The Jenny Birt Award 2022

Congratulations to all students recognised as finalists for the 2022 Jenny Birt Award

Jenny Birt Award 2022

Congratulations to all students recognised as finalists for the 2022 Jenny Birt Award.

For more than 25 years, Jenny Birt has been encouraging and supporting young artists to pursue and build careers as professional practicing artists. One of the ways she has supported young and emerging artists is through an annual award – the Jenny Birt Award at UNSW Art & Design. 

The Jenny Birt Award was initiated in 1995 by the ‘U Committee’ and is the longest running and most prestigious award for Painting within the UNSW Art & Design academic calendar. Candidates are nominated by academic staff and then selected for inclusion in the exhibition and consideration for the $3,000 Jenny Birt Award. 


This year’s exhibition at AD Space (28 June – 9 July 2022) featured the work of twenty-four finalists: 

Aarushi Zarthoshtimanesh, Alyssa Alzamora, Astrid Elouise Bell, Aurelia King, Bradley Mendels, Brittany Bishop, Cassia Glynn Bray, Conor Parsons, David Wilson, Evan Ye, Fiona Macpherson, Heshanthi Munasinha, Jasmine Cain, Jessica Thompson, Lige Qiao, Lua Pellegrini, Lucy McLauchlan, Matti, Maya Elizabeth Cole, Mei Lin Meyers, Patricia Potter, Rebecca Bosley, Tia Madden, Vedika Rampa


Congratulations to the winner of the 2022 Jenny Birt Award, Vedika Rampal for their work ‘Residues’. 

Judges’ comments: Rampal’s work is emotionally powerful, working at an impressive scale that immediately grabs your attention. The materials have been carefully chosen, even down to patterns on the fabric, the clay pots, and the materiality of hessian sacks, giving the work cultural specificity and opening up questions about form, content and meaning. The sacks evoke bodily forms that have had violence inflicted upon them but also have the potential to cause harm, giving a sense of foreboding to the work. Overall, the work is well resolved and deftly uses form, materiality, and colour to speak to important and complex issues that open up multiple interpretations for the viewer.

Highly commended

Congratulations also to the three highly commended students:

Aurelia King for their work ‘Deconstructed Painting’

King’s work is conceptually strong, using a playful sense of humour to unpack the constituent components of ‘painting’. The work involves significant labour to ‘undo’ and negate the pictorial conventions of painting. It is a thoughtful and well executed investigation into fundamental aspects of painting practice.

Matti for their work ‘Earth to Earth

Matti’s work is well conceived and resolved, inviting sustained looking that develops deeper meanings on further inspection. The work draws viewers in with its sense of scale, time, distance, and space, resonating with the way the artists has worked physically in the landscape to create the work.

Lucy McLauchlan for their work ‘Mark Beat’

McLauchlan’s work is impressive in its simplicity and elegance. The mark making is direct and deceptively uncomplicated, with a rhythmic quality that prompt questions about the processes used to develop the work. The work is conceptually interesting and visually engaging, with lots of potential to iterate and extend further.

The judging panel included Cindy Yuen-Zhe Chen (Artist and UNSW alumnus) and Peter Sharp (Senior Lecturer, UNSW Art & Design).

The 2022 Finalists

Aarushi Zarthoshtimanesh

Bachelor of Fine Arts/Arts

Alyssa Alzamora

Bachelor of Fine Arts/Secondary Education

Astrid Elouise Bell

Bachelor of Fine Arts and Arts

Aurelia King

Bachelor of Fine Arts

Bradley Mendels

Bachelor of Fine Arts and Arts

Brittany Bishop

Bachelor of Fine Arts

Cassia Glynn Bray

Bachelor of Fine Arts

Conor Parsons

Bachelor of Fine Arts

David Wilson

Bachelor of Fine Arts/Advanced Science (Hons)

Evan Ye

Bachelor of Fine arts

Fiona Macpherson

Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours)

Heshanthi Munasinha

Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Science

Jasmine Cain

Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Fine Arts

Jessica Thompson

Bachelor of Fine Art

Lige Qiao

Bachelor of Fine Arts/Bachelor of Arts

Lua Pellegrini

Bachelor of Fine Arts

Lucy McLauchlan

Bachelor of Fine Arts


Bachelor of Fine Arts (Hons)

Maya Elizabeth Cole

Bachelor of Fine Arts

Mei Lin Meyers

Bachelor of Fine Arts

Patricia Potter

Bachelor of Fine Arts

Rebecca Bosley

Bachelor of Fine Arts

Tia Madden

Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours)

Vedika Rampal

Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Fine Arts