Thought-provoking works by 215 artists and designers from Australia have been shortlisted for the prestigious annual Northern Beaches Environmental Art & Design Prize soon culminating in a free exhibition.

Now in its third year, the Northern Beaches Environmental Art & Design Prize brings together a community of creatives to highlight our environmental concerns and hopes across the nation.

Fresh perspectives on our global climate crisis and sustainable life on earth will be on show in an outstanding exhibition of art and design from 4 – 27 August at Manly Art Gallery & Museum, Curl Curl Creative Space and Mona Vale Creative Space Gallery.

Among the shortlisted artists and designers is Perdita Phillips (WA) whose film ‘Wheatbelt Anticipatory Archive II’ was developed from 500 historical aerial photographs of farming properties merged together and overlaid with new images to produce visual imagery which ‘unsettles the eye of settler colonialism with a more ecological vision’.

Perdita Phillips, Wheatbelt Anticipitory Archive II (Film & video)

Other shortlisted artists and designers include Grace Kemarre Robinya (NT), whose painting ‘Raining Over Laramba, Different Times’ of rain in desert country conveys the transformative and life-giving power of water. The artist used to live in the Laramba community NT, where residents were until recently forced to drink water that contains three times the level of uranium considered safe.

Nadine Schmoll’s (QLD) multi-disciplinary artwork ‘Interconnected, Self Portrait as Coral II’ explores how humans can learn from nature to create more mutually beneficial relationships between ourselves and the world around us.

Nadine Schmoll, Interconnected, Self Portrait as Coral II 2 (Interdisciplinary Collaboration) MAIN

Isabella Bardon’s (NSW) sculpture ‘Infinite Ephemerality’, uses melting ice to draw attention to our natural environment as it changes, decays, and grows, often imperceptible to everyday human observation and understanding.

Multi-disciplinary artist Jane Theau (NSW) uses her sculptural work, ‘Retired (At last)!’, made from found objects, to highlight the debate around coal versus renewable energy generation.

In the Functional Design category, Jo Victoria and Bernadette Davis’ (NSW) ‘Luminescent Sea Lighting’ uses low energy LED bulbs, locally hand made using Australian porcelain and found marine debris.

Northern Beaches Council Mayor Sue Heins said the Prize aims to create conversations about the world’s most pressing problems, prompted by works on display from artists all over the country.

Northern Beaches Environmental Art & Design - Louis Pratt
Louis Pratt, Is it Hot Enough in Here (Ceramics & small sculpture)

“The exhibition presents responses from artists and designers which reflect on our environment and the crucial issues facing us and our climate,” Mayor Heins said.

“The Environmental Art & Design Prize exhibition brings together a dynamic community of artists, designers and audiences from across Australia who care deeply about our future on the planet. These thought-provoking works, covering a breadth of issues, make an important contribution to the national conversation about how we can work collectively towards a better future for ourselves and our children.”

The works cover a range of contemporary practices, from fashion and design to ceramics and small sculpture, painting, photography, film and video, interdisciplinary collaboration, and functional and wearable design.

Prize winners will be announced on Thursday 3 August at 6.30pm at the Manly Art Gallery & Museum.

The People’s Choice Awards will be announced on Friday 25 August at 7pm. The exhibition entry is free.

View the full lists of finalists on our website and a selection of their works can be found here.

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