STILL: National Still Life Award

Still: National Still Life Award 2021 logo

Still 2021 Winner | Blak Douglas | Silent Cop

Bronze, concrete

Silent Cop 2020 - Still 2021 Winner - image Fire & Fly Media.jpg

Regi Cherini | Pandemic 2020

Embroidery floss on calico

Regi Cherini - Pandemic - 2020.jpg

Steve Bush | Memento Mori 2020

Digital print on aluminium, timber, acrylic, wax

Steve Bush - Memento Mori - 2020.jpg

John Van Der Kolk | To rest my weary bones

Red Cedar, Huon Pine. 10 x 25 x 20cm

Van Der Kolk - To rest my weary bones.jpg

Susan Gourley | Half Eaten Banana 2021

Discarded polystyrene, cardboard, paper, and timber, plus modelling paste, acrylic paint, and adhesive, 16 x 42 x 10cm. Photographer: Bridie Gillman

Gourley Susan - Half Eaten Banana.jpg

STILL 2021 3D Virtual Tour


Now you can take a 3D Virtual Tour of the STILL 2021 exhibition from the comfort of your own home or mobile device. 

On the virtual exhibition tour you'll find all of the finalist artworks, including the Winner and Judge's Commendations, the STILL 2021 catalogue detailing each work, and a price list for at-home purchases. Watch each of the video entries and look out for our Curator, Chloe Waters' own "still life" at the back of the gallery, where you'll find the option to vote for your favourite work in the STILL 2021 People's Choice Award. Voting closes Friday 8 October, with the $5,000 People's Choice Winner announced on Saturday 9 October.


The $30,000 STILL: National Still Life Award 2021, has been awarded to Dunghutti artist Blak Douglas for his sculpture Silent Cop 2021, a memorial to black deaths in custody.


Blak Douglas Silent Cop (Edition of 7) 2020, Bronze / Concrete. (Image: Fire & Fly Media)


Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery awarded its biennial, acquisitive prize in a virtual ceremony on Saturday night, just an hour after lockdown was declared for the entire state of NSW.  Many of the 59 Still finalists tuned into the livestream for the winner announcement by guest judge, Elizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE, Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia.

Accepting the award live online from Redfern, Blak Douglas said the win was totally unexpected and acknowledged his Gumbaynggirr cousins for the honour, as a descendant of the neighbouring Dunghutti nation on the NSW Mid-North Coast. He looks forward to his work resonating with Gallery audiences including younger people.

“I stepped outside of painting to create this piece because we are devoid of monuments, devoid of sculptures, of representations of first nation people across the continent,” Douglas said.

“The artwork speak about the abhorrent fact that we still have black deaths in custody and the indigenous incarceration rate.”

‘Policeman’s hats’, also known as ‘silent cops’, were positioned at the centre of intersections to control traffic flow. Douglas combined this symbol of police presence with a traditional spear and refashioned the two objects together in bronze. It’s a powerful statement to heighten the public’s attention to the serious issues of indigenous deaths in custody, dispossession and loss. At the spear’s base Douglas adapted the PayPal logo into ‘PayBak’.

“This is the pivotal point of the artwork,” explains Douglas. “You’ve got this spear that fits within that silent cop hat on the floor. The penny drops what I’m trying to comment about.”

During the judging Macgregor said she was drawn to the artist’s use of bronze but didn’t immediately recognise Douglas’s work, the artist known more for his politically charged paintings.

“It’s a sombre work, it’s a very beautiful work, and I hope the audience responds to it. I know the Gallery will do a lot with it in terms of their education programs…It is a work you really have to see!” said Macgregor.

Five highly commended works reflect the diverse mediums and geographic spread of STILL 2021:- Steve Bush NSW, Michael Cook QLD, Rose Rigley QLD, Lucy Roleff VIC and Emma Rani-Hodges ACT.

A 3D Virtual Tour launching by September allows anyone to visit STILL 2021 online including all 59 finalist artworks, the catalogue, pricing and voting for the $5,000 People’s Choice Award. Meanwhile a selection of STILL works will be explored on STILL Sundays with Mary McGillivray every Sunday of the exhibition on TikTok and IGTV (Instagram TV).


Congratulations to all the 2021 finalists who were selected for exhibition in STILL: National Still Life Award 2021

Nicholas Aloisio-ShearerJordan AzcuneJulie BartholomewSamuel BeattieCatherine BellPeter BernerYannick BlattnerSophie BottomleyKristin BurghamSteve BushPenelope CampbellJacob Canet-GibsonRegi CheriniMichael CookGrace CramMitchell DonaldsonKate DorroughBlak DouglasKatherine EdneyErnabella ArtsSebastian GallowaySusan GourleyLibby HainesCharlotte HaywoodEmma HodgesHarley IvesSusan JacobsenJosh  JuettVioletta LanzaChris LeaverDonna MarcusKiata MasonNoel McKennaNikky Morgan-Smiththe incrEdible MuseumMichelle NealPamela PaulineSarah RandallGenevieve Felix ReynoldsRose RigleyAvan RobinsBrian RobinsonLucy RoleffYul ScarfDaniel SheringtonKen SmithKylie Spear with Thomas Kidd, Dannielle ThormanJohn Van Der KolkOksana WaterfallGerry WeddGreg WeightPolly WellsCleo WilkinsonElizabeth WillingAndrea WilsonChris WilsonKat Shapiro WoodPeggy Zephyr.


