Incinerator Art Award 2023, installation view of artwork by Amala Groom (Moonee Valley Mayoral Award winner) on opening night. Photography by Kenneth Suico.
Incinerator Art Award 2023, installation view of artwork by megan evens on opening night. Photography by Kenneth Suico.
Incinerator Art Award 2023, installation view of artwork by Xanthe Dobbie (Incinerator Art Award winner) on opening night. Photography by Kenneth Suico.
Incinerator Art Award 2023, installation view of artwork by Linda Studena (People's Choice Award winner) on opening night. Photography by Kenneth Suico.
Incinerator Art Award 2023, installation view of artwork by Isabella Hone-Saunders and Patrick McDavitt on opening night. Photography by Kenneth Suico.
Incinerator Art Award 2023, installation view of artwork by Nina Sanadze on opening night. Photography by Kenneth Suico.
Incinerator Art Award 2023, installation view of artwork by Miream Salameh on opening night. Photography by Kenneth Suico.
Incinerator Art Award 2023, installation view of artwork by Scotty So on opening night. Photography by Kenneth Suico.
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Incinerator Art Award: Art for Social Change

The Incinerator Art Award is a nationally recognised exhibition dedicated to the theme of Art for Social Change. Incinerator Gallery is excited to invite applications from both emerging and established artists from all over Australia 

The Award provides a platform for dynamic and innovative artistic expressions, critical and experimental practices. Applications may encompass visual art, film, performance, writing, architecture, or design  

The Award pays homage to Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin—whose studio designed the Essendon incinerator in 1929—who believed art and architecture are ethical enterprises that should aim to bring about positive social change. 


With a total prize pool of $12,000, the Incinerator Art Award offers three prestigious awards, including:

  • $10,000 Incinerator Art Award
  • $1,000 Moonee Valley Mayoral Award
  • $1,000 People's Choice Award.

Shortlisted artists will have their artworks displayed in the Gallery for the Incinerator Art Award 2024 exhibition.

The opening night taking place on Friday, 20 September will see the announcement of the Incinerator Art Award and Moonee Valley Mayoral Award winners. 

The People's Choice Award will be announced after the close of the exhibition, on Friday, 29 November.

Please note, the Award is non-acquisitive.


Applications for the Incinerator Art Award are $30 each (non-refundable), opening on Monday, 1 April and closing on Tuesday 30 April.

To stay up to date with further information regarding the Award, and future opportunities to exhibit at Incinerator Gallery, please subscribe to our e-newsletter.

Applications open: Monday, 1 April, at 12:00am

Applications close: Tuesday, 30 April, at 11:59pm

Applicant outcome notified by: Friday, 14 June

Delivery of artworks to Incinerator Gallery: Tuesday, 27 August – Sunday, 8 September, between 11am-4pm

Opening night and award presentation: Friday, 20 September, from 6-8pm

Exhibition dates: Saturday, 21 September – Sunday, 24 November

People's Choice Award winner announced: Friday, 29 November

In 2024, we will be offering a total of $12,000 in cash prizes to artists:

  • 1 x Incinerator Art Award of $10,000, will be awarded to the creator(s) of the winning artwork as judged by our panel of art industry professionals.
  • 1 x Moonee Valley Mayoral Award of $1,000 judged by the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Moonee Valley City Council.
  • 1 x People’s Choice Award of $1,000 will be voted by gallery visitors, and will be awarded to one recipient at the close of the exhibition.

Bec Cole 

Bec Cole is a champion of creating access to contemporary art and performance for everyone. She is the Executive Director & Co-CEO of Footscray Community Arts, a place dedicated to the elevation of community engaged contemporary art practice in Melbourne’s West. 

Bec has worked extensively in local government across leadership, strategic and creative programming roles, spanning public art, galleries, performing arts, creative industry development, major events and activity centre settings.  

Bec was instrumental in establishing Wyndham Art Gallery in 2010 and was the Director of Latrobe Regional Gallery from 2020-2022. She also led the establishment of Gippsland Performing Arts Centre which opened in March 2022.  

She is currently the Chair of NETS Victoria and a board member of Next Wave and RANT Arts (Tasmania).  

Bec is proudly palawa. 

Nikki Lam 

Nikki Lam is an artist-curator and filmmaker based in Narrm/Melbourne. Working primarily with moving images and text, her work explores memory through contemplation on time, space and impermanence. Nikki is interested in the complexity of migratory expressions: its tensions, fragmentation, poetic threads of personal and collective histories. Nikki’s work has been shown widely across Australia and internationally, including most recently as part of Primavera: Australian Young Artists 2023 at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia. With an expanded practice, Nikki is currently co-director of Hyphenated Projects and Biennial. She’s a current PhD (Art) candidate at RMIT University. 

