The 2021 Tim Olsen Drawing Prize

Photo of Monika Cvitanovic Zaper's ‘Lineage’ 2020. Thread and acrylic on a recycled polyester fabric. 127cm x 108cm.

UNSW Art & Design proudly presents the 2021 Tim Olsen Drawing Prize and congratulates all students who are recognised as finalists for the $5000 award. 

Tim Olsen has been encouraging and supporting young and emerging artists to build careers as professional practicing artists for over 20 years. This collaboration has been continuously supported by the Olsen Gallery and celebrates students who use drawing as a significant part of their artistic practice.

This year’s online exhibition provides an opportunity to view impressive works created by the twenty-five finalists who have been nominated by academic staff and then selected for inclusion in the exhibition. This year’s judging panel is  Associate Professor Felicity Fenner and Sydney-based independent curator Sebastian Goldspink.

The winner of the 2021 Tim Olsen Drawing Prize is Xanthe Muston for their work ‘I Couldn’t (Can’t) Explain It’The judges found this a compelling drawing that speaks to the current times as we emerge from having been isolated from each other and bound to domestic rhythms and spaces. The work has an unsettling sensibility and conveys a personal narrative moving from dark to light. The work is beautifully made with a nuanced use of watercolour and great attention to detail. Congratulations to Xanthe.

The judges also selected four highly commended artists: Johann de SilvaKendall RosarioLiana Berzins, and Matti.

This year’s exhibition will take place online, with finalists’ work also profiled via our Facebook and Instagram channels.

Online exhibition: from Tuesday 19 October 2021

Prize announcement: Tuesday 26 October 2021

The 2021 finalists: Amelia van der Laan, Anna Seymour, Courtney Ruge, Jacqueline Pamela McIntyre, Jasmin Smith, Johann de Silva, Joshua Alipio, Kanha Kagami, Karin Mizuno, Kendall Rosario, Liana Berzins, Lily Langley, Lucy Teague, Matti, Mitchell Williams, Nicola de Vries, Nicola Isaacs, Nicole Zhang, Nikau Davis, Sam Goneis, Sophie Rhodes, Tia Madden, Veronica Frost, Xanthe Muston, Yao Chen.

Some of the artworks in this exhibition engage with themes and imagery that could cause discomfort or be triggering for some.

Image: Monika Cvitanovic Zaper, ‘Lineage’ 2020. Thread and acrylic on a recycled polyester fabric. 127cm x 108cm. Winner of the 2020 Tim Olsen Drawing Prize. Image courtesy: the artist.