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Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre

2 Mistral Road

South Murwillumbah, NSW 2484


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Entries are now being accepted for the 2021 Olive Cotton Award for photographic portraiture at Tweed Regional Gallery

About this Event

Entries are now being accepted for the 2021 Olive Cotton Award for photographic portraiture at Tweed Regional Gallery. The Olive Cotton Award is a $20,000 biennial national award for excellence in photographic portraiture in memory of photographer Olive Cotton. The exhibition is selected from entrants across Australia and is a significant opportunity for established and emerging photographers. The winning work is acquired for the Gallery’s collection. The exhibition will show at Tweed Regional Gallery from 16 July - 19 September 2021. The judge for 2021 is artist Michael Cook.

If you have entered into the prize in previous years you will notice a few differences. Firstly we are now accepting up to two entries per person. Secondly we are collecting necessary artist information at this stage of the process. For this reason you will be asked to supply an artist statement (maximum 100 words) and year of birth at the time you submit your Entry Form and pay your Entry Fee. You will also need to email your image file to the Gallery by the closing date or your submission(s) cannot be accepted.

Further important information and Conditions of Entry are below and a timeline of key dates for artists can be found on the Gallery's website.


Before entering online and submitting your image please read ALL Conditions of Entry. Entry forms and payments should be made via Eventbrite AND entry images emailed to AwardsAndPrizes@tweed.nsw.gov.au before COB Sunday 2 May 2021. You will need to fill in an entry form and make a payment for each entry as well as emailing a digital image for each entry.

The Director, Tweed Regional Gallery, reserves the right to make the final decision in respect of any issue relating to the organisation and administration of the Award. The decision of the Judge is final, in both the pres-election and final judging, and no discussion shall be entered into. Entry to the award constitutes the entrant’s agreement to be bound by the Conditions of Entry.


The Olive Cotton Award is open to artists living and working in Australia who are Australian citizens or have been Australian residents for 12 months or more.


Entry is limited to TWO ENTRIES ONLY per person, artistic duo or collective. Each entry must:

  • be a new portrait completed since 2 May 2019, owned and created by the artist
  • not have been previously exhibited (including online but excluding the entrant’s personal website or social media platform), shown in competitions or awarded a prize
  • be photographic, archivally sound, still and two-dimensional
  • comply with the size limits and able to be hung on or pinned to Gallery walls. Your entry form must contain your best estimate of finished size in centimetres


The entry fee is $35.00 (incl. GST) per entry and not refundable under any circumstances. It is the responsibility of the artist to ensure they meet all Conditions of Entry.


Entry should be submitted as a DIGITAL FILE only and emailed to AwardsAndPrizes@tweed.nsw.gov.au . The digital file must be a JPEG file, no more than 3MB. Please name your file using the format: SURNAME_First name_Title. Suggested picture size is approximately 2,000 pixels on the longest side.


For a FRAMED ENTRY, the maximum size, including frame and any protuberances is either 100cm high x 150cm wide OR 150cm high x 100cm wide. A framed entry must be framed to professional standards and ready to hang with D-rings attached to rear, 6cm down from the top on both sides of the frame. Please don’t attach strings or wires. For safe travel and handling consider using Perspex glazing. Please attach a label to the back of framed artwork listing Artist’s Name and Entry Title.

For an UNFRAMED ENTRY, the maximum finished size, including any border or handling area, is either 100cm high x 80cm wide OR 80cm high x 100cm wide. An unframed entry is accepted only where this presentation is integral to the artwork. Unframed work will be hung using pins. It is recommended that you reinforce corners on the reverse side. Alternatively, the Gallery will add reinforcing if it is considered that it is required. Unframed works are handled with care but are submitted at the entrant’s risk. The Gallery reserves the right to not display any work considered unsafe or unsuitable for public display.

The minimum image size / framed size for exhibition is 20cm x 20cm.


