the churchie emerging art prize
  • Image: Joel Spring, 'TERRA- memory + soil', 2022. In collaboration with Victoria Pham. Installation view, West Space, Melbourne. Photo: Janelle Low.

  • Image: Amanda Bennetts, 'The Spectacle of the Antagonist', 2022. Multi-channel video. Installation view, Metro Arts, Brisbane. Image: Louis Lim.

  • Image: Melody Paloma, 'Kitsch Sites' (video still), 2023. Courtesy the artist.

  • Image: Jess Tan, 'sssssquirl', 2022. Wood, staples, coloured pencils, texta, dried grape vine, wire, pressed bougainvillea flowers, popcorn, plastic flower beads, bougainvillea branches and liquid beeswax, 110cm x 79cm. Courtesy the artist and Sweet Pea, Perth. Photo: Jack Ball.

  • Image: Alrey Batol, 'Potbelly Heater', 2022. Site-specific sculpture, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist.

  • Image: Debbie Taylor-Worley, 'Sorrow', 2022. Clay, glaze, possum skin, ash. Courtesy the artist.


the churchie emerging art prize


27 May–19 August 202327 May–19 Aug 2023


Since its inception at Brisbane’s Anglican Church Grammar School in 1987, the churchie emerging art prize has showcased new talent. Today, it is one of Australia’s leading art prizes for emerging art. Since 2019, the Institute of Modern Art has presented the finalists’ exhibition.

Curated by Sebastian Henry-Jones (from West Space, Melbourne), this year’s edition features work by thirteen finalists from across Australia and explores the theme of ‘context’.

Our judge, Tara McDowell (Associate Professor and Director of Curatorial Practice, Monash University, Melbourne) awarded the Major Prize to Joel Sherwood Spring ($15,000 from BSPN Architecture), a special commendation to Debbie Taylor Worley ($5,000 from Fardoulys Constructions), and two further commendations to Alrey Batol and Ash Tower ($1,000 each from Madison Cleaning Services).

Gallery visitors are invited to cast their vote in the People’s Choice Award ($3,000, also from Madison Cleaning), awarded at the end of the exhibition. One lucky voter will win a two-night stay courtesy of Spicers Retreats.


Alrey Batol, Amanda Bennetts, Dylan Bolger, Luke Brennan, Matthew Brown, Raf McDonald, Corben Mudjandi, Melody Paloma, Roberta Joy Rich, Joel Spring, Jess Tan, Debbie Taylor Worley, and Ash Tower

Curated By
  • Sebastian Henry-Jones
Curator Bio

Sebastian Henry-Jones’ curatorial approach is led by an interest in DIY thinking. He looks to centre the needs, ideas and requirements of those that he works with, and so his practice is informed by striving for a personal ethics with sincerity, honest communication, learning, and poetry at its core.

Sebastian is Curator at West Space, having worked as a Curatorial Assistant for the 22nd and 23nd editions of the Biennale of Sydney, NIRIN and rīvus. Sebastian has staged group exhibitions and independent projects across the East Coast of the continent. He is a co-founder of DIY and experimental arts platforms Desire Lines and Emerson, and former editor at Runway Journal. Seb graduated with a Masters of Art Curating in 2018 from the University of Sydney, and is currently based in Narrm/Melbourne.


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