Inspired by the unprecedented worldwide events of the year 2020, The Hero’s Journey Art Prize will be a time capsule exhibition and social experiment in one.

aMBUSH Gallery are calling on Australian-based artists to create contemplative and thought provoking art to help demonstrate how people have responded to the issues thrown at us so far, using the classic ‘Hero’s Journey’ narrative arc as a framework.

The ‘Hero’s Journey’ is the model around which almost every story ever told is constructed: a character ventures out to acquire what they need, faces conflict, and ultimately triumphs over adversity.

The year 2020 has proved to be our hero’s journey! The Australian bushfires, COVID-19, self-isolation, social distancing, Black Lives Matter protests, political acts of ignorance and infamy, swarms of locusts and killer bees, and the widespread global economic impacts from the pandemic – these are just some of the trials we’ve had to bear, the monsters real and imagined to slay, the ordeals we’ve faced, and crises that have taken us into our darkest hour.

The Hero’s Journey Art Prize 2020 will bring together the work of visual artists, graphic designers, and digital agencies to capture the essence of this historic year in the form of a poster.

We hope to answer questions such as: What special ‘powers’ do we need, and what will result from all this upheaval? Do we defeat our adversaries, or do they chase us as we flee? And what of the new life that emerges? Undoubtedly the quest will have changed us, but how?

Curated and presented by aMBUSH Gallery, finalists will be chosen by aMBUSH to be featured in an exhibition. One winner will be selected by an independent panel to receive an AU$3,000 cash prize. Entries are now open until 30th September. 

The judges are:

Dr Erica Seccombe is an artist and an academic at the ANU School of Art & Design. Her interdisciplinary arts practice spans from traditional lens-based imaging, print media and drawing, to experimental digital platforms using frontier scientific visualisation software.

Jaklyn Babington is the Senior Curator, Contemporary Art at the National Gallery of Australia. She has curated many NGA and nationally touring exhibitions including Roy Lichtenstein: Pop Remix (2013); Space Invaders: (2010-2012); and Robert Rauschenberg: 1967-1978 (2007-2008).

Oscar Capezio is an artist/curator and painter from Canberra. He is the current acting curator of the ANU Art Collection at the Drill Hall Gallery. His critical practice traces the dilemmas of being an artist in the world, performing the curatorial, and playing the viewer.

Dependant upon on social gathering restrictions for the remainder of the year, aMBUSH would also like to host an exhibition at aMBUSH Gallery (Kambri at ANU) where finalists’ artwork will be printed, exhibited and sold on their behalf, with no commission taken on sales.

So throw your artistic hat in the ring to examine the intriguing question of how we can find the best result from a difficult time. Because nothing is ever the same once you’re a hero …

Follow aMBUSH Gallery on Facebook and Instagram for updates.

Poster artwork by Mark Chester Harding.

View the artist callout doc here for more info on how to enter.

Visiting by Public Transport: view Transport Canberra website here.
Accessibility: the venue is wheel chair accessible.
Interstate Visitors: please view aMBUSH’s Curated Guide to Canberra.

















Kambri Cultural Centre and Marie Reay Teaching Centre Events Manager
aMBUSH Gallery and Events

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