Open to Australian artists under forty working in any medium, the Ramsay Art Prize has redefined the way we think about art prizes. More than 350 artists under the age of forty submitted entries for the Ramsay Art Prize 2021. These twenty-four finalists have created compelling works of art that probe society today using a variety of mediums. The finalists are:

Hoda Afshar (VIC), Cigdem Aydemir (NSW), Ella Barclay (ACT), Nathan Beard (WA), Kate Bohunnis (SA), Sam Cranstoun (QLD), Dean Cross (NSW), Zaachariaha Fielding (SA), Liam Fleming (SA), Julia Gutman (NSW), Solomon Kammer (SA), Kieren Karritpul (NT), Juanella McKenzie (SA), Daniel McKewen (QLD), Alasdair McLuckie (VIC), Hayley Millar Baker (VIC), Nabilah Nordin (VIC), Tom O'Hern (TAS), Tom Polo (NSW), Anna Madeleine Raupach (ACT), Anna Louise Richardson (WA), Lisa Sammut (ACT), Nicola Smith (NSW) and Kasia Tons (SA).

This year’s finalists were selected by a judging panel of contemporary art specialists comprised of Wiradjuri artist Karla Dickens, Dr Daniel Mudie Cunningham, Director of Programs at Carriageworks and Rebecca Evans, Curator of Decorative Arts & Design at AGSA. The winner will be judged from the exhibition and announced at the official opening on Friday 21 May 2021. The work is acquired into the Gallery’s collection with the winning artist receiving $100,000, thanks to the generosity of the James & Diana Ramsay Foundation.

The exhibition also includes a People’s Choice Prize worth $15,000, supported by sponsor Lipman Karas, and decided by public vote.

Presented by
  • James and Diana Ramsay Foundation
People's Choice Prize
  • Lipman Karas Logo

detail: Hoda Afshar, Iran/Australia, born 1983, Agonistes, 2020, Melbourne, one-channel digital video with sound, 20.08 minutes, nine photographic portraits; Courtesy of the artist and Milani Gallery, Brisbane, © Hoda Afshar.

Hoda Afshar

Born in Tehran, Hoda Afshar is an artist based in Narrm (Melbourne) who works with photography and the moving image to explore the nature and possibilities of documentary image-making...

Cigdem Aydemir, Australia, born 1983, Veils on Veils I, II, III, 2020, Sydney, three-channel HD video, 1.08 minutes; Courtesy of the artist and Finkelstein Gallery, Melbourne, © Cigdem Aydemir, photo: Marion Moore.

Cigdem Aydemir

Cigdem Aydemir’s socially and politically engaged practice takes interest in postcolonial and feminist issues, and frequently explores the veil as a symbol of cultural identity...

still: Ella Barclay, Australia, born 1981, Dense Bodies and Unknown Systems, 2020, Canberra, projected looped video with sound, 4.30 minutes, acrylic, water, electronics, aluminium, steel; Courtesy of the artist, © Ella Barclay.

Ella Barclay

Ella Barclay explores the complex yet universal experience of living in a networked world...

Nathan Beard, Australia, born 1987, Limp-wristed Gesture (i), 2020, Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, Crawley, Western Australia, silicone, found objects, acrylic nails, Swarovski Elements, cotton, wax, Fenty Beauty, Tom Ford Beauty, nail polish, painted steel, 157.0 x 73.0 x 28.0 cm (left), 177.0 x 67.5 x 28.0 cm (right); Courtesy of the artist, © Nathan Beard, photo: Bo Wong.

Nathan Beard

Nathan Beard is a multidisciplinary artist who unpacks the influences of culture, memory and authenticity drawing upon his Australian-Thai heritage...

Kate Bohunnis, born 1990, edges of excess, 2020, Thebarton, South Australia, stainless steel, aluminium, chain, silicone, electronic mechanism; Courtesy of the artist, © Kate Bohunnis, photo: Sam Roberts.

Kate Bohunnis

Focusing on identity, gender and queer perspectives, Bohunnis’ installations connect materials with psychological states and behaviours...

detail: Sam Cranstoun, Australia, born 1987, Look Out!, 2020, Brisbane, aluminium, steel, enamel, timber, synthetic polymer, twine, gypsum cement, bamboo, plant materials; Courtesy of the artist and Milani Gallery, Brisbane, © Sam Cranstoun.

