Mia Mala McDonald has been named as the winner of the acquisitive first prize of $15,000 in this year’s Martin Kantor Portrait Prize for their portrait of AFLW footballer, Darcy Vescio.

© Mia Mala McDonald, Darcy Vescio, 2018.

The announcement was made on Saturday 4 December at the Ballarat International Foto Biennale, along with the winner of The Fineman New Photography Award and the People’s Choice winners for both awards, as voted for by the public both online and in person. The judges said the winning portrait showed ‘a relaxed young woman comfortable in her body, humble even, looking away from the viewer. Here is someone so accomplished she is happy to strike a new pose for a new way of thinking about women in high-profile sport.’  The winner for the People’s Choice in the Martin Kantor Portrait Prize was John Gollings with his self portrait. The Martin Kantor Portrait Prize is available for viewing Thursday to Sunday until 9 January 2022 at Ballarat Town Hall, 225 Sturt St, Ballarat.

© Liss Fenwick, Nieces, Litchfield, 2020

Winner of the $10,000 Fineman New Photography Award was Australian visual artist Liss Fenwick for her series of work Back Out, which presented ‘new readings on an Australia rural area which is hardly known by the wider audience outside of the country’. Aakriti Chandervanshi received the People’s Choice for her series After Eden. The Fineman New Photography Award is in its final days and will only be available for viewing at the Post Office Gallery, Corner Sturt St and Lydiard St, Ballarat, until the 17th December 2021.