Sebastian Henry-Jones 

Sebastian Henry-Jones’ curatorial approach is led by an interest in DIY thinking, and situated in the context provided by the gentrification of Sydney and Melbourne’s cultural landscapes. Seb is the Curator at West Space, Melbourne, and was previously Curatorial Assistant for the 22nd and 23rd editions of the Biennale of Sydney, NIRIN and Rivus. 

 

It is important to understand the key selection criteria for the Incinerator Art Award. The following categories will be used to assess the quality of your submission by the selection panel and guest judges:

  • Artistic Merit: This category evaluates the visual and aesthetic quality of your artwork, taking into consideration your use of form, color, composition, and other elements of visual language. This category evaluates your conceptual communication of the ideas behind your artwork, and will be judged on how well the visual qualities of the artwork demonstrate these concepts.
  • Technical Merit: This category evaluates your technical skills in executing your chosen medium. Your submission will be judged on how well you have mastered your medium and materials, including your attention to detail and precision in execution.
  • Diversity and Inclusion: This category evaluates the degree to which your artwork addresses diversity, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and ability, and how accessible it is to a wide audience. The artwork actively promotes inclusion and accessibility.
  • Response to the theme "Art for Social Change": This category evaluates how well your artwork responds to the theme of the Incinerator Art Award, which is "Art for Social Change." Your submission will be judged on the degree to which it engages with contemporary social issues and presents a compelling vision for change.
  • Public Engagement and Communication of Ideas: This category evaluates how well your artwork communicates its intended message to a wider audience, locally and nationally. Your submission will be judged on its ability to generate meaningful dialogue and inspire action, as well as its effectiveness in reaching a diverse audience.

It is important to keep these categories in mind as you prepare your submission for the Incinerator Art Award, as they will be used to evaluate the quality and impact of your artwork. Good luck!

  1. Entries
    • Entries will only be accepted via the online form between 1-30 April 2024. Only online submissions will be accepted.
    • Artists may only submit one artwork per entry. Multiple entries are permitted.
    • All information included in the entry must be true. Incorrect information may make entries ineligible, and the artist may be held responsible for any loss caused to the organiser.
    • The fee is $30 per entry. This fee is payable at the time of the application being submitted and is non-refundable.
  1. Eligibility
    • Artists must be 18 years of age or older to enter.
    • Artworks must be complete and ready to display at the time of entry.
    • Artworks must have been created within the last five years.
    • The Award is open to artists currently living and working in Australia.
    • Artworks must not have previously won any other art prizes or awards. 
    • Moonee Valley City Council employees, volunteers, and councillors, or their family members, relatives or household members are ineligible to enter.
  1. Artist Responsibilities
    • Artists must ensure that they can meet all Terms and Conditions before entering this Award.
    • The artwork must be available for the duration of the exhibition.
    • Artists agree that by entering this Award to promise that:
      • The artwork is their sole original work.
      • The Artist has the power to grant the rights under the artwork.
      • The Artist has obtained any appropriate releases, including locations, collaborators, and/or performers.
      • The Artist is entitled to reproduce any rights in the artwork.
      • The Artist will compensate Incinerator Gallery for any loss resulting from breach of these promises.
  1. Exhibition Conditions
    • All artworks selected for the exhibition remain the property of the Artist.
    • The Artist is responsible for the packaging and transportation of the artwork to and from Incinerator Gallery within the time period set.
    • The final layout of the exhibition is determined by Incinerator Gallery. All efforts of site-specific installation will be considered but may not be accommodated.
    • Incinerator Gallery will install and de-install artworks.
    • The Artist is responsible for providing specialist equipment required to install and exhibit the artwork.
    • All artworks and supplied equipment must comply with OH&S standards. See vic.gov.au/occupational-health-and-safety-act-and-regulations.
    • Shortlisted Artists must complete and sign the Artist Agreement and return within the requested timeframe.
    • Artworks will be insured by Moonee Valley City Council for the duration of the exhibition and installation period. Regarding the artworks coverage, incoming exhibitions are automatically covered for up to $5 million per exhibition. This coverage extends to the entire duration of the exhibition, including when the artworks are in transit, in storage, and during display. Additionally, there is no excess applicable for artworks that belong to third parties.
    • Moonee Valley City Council will not be responsible for artworks not collected within the time specified by Incinerator Gallery and will be disposed of at the discretion of Council.
  1. Use of Images
    • The Artist will include with their entry a high-resolution JPG image (at least 1600 pixels wide at 300DPI) of the entered work, suitable for print and digital publication.
    • It is recognised that authorship and copyright of works entered belongs to the Artist.
    • In case of being shortlisted for this Award, Artists give permission for Moonee Valley City Council to use:
      • images of entered work;
      • their name, biographical details and likeness for marketing purposes associated with Incinerator Art Award and Incinerator Gallery.
      • The artist will be attributed to the work as reasonably possible wherever the image is reproduced.
  1. Judging and Awards
    • Judges’ decisions for shortlisting and Awards are final and appeals will not be considered.
    • Incinerator Gallery reserves the right to accept or reject any works submitted.
    • Entries will be shortlisted by Incinerator Gallery. Only shortlisted artworks will be presented in the Incinerator Art Award exhibition outlined in the Selection Criteria. See com.au/incinerator-art-award-art-for-social-change/
    • Guest judges are selected by Incinerator Gallery based on their industry professionalism and practice.