Sam Cranstoun

Encompassing drawing, painting, video and sculpture, Sam Cranstoun’s practice examines power structures and the potential for images to shape historical narratives...

still: Dean Cross, Worimi people, New South Wales, born 1986, Canberra, Reflect (Self Portrait as an Australian Painter), 2020, Sydney, HD video with sound, 8.44 minutes; Courtesy the artist and Yavuz Gallery, Singapore & Sydney, © Dean Cross.

Dean Cross

Dean Cross is an artist of Worimi descent interested in colliding materials, ideas and history...

Zaachariaha Fielding, Pitjantjatjara/Yankunytjatjara people, South Australia, born 1991, Port Augusta, South Australia, A Question About Direction, 2020, Adelaide, synthetic polymer paint on linen, 200.0 x 300.0 cm; Courtesy of the artist and APY Art Centre Collective, Adelaide, © Zaachariaha Fielding, photo: APY Art Centre Collective.

Zaachariaha Fielding

“I was raised on desert country in the eastern Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands, and come from a long line of multi-disciplinary artists..."

Liam Fleming, Australia, born 1989, Post-Production, 2020, Adelaide, glass, 31.0 x 21.0 x 22.0 cm; Courtesy of the artist, © Liam Fleming, photo: Grant Hancock.

Liam Fleming

Technically trained as a glass-blower, Liam Fleming's architecturally inspired practice is grounded in the most precise of techniques...

detail: Julia Gutman, Australia, born 1993, No one Told Me the Shadows Could Be So Bright, 2020, Sydney, clothes worn and forgotten by the artist's friends, found tablecloths, wire, thread, wooden frame, industrial chains, 160.0 x 100.0 cm, 140.0 x 100.0 cm; Courtesy of the artist, © Julia Gutman.

Julia Gutman

Living and working on Gadigal Country (Sydney), Julia Gutman alters found textiles to produce personal, narrative-driven installations...

Solomon Kammer, born 1991, Perpetuity, 2020, Richmond, South Australia, oil on canvas, 108.0 x 160.0 cm; Courtesy of the artist and Yavuz Gallery, Singapore & Sydney, © Solomon Kammer.

Solomon Kammer

Solomon Kammer's practice interrogates the relationship women have with their bodies. 'Perpetuity' is an exploration of consent, coercion, and trauma...

detail: Kieren Karritpul, Ngen'giwumirri people, Northern Territory, born 1994, Darwin, Weaving Myself: the Landscape and the Land, 2020, Nauiyu (Daly River), Northern Territory, synthetic polymer paint on canvas (two panels); Courtesy of the artist and Merrepen Arts, © Kieren Karritpul, photo: Merrepen Arts.

Kieren Karritpul

Kieren Karritpul is a Ngen'giwumirri artist who lives in the small community of Nauiyu (Daly River) south west of Darwin...

Juanella McKenzie, Adnyamathanha/Luritja people, South Australia, born 1990, Port Augusta, South Australia, Yurndu (Sun), 2020, Port Augusta, South Australia, emu feathers, fibres and thread, 136.0 cm (diam.); Courtesy of the artist, © Juanella McKenzie, photo: Saul Steed.

Juanella McKenzie

Juanella McKenzie is an Adnyamathanha and Luritja artist who combines ancient and modern practices to tell the stories of her people...

still: Daniel McKewen, born 1983, A Rising Tide, 2020, Brisbane, three-channel HD video with sound, 12.30 minutes; Courtesy the artist and Milani Gallery, Brisbane, © Daniel McKewen

Daniel McKewen

Daniel McKewen investigates the intersections of contemporary art, pop culture, economics and politics...

detail: Alasdair McLuckie, Australia, born 1984, Two Clocks and Sixteen Shoulders, 2020, Melbourne, archival inkjet print and paper collage on paper (in sixteen parts), over site specific painting, 200.0 x 410.0 cm (overall), 33.0 x 56.0 cm (each); Courtesy of the artist and Murray White Room, Melbourne and Mother's Tankstation Limited, Dublin & London, © Alasdair McLuckie.

Alasdair McLuckie

Through a formalist sensibility, Alasdair McLuckie's work investigates the legacy of Modernism, including its movements, styles and mythologies.

detail: Hayley Millar Baker, Gunditjmara people, Victoria, born 1990, Werribee, Victoria, I Will Survive, 2020, Melbourne, eight inkjet print on Baryta, 93.0 x 70.0 cm (each); Courtesy of the artist and Vivien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne, © Hayley Millar Baker.

