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Ballarat International Foto Biennale

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Fiona Hall photo by Peter Whyte

THE Ballarat International Foto Biennale today announced the28 finalists in the running for the inaugural Martin Kantor Portrait Prize.

The Martin Kantor Portrait Prize, with a $15,000 cash first prize, will be awarded to the work judged to be an exceptional photographic portrait of a significant Australian distinguished in the arts, letters, science sports or politics. “I couldn’t be more thrilled with the selected short list of photographers for the Martin Kantor Portrait Prize exhibition. We received over 150 entries and whittling it down to the final 28 was incredibly hard for our experienced panel of judges. What a great start to establishing a portraiture collection of significant Australians in Ballarat.”– Fiona Sweet, Director

The finalists include works by Elli Bardas, Chris Budgeon, Brian Cassey, David Darcy,Tamara Dean,George Fetting,Hilary Finch, James Geer,John Gollings, Luke Hemer,Pia Johnson, Tony Kearney,Helga Leunig,Robyn McRae, Rod McNicol,Ferne Millen,NADIA MOTH!,

Ilona Nelson,Emma Phillips,Claudio Raschella, Matt Ray,PippaSamaya,Jacqui Stockdale, Christian Thompson,Tobias Titz,Peter Whyte andElizabeth Yore. The selection was made by a professional panel of judges: Naomi Cass (Director, Centre for Contemporary Photography, Isobel Crombie (Assistant Director, NGV) and Leonard Vary (CEO, Myer Foundation).

Supported by the Dara Foundation, the acquisitive first prize is named in memory of the late Martin Kantor, a photographer and philanthropist who was known for his arresting portraits of famous musicians and artists such as Iggy Pop and Howard Arkley, as well as for his strong and active support of indigenous and environmental causes. His image of Mark Seymour, the lead singer of Hunters and Collectors, was used by the band for an album cover and is a classic representation of Australian rock and roll. Kantor founded the wellknown St Kilda gallery Brightspace and was a strong supporter of indigenous and environmental causes.

The exhibition will take place at the Ballarat Town Hall and the winner will be announced at 2pm on Sunday 20 August.