2022 Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Award (JADA)


2 February to 18 March 2023

‘The 2022 Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Award (JADA) celebrates Australian contemporary drawing at its finest.

This year the tradition of excellence continues with 56 artists selected from 641 entries for the exhibition, which will continue its touring legacy travelling to communities across the east coast of Australia promoting contemporary drawing to regional audiences throughout 2023 and 2024.

The biennial JADA is the Grafton Regional Gallery’s flagship art prize generously sponsored by Friends of Grafton Gallery (FoGG). This year’s JADA celebrates the diversity of contemporary drawing with many of the finalists challenging the notion of traditional drawing, while others provide a new perspective and/ or reinvigorate those traditions in their work. The exhibition encapsulates the extraordinary spectrum of current drawing practice, from the expressive and abstract, to hyperrealism, and works that evoke a poetic and emotional response to our environment, the human condition, and current global events.

I would like to sincerely thank all the artists who entered the JADA for sharing their wonderful works and congratulate the finalists: Holly Anderson, Kim Anderson, Jordan Andreotta, Cher Breeze, Lew Brennan, Matt Butterworth, Sophie Cape, Joshua Charadia, Tango Conway, Maryanne Coutts, Carolyn Craig, Louise Daniels, David Eastwood, David Fairbairn, Emma Fielden, Todd Fuller, Ian Gunn, Trudi Harley, Spencer Harvie, Ree Hegh, Ileigh Hellier, Debbie Hill, Bridget Hillebrand, Catherine Hockey, Sharon Hunjas, Julie Hutchings, Alan Innes, Alun Rhys Jones, Locust Jones, David King, Sandra Kiris, Hyun - Hee Lee, Chelsea Lehmann, Penny Mason, James Iain McKellar, Jennifer Mills, Sarah Mufford, Reena Naidu, Eva Nolan, Jessica Nothdurft, Kellie O’Dempsey, Catherine O’Donnell, Belle Palmer, Anastasia Parmson, Amanda Penrose Hart, Maria Petrova, Lucy Ray, Kat Richards, the late Craig Ruddy, Peter Sharp, Remnim Alexander Tayco, Luke Thurgate, Floria Tosca, Kate Vassallo, Paul White and Taya Woods (Romaie Balak).

My special thanks is extended to the exhibition judge Suzanne Cotter, Director of the Museum of  Contemporary Art, Sydney, for her support of this project, and for taking on the responsibility of judging this prestigious prize, and to Jonathan McBurnie, artist and Director of Rockhampton Museum of Art, for his inspiring essay that provides great insight into current contemporary drawing practice in Australia.

A huge thank you to the preselection panel: Grafton Regional Gallery Exhibition and Collections Officer Caity Reynolds; FoGG President Heather Brown; Artist and Queensland College of Art Visual Arts Program Director Julie Fragar; and New England Regional Art Museum Director Rachael Parson, for their valuable assistance in selecting the final 56 artists, which was a difficult task given the quality of the large number of entries. It is always rewarding to view the depth of contemporary drawing represented across the entries received.

Finally, thank you to the Yulgilbar Foundation for their amazing continued support of the Gallery and of this significant project, and of course to the FoGG for their incredible fundraising efforts, which enables them to provide a significant contribution toward the major prize of $35,000. Without their hard work and dedication, the Gallery would not be able to provide such a substantial prize to support contemporary Australian drawing.’

Dr Niomi Sands, Gallery Director, Grafton Regional Art Gallery