2020 Mandorla Art Award Theme Announcement

24 January, 2019

At the opening of the Australian Academy of Liturgy National Conference at Notre Dame University, Perth’s Anglican Archbishop Kay Goldsworthy proclaimed:

‘He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
   and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
   and to walk humbly with your God?’

Taken from the prophetic Book of Micah chapter 6, verse 8 in the Old Testament, this is the theme for the latest iteration of the Mandorla Art Award.  This theme was chosen by the committee following a thorough exploration of what issues are most pressing in the world today.

Artists are invited to interpret this verse from scripture and express it in their chosen visual artform.  Entries will open in March for the exhibition to be held in 2020. 

The Award aims to attract contemporary artworks that are diverse, challenging and provide an insightful interpretation of the chosen biblical theme.

A selection of commentaries, including an audio of Archbishop Goldsworthy’s speech will be available on the Mandorla website for artists to gain a deeper understanding of the theme.  More commentaries and reflections will be added in the coming months.

A series of artist forums will also be held where artists are invited to come and hear from theologians and guest speakers about the theme. The first one is scheduled Thursday 7 February, 7.30-9p.m. at Richmond Uniting Church Gallery, 304-314 Church Street, Richmond.  www.richmond.unitingchurch.org.au  Mandorla chairperson and Senior Lecturer in Theology, Dr Angela McCarthy, will be there to ignite artists’ imaginations.

Entries will be appraised by an independent selection panel consisting of art specialists and theologians. The selection panel will be seeking examples of artistic excellence in a diverse range of media and contemporary practice to ensure the exhibition of finalist’s works presents a cross section of Australia’s leading artists.

Previous winners have been Mikaela Castledine (2018), Megan Robert (2016), Paul Kaptein (2014), John Paul (2012 & 1990), Annette Allman (2010), Concetta Petrillo (2007) Michael Kane Taylor (2004), Julie Dowling (2000), Brian McKay (2002 & 1986), John Coburn (1996), Nigel Hewitt (1991 & 1992), Ivan Bray (1989), Allan Baker (1988), Michael Iwanoff (1987) and Theo Koning (1985).  The winning artwork becomes part of the Mandorla Art Award collection which is housed at the New Norcia Museum and Art Gallery, home of Australia’s best contemporary Christian art collection.

The Mandorla Art Award offers artists the opportunity to:

  • Extend your creative practice by interpreting a biblical theme
  • Increase your profile as a selected finalist in Australia’s most significant thematic Christian art prize
  • Exhibit your artwork for sale at a leading Perth gallery
  • Join the ranks of past Mandorla winners in the Mandorla Collection
  • A selection of finalists’ artworks will be chosen to be part of the Mandorla Art Award Touring Exhibition which will be displayed at New Norcia Museum and Art Gallery, St Mary’s Cathedral and St John of God Health Care campuses in Perth, providing up to three display opportunities in the one award.

Mandorla Art Award Prizemoney totalling $42,000 includes:

  • $25,000 acquisitive Mandorla Art Award sponsored by St John of God Health Care
  • Two $5,000 non-acquisitive Highly Commended Prizes
  • $5,000 non-acquisitive Patricia Toohey Painting Prize
  • $2,000 non-acquisitive People’s Choice Award sponsored by the Benedictine Community of New Norcia

For more information, artists can email curator@mandorlaart.com, join the mailing list for regular updates at www.mandorlaart.com or www.facebook.com/MandorlaArtAward.

2016 Winner Megan Robert (second from right) with Judges Dr Petra Kayser, Rev Tom Elich and Prof Ted Snell

“The Bread Basket at Emmaus – then Flesh returned to Word” Bible paper and thread


About the Mandorla Art Award

The Mandorla Art Award for contemporary religious art is Australia’s most significant thematic religious art prize, attracting some of the country’s finest artists since its 1985 inception. For more information, visit www.mandorlaart.com

About St John of God Health Care

St John of God Health Care is a leading not for profit Catholic health care group, employing 9,300 caregivers across 13 hospitals, pathology, home nursing and Social Outreach and Advocacy services in Australia, New Zealand and the Asia Pacific. For more information, visit www.sjog.org.au

About New Norcia

The New Norcia Benedictine Community, a group of Roman Catholic monks, have lived in, owned and operated the small town of New Norcia WA since 1847. Since 1986, the community has collected well over 100 modern artworks on religious themes. For more information, visit www.newnorcia.wa.edu.au

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Further information can be found at www.mandorlaart.com
For media enquiries contact Angela McCarthy | angela.mccarthy@nd.edu.au or (08) 9433 0214

For all award enquiries contact Kristy Gough | curator@mandorlaart.com.au