8 - 12 March 2024

Beechworth Contemporary Art Award

Two hundred artists across the country applied in 2022 to make artworks for the Beechworth Contemporary Art Award, the first edition of what becomes Beechworth Biennale in 2024.

A selection panel chose 10 to transform their proposals into site-specific artworks in Beechworth, in North East Victoria.

The award offered artists working in remote, rural and regional communities and nationally an opportunity create works for a small town known across the country for its colonial-built streetscape and significant cultural environment. Granite outcrops, creeks and historic stone façades allowed for a unique dialogue between artists and community.

Ten artworks were made for lanes, a churchyard, streets and 1850s and 1860s heritage-listed buildings. Artists linked the past with the present, and audiences engaged directly or incidentally with ideas, techniques and provocative or entertaining interpretations of the world around us and our place in it.

Sydney independent curator Sebastian Goldspink chose Swell by Gundowring artist Susie Losch for the one-off $10,000 cash prize.

“I was honoured to be invited and involved in the inaugural edition of the Beechworth Biennale when it was the Beechworth Contemporary Art Award. It was incredible to witness its scope across the town and most importantly how embraced it was by local people and visitors.

Beechworth is a special place that has been defined by its past but it was wonderful to see a progressive and contemporary redefining of place. The town is a perfect walkable scale and the Award artworks and placement felt integrated and meaningful. A joy to witness. Artists were given expert support and access to evocative locations. I look forward to returning to Beechworth for future editions and to see it flourish.”

Sebastian Goldspink

Anthony Sawrey. Kate Just. Bruce Armstrong. Yandell Walton. Jodie L Kipps. Harrie Fasher. Susie Losch. Deborah Kelly. Nuha Saad. Liam Denny.

Velvet nostalgia II turned and painted wood ⎸ old Post Office arcade. Self care actions hand-knitted panels and hand-knitting ⎸ Old Stone Hall. Remnant futures moving image and projection ⎸ Old Hospital Façade. Sense me, hummmmmmm sensory neon ⎸ Old Beechworth Court House. Magpie totemic timber ⎸ Christ Church Anglican churchyard. Swell fabric, air and organ ⎸ Old Town Hall. The trial of the fool metal and stone ⎸ Beechworth Honey’s Old Bank corner. The god of tiny things for creation animation ⎸ Beechworth Gold’s façade. De-integration land art ⎸ Old Beechworth Goal.