Celebrating the outback through art


The Waltzing Matilda Centre, Winton




The John Villiers Outback Art Prize

Year of grant:

2020 - 2022

Ten years since its inception, the John Villiers Outback Art Prize has once again showcased the incredible talent in outback communities.

March 2022

There is a buzz in the air at Winton’s famous Waltzing Matilda Centre, as it showcases the incredible work of artists near and far as part of the John Villiers Outback Art Prize.

The annual event, presented by the world-class outback museum and the Outback Regional Gallery, offers opportunities for artists from all over Australia to use their talents to bring the theme, ‘Outback: A sense of place’, to life through painting, drawing, print and sculpture.

With prizes up to $10,000 on offer, it’s no wonder the competition was tighter than ever in 2022! From a high-quality field, the following artists were announced as winners:

The John Villiers Trust Outback Art Prize

  1. Paul White ‘Lake Menindee Running on Empty’ Major Prize Winner $10,000
  2. Sally West ‘The Mother Bin Plein Air’ Second Prize (Adult) $2,000
  3. Alexandra Hirst ‘Oodnadatta Painted Desert’ Third Prize (Adult) $500

Emerging Youth Category

  1. Isabel Nutter ‘No worries’ First Place Emerging Youth Category $1,500
  2. Beatrice Kerr ‘Yuendumu Outback Street Scene’ Second Emerging Youth $1,000
  3. Misha Trivedi ‘Rolling Oasis’ Third Place Emerging Youth $500

Lea-Anne Bradley, CEO of The John Villiers Trust (JVT), said the Art Prize was an opportunity to not only celebrate the outback, but to also bring communities together and promote Winton and the surrounding area as a unique place to visit.

“JVT exists to help raise the voices of country communities, so we are delighted to once again see those voices brought to life through the Art Prize,” Ms Bradley said.

“John Villiers had a deep connection with Winton and the surrounding area, working as a jackaroo in the area, and even enlisted for the war in 1939 at the North Gregory Hotel across the road from where the Waltzing Matilda Centre is now.

“He never lost his love of country Queensland, so it is wonderful that we are able to ensure his enduring legacy through supporting the Art Prize, which brings the community and visitors together to celebrate the unique life of rural, regional and remote Australians.

“The love of country drives JVT and we collaborate with the community on projects that have multiple, deep and long-lasting impacts.

“Of course, we could not do this for country people without the support of the Winton Shire Council, Elders Insurance Central Qld, Flying Arts Alliance, and the incredible team at the Waltzing Matilda Centre.”

JVT is now also supporting youth development workshops in preparation for the competition. The workshops are delivered with the Flying Arts Alliance, and this year enabled 60 young people from country Queensland to further develop their art skills.

Some of the young people’s art is also showcased in the Art Prize competition in the Emerging Youth Category, including 15-year-old Winton local John Clarke’s piece, Skull Triptych, which you can read more about here.

The exhibition runs from 12 March to 8 May 2022. It’s a great reason to take a trip to Winton! But if you can’t make it in person, you can check out some of the artwork online here.

Read more about JVT and the Waltzing Matilda Centre:

 First Prize: ‘Lake Menindee Running on Empty’ by Paul White

Second Prize:  ‘The Mother Bin Plein Air’ by Sallly West

Third Prize:  ‘Oodnadatta Painted Desert’ by Alexandra Hirst

Emerging Youth Category Winners 

First Place Emerging Youth Category: Isabel Nutter ‘No worries’

Second Place Emerging Youth Category : Beatrice Kerr ‘Yuendumu Outback Street Scene’

Third Place Emerging Youth  Category: Misha Trivedi ‘Rolling Oasis’