The 2023 Tim Olsen Drawing Prize

UNSW Art & Design proudly presents the 2023 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 exhibition, held at AD Space from 27 September – 6 October 2023, features the work of 17 finalists:

Alyssa Valacas, Emily Schorowsky, Emma Fielden, Emma Pinsent, Eva Nolan, Harry Rae, Ilana Lapid, Jeremy Smith, Jessamyn Jean, Jordan Sharp, Junnie Wang, Kelly Yangnouvong, Kewen Dai, Kristy Gordon, Lily Peng, Sarah Eddowes, Skye Wallace.

This year’s judging panel included Tim Olsen and Dr Clare Milledge (Senior Lecturer, UNSW Art & Design).

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


The winner of the 2023 Tim Olsen Drawing Prize is Harrison Rae for their work Busby’s Labourers 

Judges’ comments: Rae’s work impressed with its ability to evoke complex histories and explorations of place through the melding of traditional and contemporary approaches to drawing. The work merges drawing with ceramics to create seductive variation in the gestural mark making and in the textural support. Rae’s work is a reminder of drawing’s role as a fundamental human process of inquiry that can produce tactile and immediate forms of feedback. There is an understated power to the work that begins to speak to one’s soul on close viewing. It is raw but refined, humble but confident, indicative of a conceptually and materially driven artist. Congratulations Harrison. 

Highly commended

The judges also selected two highly commended artists: Jordan Sharp and Lily Peng.