Artists are encouraged to read the FAQ.

For further questions please contact incinerator@mvcc.vic.gov.au

Q. Is the Award acquisitive?

A. No. The Award is non-acquisitive. This means that Moonee Valley City Council does not acquire any of the artworks.

Q. Can I enter a collaborative artwork?

A. Yes, you may enter a collaborative artwork - including works by a group, duo, or an artist collective. The work must be a single artwork or project and be regarded as the intellectual property of the entire group.

Q. If my artwork is shortlisted for another award or prize, can I still apply for the Award?

A. Yes, you may apply if your artwork has been shortlisted for another award or prize. The Award does not accept artworks that have previously won awards or prizes.

Q. Can I enter more than one artwork?

A. Artists may enter one artwork per entry. We understand that one artwork may consist of several elements. The fee is $30 per entry. This fee is payable at the time of the entry being submitted, and is non-refundable.

Q. Can I enter a performance-based artwork?

A. Yes. Performances will be viewed based on submitted documentation, video footage or photographs. Performance-based artworks should outline any preferences for required space, duration and scheduling throughout the Incinerator Art Award exhibition period. Shortlisted performances must be available for the judging period prior to the exhibition opening.

Q. Can I enter an outdoor artwork?

A. Yes. Outdoor works must be able to withstand all climatic conditions, and ready to be securely installed for exhibition. Fittings for outdoor artworks must be supplied by the artist.

Q. Do I need to install my artwork?

A. Incinerator Gallery will install your artwork for the exhibition. The Gallery will curate the exhibition and will consider your installation requirements where possible.

Q. Am I required to supply my own audio/visual equipment?

A. The artist is required to supply equipment for audio/visual artworks. Electrical equipment will be tested and tagged prior to use.

Q. Is there any assistance available with transportation of my artwork?

A. Transportation of artwork is the responsibility of the artist. The gallery has limited funds to support transportation of artworks for artists in financial need. If you require assistance please outline your reasons in the application form field ‘Is there any other information you would like us to know in support of your application’. 

Q. Are artworks insured?

A. Artworks are insured during the transportation, installation, and exhibition period.

Q. How do I determine the value of my artwork for insurance purposes?

A. The value of your work is the amount you would sell it for.

Q. How does copyright impact me?

A. Copyright

  • Works displayed in a public exhibition is subject to Australian copyright law. If your work contains non-original material you are required to acknowledge this in your application and seek appropriate clearance from copyright holders.
  • All shortlisted applicants must provide supporting documentation for their work if it contains non-original material, including written approval from the copyright holder and the original letter seeking approval.
  • For non-original music in films, additional clearance will be required from the publisher, the writer of the lyrics, and the writer of the music.
  • If you cannot obtain clearance from copyright holders, your work may not be able to be displayed.

Further information: https://www.artslaw.com.au/information-sheet/copyright/ 

Troubleshooting suggestions

Incinerator Art Award 2024 Application Form Preview
Incinertaor Art Award 2024 Application Form Preview

Incinerator Gallery Artist Agreement
Artist Agreement - Incinerator Gallery - 2024 - Incinerator Art Award - Preview Agreement

Incinerator Art Award 2024: Art for Social Change Webpage
Incinerator Art Award 2024 Application Webpage

Applications for the Incinerator Art Award 2024 have now closed.