Seventy-nine finalists have been selected in this year’s prestigious Olive Cotton Award for photographic portraiture, with their work going on display at the Tweed Regional Gallery from 12 July.

Gerwyn Davies, Hedge 2017 archival inkjet print. Image courtesy: the Artist

A total of 432 entries were received for the 2019 Award, continuing a steady increase in submissions for the Gallery’s nationally recognised, biennial competition.

2019 Guest Judge, Australian photo-media artist Marian Drew, shortlisted finalists that explore the issue of identity via the complex relationship of sitter, photographer and viewer.

Prize Coordinator Meredith Cusack said that this year’s Olive Cotton Award also invites viewers to consider the relationship between technology, photography, time and experience. Entries include a flattened 3D photogrammetric model made from 250 photographs and a series of overlaid hour-long exposures – both processes aiming to capture a sense of the subjects’ experience of sitting for a portrait. Among the personal and politicised subjects are a number of well-known faces including Australian domestic violence campaigner and 2015 Australian of the Year, Rosie Batty AO, philanthropist Tim Fairfax AC and Australia’s oldest dancer, 104-year-old Eileen Kramer.

The artists are vying for a $20,000 prize for the overall winner, who will be announced by Marian Drew at the opening function and awards night on Saturday 12 July from 5pm. All 79 finalists will be on exhibition at Tweed Regional Gallery until Sunday 22 September.