STILL 2021 Catalogue & Price List


Image: Fire & Fly Media


All artworks in the STILL: National Still Life Award 2021 exhibition are available for purchase. Browse the STILL 2021 Catalogue(PDF, 8MB) and Price List(PDF, 783KB) here.


Still Finalists 2019

Finalists were selected by a panel which includes Coffs Harbour Gallery staff, Hamish Sawyer, Curator Caloundra Regional Gallery, and former MCA board member and art collector Lisa Paulsen.

The 59 artworks selected as Still: National Still Life Award 2019 finalists, from a total of over 750 entries from across Australia, are now available to view on the Gallery's Pinterest page. They include painting, drawing, photography, printmaking, ceramics, glass, sculpture, video, printmaking and textiles.
The winning work was selected by Rebecca Coates, Director, Shepparton Art Museum (SAM).
Winning works and acquisitions from Still become part of the Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery collection.
The Still: National Still Life Award 2019 Finalists are:

Phil Alldis / Louise Allerton / Kelly Austin / Sue Bell / Stephen Bird / John Bokor / Sara Bowen / Janine Brody / Kelcie Bryant-Duguid / Fran Callen /  / Brett Canet-Gibson / Carol Christie / Christine Courcier-Jones / Madeleine Cruise / Fiona Currey-Billyard / Michael Cusack / Jo Darvall / Sally Davis / Rachel Doller / Kate Dorrough / Christine Druitt-Preston / Scott Duncan / Helen Earl / Michele Elliot / Ben Fayle / Sharman Feinberg / Robert Fenton / Honor Freeman / Corrie Furner / Salvatore Gerardi / Jane Gerrish / Warwick Gilbert / Myfanwy Gullifer / Andrew Hickinbotham / Sally Hook / Julie Hutchings / Susan Jacobsen / Jane James / Susan Knight and Trevor Mein / Suzanne Knight / Catherine Lane and Linelle Stepto / Marie Mansfield / Donna Marcus / Nicola Moss / NOT / Victoria Reichelt / Ignacio Rojas / Daniel Sherington / Asahi So / Stephanie Theobald / Gerry Wedd / Greg Weight / Jo White / JP Willis /  Amanda Wolf / Christopher Zanko



Kelly Austin from Hobart, Tasmania is the winner of Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery's STILL: National Still Life Award for 2019.

Her work Stilled Composition 43 is a three dimensional ceramic composition that seeks balance between warm and cool, heavy and light, positive and negative.

Kelly Austin, with her winning artwork Stilled Composition 43

 "I'm humbled to be recognised alongside all the other artists here tonight, it is a tremendous honour - this award reinforces a sense of meaning in the work and acknowledges that I've made a valuable contribution to the art world," said Kelly Austin. "It encourages me to continue taking risks, asking questions and finding comfort in the unknown."

There were over 750 entries for the Award, of which 59 works were selected as finalists.

The 2019 judge of the biennial prize – Rebecca Coates, Director Shepparton Art Museum – described how art prizes can be "life-changing for artists" and when the winning artwork joins the gallery's collection, "it will be enjoyed for generations to come; it becomes part of this place and these people."

"We need artists" she stated. "It is artists who often find a language for difficult things, who make a space for creativity and bring people together."

She awarded four commendations to Sue Bell of Port Macquarie, Fiona Currey-Billyard of Nambucca Heads, Helen Earl of Sydney and Stephanie Theobald of Geeveston, Tasmania.

From L-R, Mayor of Coffs Harbour Councillor Denise Knight, Winning artist Kelly Austin,
Dr Rebecca Coates, Director of Shepparton Art Museum and judge of
Still: National Still Life Award 2019 and the Honourable Don Harwin MLC, Minister for the Arts

NSW Minister for the Arts Don Harwin, who officially opened Still: National Still Life Award, commented:

"I take my hat off to the exceptional talent that has come together for this exciting exhibition," said Mr Harwin

"Seeing the varied ways each of the 58 finalists have interpreted their still life subjects is very impressive and I know that deciding on a winner can't have been easy.

"This exhibition is not to be missed and I encourage everyone to visit before the end of November."

The exhibition at the Regional Gallery features works from artists across Australia. It includes painting, drawing, photography, printmaking, ceramics, glass, sculpture, video, printmaking and textiles.

Voting for the popular People's Choice Award, worth $5,000, took place in November 2019 and gave locals the chance to vote for their favourite artwork.

STILL: National Still Life Award 2019 was supported by major sponsors: Coffs Harbour Friends of the Gallery, Bryant McKinnon Lawyers, Saso Creative and supporting sponsors:  Moving Art and Andrew Peace Wines.