A pre-selection will be conducted at which the Judge will view all digital entries and select approximately 70 artworks as finalists for exhibition. The Judge will be looking for work that fulfils ALL Conditions of Entry, and in particular the Judge will be looking for excellence in photographic technique, creativity and originality to the standards prescribed by the Director, Tweed Regional Gallery. The Gallery will advise entrants of the pre-selection outcome by email no later than Monday 24 May 2021. After pre-selection, finalist images may be posted to social media or other sites announcing their selection for the exhibition.


Entries selected for exhibition must be delivered to the Gallery ready to hang, and must comply with SIZE LIMITS, FRAMING AND DISPLAY requirements.


All transport arrangements and costs to and from the Gallery, including insurance, are the responsibility of the entrant. The Gallery will take all care, but can accept no responsibility for damaged work. Address labels and instructions for return must be supplied (eg. courier consignment dockets, Australia Post stamps/labels). The entrant is responsible for booking courier pick-ups within the designated collection dates.


All exhibited entries must be for sale. The Gallery will deduct commission at 33% from the sale price of sold artworks, and will not share commission with other galleries. Payments to artists will be made after the exhibition has concluded and the Gallery has received payment for the sold artwork. Exhibitors whose work is sold are required to submit an invoice to Tweed Shire Council requesting payment of the wholesale value (retail price less Gallery commission). Invoicing requirements will be advised following artwork sale.


Finalists’ entries must be delivered to the Gallery, ready to hang and clearly marked “OCA” on the outside of parcel, along with Entrant Name. Receiving dates are between Sunday 27 June and Sunday 4 July 2021 (to be confirmed on notification to finalists).


Entries may not be taken until the end of the exhibition.

  • Entries for personal collection that don’t require repackaging may be collected between Monday 20 and Thursday 30 September 2021.
  • Entries requiring repackaging will be available between Tuesday 5 and Thursday 7 October 2021.
  • All exhibited entries, not sold or acquired, must be collected by Thursday 7 October 2021.


Selected finalists will be exhibited at the Gallery from Friday 16 July to Sunday 19 September 2021. The Gallery reserves the right to curate the exhibition as it sees fit, including a double or triple hang of artwork. Judging is scheduled for Thursday 15 or Friday 16 July, following which the Gallery will attempt to contact prize-winners so they can make arrangements to attend the Announcement if possible. Prize-winners will be announced at the official exhibition opening on Saturday 17 July 2021, at 5.00pm for 5.45pm speeches.


The $20,000 first prize is acquisitive, and the winning entry passes directly into the permanent collection of the Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre.


The Friends of Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre Inc. fund the Director’s Choice Awards (purchase acquisitions) to the value of $4,000. Artworks are purchased at the wholesale value (retail price less Gallery commission). Winners are required to submit an invoice to Tweed Shire Council for payment - instructions for invoicing will be advised.


The Friends of Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre Inc. fund an additional $250 People’s Choice Award to be announced following the conclusion of the exhibition. The winner will be paid by cheque from the Friends of Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre Inc.


For the purposes of publicity and promotion of the Olive Cotton Award, entries selected for exhibition may be reproduced, with applicable artist credit line, in print and electronic media - including, but not limited to, exhibition catalogues, entry forms, information sheets, and online. The Gallery reserves the right to reproduce any finalist in subsequent publications by the Gallery in relation to the Award and to reproduce the prize winner and any further acquisitions in relation to the Gallery’s permanent collection.


Artist must obtain informed consent from their subject(s) / guardian / parent, or provide reason if this was not needed or possible.

Image credits: Winner 2019 Olive Cotton Award, Belinda Mason Taken (detail) 2019, Lenticular, 66 x 100 cm. Collection of the Tweed Regional Gallery ©the artist

The Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre is a Tweed Shire Council Community facility, supported by Create NSW, the Friends of Tweed Regional Gallery and Margaret Olley Art Centre Inc., the Tweed Regional Gallery Foundation Ltd., and private donations.

		2021 Olive Cotton Award image
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Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre

2 Mistral Road

South Murwillumbah, NSW 2484


View Map

Refund Policy

No Refunds

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