PRESS RELEASE - 08.06.2020


The Junction Co. and Courthouse Gallery+Studio team are excited to announce the winners of 2020 The Jury Art Prize’s Patron Prize, Kathy Donnelly Award and Judges Prize categories, as determined by the esteemed judges, Erin Coates, Anna Louise Richardson and Glenn Iseger-Pilkington.

The Patron Prize was awarded to joint winners, Lorna Dawson for their work Wedgefield Wheelbarrow, and Maddie Sharrock for their work M.S in ISO 2020. Lorna and Maddie, both residents of Port Hedland, will each receive a $3000 artist development fund, awarded by the prize Patron, the Town of Porth Hedland.

Lorna, an artist and arts worker with Spinifex Hill Studio, had mixed emotions of the night of the announcement,

“I’m excited and nervous. Wedgefield Wheelbarrow took me about 2 months to paint, from lockdown, to when we come off.

The Kathy Donnelly Award, an encouragement award for an emerging Western Australian regional artist , is in recognition of one of Hedland’s strongest art advocates and former Hedland resident, Kathy Donnelly. This award was presented to joint winners, Newman based artist and arts worker, Amy Mukherjee for their work Pulling Myself Together, and Waringarri Arts artist Angelina Karadada Boona for their work Wandjina Emerging. The winners of this prize each received an equal share of the $3,000 prize.

The Judges Prize, for the most outstanding artwork was awarded to the joint winners, Debra Thomas for their work Yiliarra, and Lori Pensini for their work Mother. The winners of this prize each received an equal share of the $10,000 prize. Debra Thomas, who paints with Martumilli Artists shared her thanks in a short clip from Newman and the day after the prize was announced, saying,

“Thank you for choosing me winner, thank you very much. Yiliarra is spring water, and we love it.

The Junction Co. actively supported the decision by the judges to award joint winners across all categories. Judges Erin Coates, Glenn Iseger-Pilkington and Anna Louise Richardson emphasised,

“While we do not wish to set a precedence to award joint winners, in this particular instance each of the winning works strongly merits its prize. The decision was also made at this very specific point in time; during Reconciliation Week; in light of racial tensions dominating global headlines; and during a pandemic – it felt impossible to select between two highly worthy works in each category – one by an indigenous artist and the other non-indigenous.

“We are at a juncture where we feel it is more appropriate to recognise the equal calibre of the winning works and share resources, than to position works against each other. The Junction Co. sought to ensure the Jury Art Prize entry barriers faced by regional indigenous and non-indigenous artists were removed as best as possible, resulting in more than 120 entries, of whom the 50 top works were selected, and the subsequent showcasing of the artworks in a COVID environment.

Executive Officer, Katie Evans highlights,

“The newly revamped Prize has been very well received by the artist and broader community, especially the use of innovation to ensure entries could be received online, the exhibition shared virtually, and opening night adapted to share images of the works projected onto large-scale building so the community could experience it safely in their car.

“We are responsive to the communities feedback and whilst we’ve only just announced the winners, are looking to how we can make next year’s Prize, even better.

The Jury Art Prize was developed to encourage the public to engage with art, especially across all Western Australian regions. An accompanying public program of artist development is available, as Courthouse Gallery+Studio Manager, Bec Fogarty notes,

“The Gallery+Studio team have coordinated virtual workshops, hosted by regional artists, who have filmed their tutorials in isolation, and then made available for the Western Australian community to engage with.

“The Jury Art Prize public program follows the same ethos as the Prize itself, all regional communities must be supported, developed and empowered to advance the regional creative industries.

The community are invited to visit the Courthouse Gallery+Studio to view The Jury Art Prize exhibition from Friday 12 June – Friday 17 July, or visit The Jury Art Prize virtual gallery and online voting portal.

Voting for the Jury Prize (people’s choice) is open until 10 July. To vote and assist in award $10,000 to the winner of the Jury Prize, visit


The Jury Art Prize is made possible thanks to valued sponsors The Town of Port Hedland, BHP, Roy Hill, Hedland First National Category 5 and Iron Training, MJW Building, Rio Tinto, and the Esplanade Hotel.

Botanical Drawing with South West artist Phoebe Duff, Saturday 4 July, 10am. Link here
The Art of Watercolour with Pilbara artist Monique Karolyn, Saturday 18 July, 10am. Link here

For all media enquiries please email or call 0402 932 647.