Kelly Austin Stilled Composition 43 - WINNER, STILL 2019

Still Finalists 2017

Finalists were selected by a panel which includes Coffs Harbour Gallery staff, Brett Adlington, Director Lismore Regional Gallery, and former MCA board member and art collector Lisa Paulsen.

Artworks from the 63 finalists selected for the inaugural Still: National Still Life Award, from a total of 605 entries from all states and ACT, are now available to view on the Gallery's Pinterest page. They include painting, drawing, photography, printmaking, ceramics, glass, sculpture, video, printmaking and textiles.

The winning work was selected by Lisa Slade, Assistant Director Artistic Programs, Art Gallery of South Australia.

Winning works and acquisitions from Still become part of the Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery collection.

The Still: National Still Life Award 2017 Finalists are:

Tony Albert, Louise Allerton, Kelly Austin, Tanya Baily, Elie Begg, Annette Blair, Rene Bolten, Mechelle Bounpraseuth, Terri Butterworth, Fran Callen, Tom Carment, Angela Casey, Tiffany Cole, Karl de Waal, Trisha Dean, Mary Donnelly, Scott Duncan, Sarah Edmondson, Nicolette Eisdell, Merran Esson, Ben Fayle, Guy Gilmour, Sarah Goffman, Ronnie Grammatica, Linda Greedy, Colleen Greig-Canty, Vanessa Holle, Alana Hunt, Susan Jacobsen, Laura Jones, Helle Jorgensen, Paul Kalemba, Laura E. Kennedy, Myriam Kin-Yee, Zai Kuang, Michael Langley, Sam Leach, Kellie Leczinska, Alison Mackay, Josh Mackenzie, Kiata Mason, Julian Meagher, Robert Moore, Stephen Nothling, Susan O'Doherty, Sarah O'Sullivan, Sassy Park, Victoria Reichelt, Elvis Richardson, Damien Shen, Brendan Smith, Tim Snowdon, Richard Spoehr, Vipoo Srivilasa, Nathan Taylor, Samantha Thompson, Anselm van Rood, Prue Venables, Lilli Waters, Kati Watson, Greg Weight, Mirra Whale, Cleo Wilkinson

Still: National Still Life Award 2017 Winner

The first ever winner of the Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery’s STILL: National Still Life Award is Sydney-based artist Sarah Goffman.

Her work ‘Asian Table’ is a reproduction of ancient Chinese ceramics, but created from intricately-painted, recycled plastic.

“I am overwhelmed and so grateful to win this award,” said Ms Goffman. “Art prizes present a conundrum. I have mixed feelings, if only every artist in this exhibition could be awarded $20,000. It’s brave to make art, we make ourselves vulnerable and we’re not always rewarded for it.”

The judge of the biennial prize - Lisa Slade, Assistant Director, Artistic Programmes, Art Gallery of South Australia - described STILL as ‘a game changer’.

“STILL has placed the still life genre at the heart of contemporary art practice. There is a real sense that something new is happening here,” she said.

Still Winner Sarah Goffman with her work ‘Asian Table’


People's Choice Voting

The 2017 People’s Choice Award of $5000 was shared by Coffs Harbour artist Ben Fayle for his work ‘Rose Coloured Glasses No.2’ and Sydney photographer Greg Weight’s ‘Bohemian Table’.

Judge's Commendations

Still 2017 Judge, Lisa Slade, awarded five commendations to Tiffany Cole, Sarah Edmondson, Guy Gilmour, Sam Leach and Prue Venables.

Still: National Still Life Award Special Events and Public Programs

There was so much to see and do during the 2017 exhibition period. Guided tours of the Still: National Still Life Award 2017 exhibition with gallery staff allowed guests to join the conversation with exhibition judge, Lisa Slade, and some of the exhibiting artists.

The opening weekend featured live demonstrations from some of the Still finalists along with artist talks, tours and entertainment.

In December there was a series of entertaining illustrated talks by John Bennett on the multifaceted nature of the still life genre, from Elizabeth Cummings to Coorte, Morandi to Magritte, Andy Warhol to Zurbarán and the current show.

Still Salon opened at the Sawtell Art Gallery on 9 December, celebrating many of the Still: National Still Life Award 2017 entries submitted by artists across the Coffs Coast.

Still 2017 major sponsor was Mercedes Benz Coffs Coast, with supporting sponsors Moving Art, saso.creative and Slater + Gordon Lawyers.


This award would not be possible without the generous support of our major sponsors,  saso.creative and Bryant McKinnon Lawyers, along with our supporting sponsors, Moving ArtAndrew Peace WinesHarbour Magazine, and Friends of Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery

Still: National Still Life Award 2021 opens 14 August to 23 October at Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery as part of our 20th Anniversary Program.  

We look forward to seeing you at Still: National Still life Award 2021.


2021 Major Sponsors

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2021 Supporting Sponsors

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