Hayley Millar Baker

Hayley Millar Baker is a research-based artist who uses photography to interrogate the way memories are made through acts of remembering and misremembering...

Nabilah Nordin, born 1991, Smudging Day (Family Grime), 2020, Melbourne, rickety wood structure (old bed frame), hand sewn doona, cement, sand, smashed-on paper pulp, bonding and sealing agent, crispy play dough, cement based cornflakes, feathers (from feather duster), 'sample pot' house paints, plaster and paper porridge pie, egg beater, glass mixing bowl, bottom of bucket leftovers (replica Nerds clumps), pillow insides, old collar shirt/ rag, wooden pegs, muddy sock, rope, plaster bandage, screws, soil and sealer paste, polyurethane foam, chrome silver spray paint, chickenwire, miscellaneous filth (snot?), mover's dolly, spoon, aluminium foil, wire, old milk bottle, bald cap with green gunk applied, rubber band, whisk with curdled hair and jute twine, 212.0 x 115.0 x 70.0 cm; Courtesy of the artist, © Nabilah Nordin, photo: Simon Strong.

Nabilah Nordin

Nabilah Nordin's installations embrace wonky crafting techniques, and playfully celebrate the visceral and anthropomorphic qualities of materials...

detail: Tom O'Hern, born 1985, 1000 drawings from the end of the world, 2020, Hobart / Nipaluna, acrylic on papr, 244.0 x 750.0 cm (overall); Courtesy of the artist and Bett Gallery, Hobart, © Tom O’Hern.

Tom O'Hern

Tom O'Hern's practice is centred around drawing and includes painting, murals and animation. O’Hern is drawn to the raw mark-making of graffiti, doodles, scratches and scrawls...

Tom Polo, born 1985, Guiding Guardians (This Wasn't Yours), 2020, Parramatta, Sydney, acrylic on canvas (two panels), 182.0 x 400.0 cm (overall); Courtesy of the artist and STATION, Melbourne & Sydney, © Tom Polo, photo: Jessica Maurer.

Tom Polo

Based on Gadigal Country (Sydney), Tom Polo’s practice investigates how conversation and gestures can be transformed into portraiture...

detail: Anna Madeleine Raupach, born 1986, Slow Violence (Gospers Mountain), 2020, Canberra, embroidery thread on emergency blanket, 200.0 x 130.0 cm; Courtesy of the artist, © Anna Raupach.

Anna Madeleine Raupach

Anna Madeleine Raupach’s practice explores the intersection of human and nonhuman timescales evident in climate change...

Anna Louise Richardson, born 1992, We should be more afraid of the sun than the moon, 2020, Mardella, Western Australia, charcoal, ink, oil paint on cement fibreboard on HP PVC-free wallpaper, 367.0 x 600.0 cm; Courtesy of the artist, © Anna Richardson, photo: Claire Hodgins.

Anna Louise Richardson

Based on Whadjuk Nyungar Country, Anna Louise Richardson investigates rural Australian identity and associated mythologies...

Lisa Sammut, born 1994, i just don't think that way, 2020, Canberra, timber, digital print, paint, wire, acrylic mirror, carved wood, analog clock mechanism, rear HD video projection, projection screen, 400.0 x 300.0 x 300.0 cm; Courtesy of the artist, © Lisa Sammut, photo: Jeremy Weihrauch.

Lisa Sammut

Lisa Sammut's playful and poetic works oscillate between themes of cosmic perspective, belief and time...

detail: Nicola Smith, born 1981, I waited for me to believe in god or for you to send gloves for the cold (Je tu il elle), 2020, Stonevilla Studios, Sydenham, New South Wales, oil on oil-primed Belgian linen, stretched on frames (9 pieces), 61.0 x 84.0 cm (each); Courtesy of the artist and Sarah Cottier Gallery, Sydney, © Nicola Smith, photo: Ashley Barber.

Nicola Smith

Nicola Smith is interested in the relationship between cinema and painting. The past six years she has looked to the work of Belgian filmmaker Chantal Akerman...

detail: Kasia Tons, born 1985, After, 2019-2020, Lenswood, South Australia, wool, cotton, synthetic threads on cotton canvas base, 171.5 x 98.0 cm; Courtesy of the artist, © Kasia Tons, photo: Madisyn Zabel.

Kasia Tons

Based on Peramangk Country, South Australia, Kasia Tons is a textile artist who draws inspiration from making outdoors...