2022 Art Prize

Information and dates for the upcoming 2022 Art Prize is coming soon!

For information about the 2021 Art Prize, please read below.

2021 Art Prize Winners

First Prize



Paola Villanueva (PhD student (Vaccine safety) in the Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine Dentistry & Health Sciences)


This is the result of an experiment commenced following a phone call with my family. The photograph captures a moment of discovery, that with water and care, new life can emerge from something that would otherwise be often considered ‘kitchen scrap’- the humble base of celery stalks.
Aaah, the beauty of nurturing our (re-)connections with each other and our environment. This in turn enables the growth and strengthening of our layers of support (represented by the layers of celery stalks). Together creating hope (and delicious celery) for the future.

Second Prize


Zoë Scotland (Master of Nursing Science)

Watercolour and ink

To me, sustainable community actions are components of achieving social sustainability, especially when neighbours put their homegrown fruit and veg, books, and household items out onto the footpath for passers-by to take and use. Although this has always been a neighbourly concept, I felt it was more prominent over the past two years. Not only does it encourage sustainable living, but it also develops a strong sense of community – which has been a blessing during lockdown. Even though these are only little acts, this expression of social sustainability significantly lifted my spirits and positively impacted my mental health and wellbeing. The landscape is inspired by my time spent at placement in Mparntwe (Alice Springs), which was an incredible experience, and I also found inspiration within the realism works of Norman Rockwell.

Third Place


Destinee Stubbs (Bachelor of Science)

Mixed Media: Resin, Gypsum, Spray paint

This sculpture is a reflection of the direct impact our treatment of the Earth has on ourselves. The way we so often treat our surrounds and our planet in such blindly without considering the impact it is having on life, including ourselves. It displays the inextricable link between the Earth and ourselves, as the girl who blindly drinks from a straw is represented as the Earth.
The vivid red, orange and yellow of the Earth on the face was inspired by the temperature mapping with climate change/global warming.
The creation of this work was very process heavy and I thoroughly enjoyed problem solving and bringing to life a work I initially envisioned to be a 2-dimensional drawing. I also aimed to recycle unwanted litter by incorporating it into the ‘water’ in this piece.


People’s Choice


Ali Yamin

Acrylic on canvas

“To me ‘Sustainability’ reflects an attitude toward the way we move through the world. It is the intersection of our personal equilibrium, consumption practices and social responsibilities. The core of this is reflection, without which we lack the awareness required to engineer a more balanced way of being. This scene is of a tram as it makes its way down Brunswick Street in Fitzroy. The tram represents ‘the journey’ – the motion of our lives and the stories that we tell. It is as commuters upon this journey that we reflect, decide and become. Sustainability is taking a seat when you need to, offering it to someone in need, and respecting the shared experience of moving together as one.

I primarily paint in oils, typically on illustration board. I decided to paint this scene because I really loved the composition of the tram among the shop fronts. I stood on the corner of Moor St and Brunswick St for a good 20 minutes hoping to get the perfect picture. Once I had the photo, I blocked in the basic shapes of the scene and fell in love with the ‘flatness’ of it. I decided to run with it and added only enough detail for the scene to make sense, omitting enough to let the viewers eye focus on the broader compositional elements.”

Personal Experience Award


Danielle Wallace (Master of Veterinary Biosciences)

Acrylic painting on canvas

As a PhD student studying frogs, I wanted to explore the conservation status of amphibians and threats to their survival under this year’s theme of ‘sustainability’. To me, the term sustainability has positive connotations, however given the current political and physical climate I couldn’t help but dwell on our lack of commitment to sustainability and inaction to combat climate change. I was inspired by the critically endangered giant burrowing frog, that had a large proportion of their habitat severely burnt in the Black Summer bushfires. Upon discovering a new population of these beautiful frogs in the wild, I couldn’t shake the image from my head that these frogs had miraculously survived the fires underground, only to emerge to find their habitat destroyed and their world changed forever. I approached this piece using a hyper-realistic style so that the viewer is drawn into the scene and could imagine themselves in a not too distant, fiery future. I used fire in the background of my piece to represent current threats to the giant burrowing frog, but also to symbolise the increasing risks that will be faced by wildlife in the future under a changing climate.

Global Sustainability Thinking Award


Mabel Ng (Bachelor of Science)

Digital Art

When there is media coverage concerning the environment, there isn’t a lot about the current development and progression of sustainability innovations, which this artwork aims to focus more on.

Two perspectives when discussing climate change are portrayed here. There is the frequent pessimistic sight we see on media and the side that celebrates the environmental innovations.

I believe in the importance of raising awareness around current and upcoming sustainability innovations. So, there can be more support and focus on improving the current climate.

Looking at the left side, do any of the innovations look familiar?


Innovation Award


Kelly Varmalis (Bachelor of Fine Arts – Visual Arts – Drawing and Printmaking)

Stained copper and wire on found ironing board

Through repetitious memory and a methodology of assemblage, I navigate the slow act of stitching. By weaving together recycled copper, wire and a discarded ironing board, I extend upon a legacy of matriarchal domestic craft, giving room to neglected spaces and dismissed objects. Moved by the loneliness of rejected household items, my sculptural practice seeks to rehouse and recontextualise lost materials into my own encompassing dream narratives. Playing upon notions of fragility and metamorphosis, my work Collapse evokes the form of a slumped over tree, in reaction to feeling overwhelmed by the mass produced and the mass discarded in our current climate crisis, and instead presents the lifespan of the ironing board as defiant to the act of abandonment.

Art Prize 2021

The GSA Art Prize has finished! If you would like to view the entries again, please click this link to be redirected to the online exhibition and catalogue.

The GSA Art Prize is an annual event as part of our Engaged and Healthy Communities mandate. This event champions creativity and reflects the diversity of students’ interests outside their area of study.

The theme of the competition in 2021 was ‘sustainability’. What does sustainability mean to you? Is it environmental, personal, social, or something more?

These entries showcase how students creatively connect with their own world.

How have you related to sustainability over the past year of restrictions? You can draw inspiration from environmental sustainability, personal sustainability, social sustainability, economic sustainability…the options are limitless. This is your opportunity to express what sustainability means to you!

Channel your ideas and feelings into a piece, and share it with the world!  


As always, there will be cash prizes, including three new prizes:

  • First Prize – $1000 
  • Second Prize – $750 
  • Third Prize – $500 
  • People’s Choice Award – $250 
  • Personal Experience Award – $250
  • Global Sustainability Thinking Award – $100
  • Innovation Award – $100

Award Ceremony

The 2021 Art Prize Award Ceremony has finished, please see the winners above.

Submission Form

Submissions for 2022 will be open later this year.

We know how vital art can be for your wellbeing and we have always encouraged students of all skill levels to get creative! Who knows, you might be more artistic than you ever thought!