Finalists in Dobell Drawing Prize #22

In News February 16, 2021

Above image: Jennifer Keeler-Milne, Wattle, 2020, charcoal on paper prepared with acrylic,  114 x 180 cm



A huge congratulations to G.W. BOT, Maryanne Coutts, Jennifer Keeler-Milne and Martin King who have been selected as finalists for the Dobell Drawing Prize #22.


The Dobell Drawing Prize is a celebration of drawing and innovation in the medium. In 2019, after many successful years managed by the Art Gallery of NSW, the prize was reimagined under the stewardship of the Sir William Dobell Art Foundation (SWDAF) and the National Art School to build on the legacy of the prize and continue supporting and championing artists working within the expanding definition of ‘drawing’.

“The Dobell Drawing Prize has many great attributes – it is very democratic in that any artist can enter and there are no restrictions to subject matter or medium….”

— Paula Latos-Valier, Art Director, SWDAF



G.W. Bot is a contemporary Australian printmaker, sculptor, painter and graphic artist who has created her own signs and glyphs to capture her close, personal relationship with the Australian landscape.

“On a personal and allegorical level, these glyphs can be interpreted as saying something about each of us– our fragility and ageing, the struggle for survival and the sense of beauty in simply existing. When working, in many ways I lose conscious control over my glyphs, they take over and direct forms that will appear in my art. I deliberately wish to abdicate control so that it is the language of the glyphs, rather than the dictates of the artist, that will prevail” – G.W. BOT

Above image: G.W. BOT, The Oracle, 2020, graphite on Colombe paper,  125 x 83 cm


Maryanne Coutts

” Since 2013 I have been making a drawing based on what I wear every day. These small daily contributions have grown over the years into a major work. As a diaristic way of drawing, the work engages deeply with the passage of time; by recording it it reflects and celebrates both the fleeting and the enduring quality of days. Drawing on my own life experiences, the project embeds the time in general. It investigates the ordinary nature of everyday lives and acknowledges the ways that something  as mundane as getting dressed in the morning nurtures the importance of invention and imagination.

“My materials range from the more conventional drawing materials of charcoal and pen to video, polaroids and social media actions. Within the diversity of these approaches, I maintain an exploratory, ephemeral, process-driven and open ended curiosity that always resonates for me with the fundamentals of drawing as I understand it.” – Maryanne Coutts


See the entire project here: Dress Code 2020 – Maryanne Coutts (


Above image: Maryanne Coutts, Dress Code, 2020, mixed media, dimensions variable



Jennifer Keeler-Milne

” For over a decade my principal subject has been nature, with a strong emphasis on drawing using charcoal. My underlying concerns are to reflect the beauty and mystery of nature, in a manner that is evocative and atmospheric. Working purely in black on a light coloured ground stands in for the opposition of numerous elements; darkness & light, void & physical matter. I use the sparest of materials: black willow charcoal on textured watercolour paper. Wattle 2020 is a celebratory response to the coming of Spring after a tumultuous Autumn and Winter.” – Jennifer Keeler-Milne


Above image: Jennifer Keeler-Milne, Wattle, 2020, charcoal on paper prepared with acrylic,  114 x 180 cm

Martin King

Martin King’s wide-ranging art practice is underpinned by an abiding interest in the Australian landscape, most visibly by making connections between land, sea and air. His more recent works express the fragility of our relationship with nature using creatures as simple motifs that convey a paradoxical vision of the Australian landscape as both tranquil and unsettling.

Watch a short film of Martin King’s process in creating the Shadowlands body of work here: Strangerlands. A film about Artist Martin King in his studio. – YouTube


Above image: Martin King, Strangerlands #1, 2020, graphite on drafting film with watercolour on paper, gouache and metal foil, 148 x 226cm


The exhibition opens, and prize winner announced, at the National Art School on Thursday 25 March and will run until Saturday 22 May, 2021. Afterwards the exhibition will embark on a regional tour through January 2023.

To view the full list of this years finalists and affiliated events please visit the Dobell Prize website here.