintings, prints and furnishings that playfully critique the representation of women in Modernist painting...

Installation view: 2017 Ramsay Art Prize featuring Pankalangu wardrobe by Trent Jansen, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide; photo: Saul Steed.

Trent Jansen

While in Alice Springs, Trent Jansen was introduced to Western Arrernte elder Baden Williams, and the pair bonded over Williams’ accounts of Western Arrernte creatures such as the pankalangu...

Ash Keating, Australia, born 1980, Gravity System Response #28 (Polyptych), 2016, Melbourne, synthetic polymer on linen, 350.0 x 200.0 cm; Courtesy the artist and Blackartprojects, Melbourne.

Ash Keating

Gravity System Response #28 is the largest work to date in this series of Ash Keating’s ongoing chromatic pursuits. Keating is influenced by the colour theories developed by Australian emigre...

Installation view: 2017 Ramsay Art Prize featuring Sankalpa by Owen Leong, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide; photo: Saul Steed.

Owen Leong

Working with photography and sculpture, Owen Leong investigates how the body is framed – physically, socially and culturally. His work evolves from the premise that identities are fluid...

Installation view: 2017 Ramsay Art Prize featuring The richest by Vincent Namatjira, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide; photo: Saul Steed.

Vincent Namatjira

Vincent Namatjira, the great-grandson of Albert Namatjira, presents a chronicle of our times in his bold and expressive paintings. In this series he has painted portraits of the seven wealthiest...

Installation view: 2017 Ramsay Art Prize featuring Ngaben Bukan - Teaching by Joey Nganjmirra, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide; photo: Saul Steed.

Joey Nganjmirra

One of the younger generation of Kunwinkju artists living and working in Gunbalanya in western Arnhem Land, Joey Nganjmirra is a storyteller, dancer and cultural ambassador...

detail: Baden Pailthorpe, Australia, born 1984, Alt-right Arabesque, 2016, Tokyo, HD Video, 1:1 HD Video, 3 mins, Courtesy the artist and Sullivan+Strumpf, Sydney.

Baden Pailthorpe

Baden Pailthorpe is part of a generation of artists whose practice is shaped by Internet culture. In Alt-right Arabesque, Pailthorpe continues his interest in the performing digital body...

Installation view Ramsay Art Prize, Art Gallery of South Australia, 2017, featuring Julie Fragar, Goose Chase: All of Us Together Here and Nowhere, Clare Peake, Intermediate Pots and Owen Leong, Sankalpa photo: Saul Steed

Clare Peake

Clare Peake is interested in the materiality of thought as well as the questions of how to generate ideas and how to conjure up something that we haven’t yet thought about...

installation view: 2017 Ramsay Art Prize featuring I pray at ashes of my grandmother and at the photo of my grandfather who I’ve never met. I pray for big chunks of meat, for big bowls of alcohol and for sex. They send me demons to battle by Jason Phu, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide; photo: Saul Steed.

Jason Phu

Jason Phu grew up in a Chinese household in Australia and visited relatives in Beijing every year. Chinese culture and the elements of Chan Buddhism and Taoism have always been essential...

Installation view: 2017 Ramsay Art Prize featuring Lapin Plague by Rebecca Selleck, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide; photo: Saul Steed.

Rebecca Selleck

‘Since I was a small child, I’ve been entranced by the inconsistent relationships humans have with other animals. We can easily empathise with them on the one hand, but disengage on the other:...

Installation view: 2017 Ramsay Art Prize featuring Karrawirra Yerta by James Tylor, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide; photo: Saul Steed.

James Tylor

James Tylor specialises in experimental and historical photographic processes. He uses a hybrid of analogue and digital photographic techniques to reference colonial history and its legacy...

Installation view: 2017 Ramsay Art Prize featuring Memoire by Justine Varga, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide; photo: Saul Steed.

Justine Varga

Made without a camera over extended periods of time, the photographs of Justine Varga offer an autobiographical witnessing of the world – a memoire, rather than merely an act of representation...