Tamara Dean has been awarded the prestigious Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Photography Award. The coveted contemporary photography award offers a generous cash prize of $25,000 with the winner’s work acquired as part of the Gallery at Home of the Arts’ (HOTA) impressive collection of contemporary Australian photography.

Tamara was presented with the award by Director and CEO of the Australian Centre for Photography, Cherie McNair, during the official exhibit launch on the Gold Coast. With more than 200 outstanding entries and 45 finalists from a diverse range of photographers this year, Tamara Dean captured the win for her work titled Sacred Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) in Autumn from the series In Our Nature 2017 – an inkjet print, courtesy of the artist and Martin Browne Contemporary.

Cherie McNair, who judged the 2018 Award, expressed that Tamara’s work accurately depicted modern day photography. “Tamara Dean creates work that confirms photography’s veracity in the twenty-first century. Collaboration, connection with contemporary issues are coupled with a quiet introspection and exploration of ritual,” she said. “The ambiguous and fluid nature of the medium is used to explore the relationship between humans and the natural world. The work confirms Dean’s mastery of the medium, ability to connect with her subject and presents us with a contemplative moment that captures both the dynamism of human movement and the stillness of the landscape. Dean has a distinctive ability to capture important moments, very much reflective of her career as a photojournalist. This attribute extends into her art practice, imbuing important moments with a Pre-Raphaelite, otherworldly quality.”

An initiative of the Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Foundation, the award honours the philanthropy of Win Schubert AO and her extraordinary generosity as a lifelong custodian of Australian photography, art and creativity. It is now also the biggest award in photography for Queensland and second in Australia, acting as a touchstone for contemporary photographic practice nationwide.

Award submissions for 2018 showcased the breadth of photographic practice and talent in Australia, with potent subject matter and photographic techniques used to describe the work of entrants this year. Diana Warnes, Head of Curatorial Projects at HOTA, said the award gives the winner and finalists an opportunity for gallery and industry exposure. “The Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Photography Award provides photographers of all levels the opportunity to showcase their work,” she said. “The award plays a significant role in enhancing the profile of emerging and established artists at a national level, and we’re so fortunate to be able to promote this within our community as the Gold Coast’s arts and culture scene blooms.”

All works by finalists will be displayed in the Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Photography Award 2018 exhibition in the Gallery at HOTA until 25 November.

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