A new beginning

JENNY DEAN, The Seventh Survey of our Land,

JENNY DEAN, The Seventh Survey of our Land,


Women’s Art Prize Tasmania: The state’s only female art competition.

Women’s Art Prize Tasmania: The state’s only female art competition. It has the goal of fostering the development of women artists in Tasmania. Originally established in 2002 as Material Girl, the prize has a long and rich history and has evolved over time to suit sector needs. However, the closure of Tasmanian Regional Arts had left Material Girl untethered and both the public and arts sector had expressed keen interest and support for the continuation of the Award.

Material Girl was an annual themed art award which began in 2002 as an event for International Women’s Day. The name Material Girl was an acknowledgement of textiles as a traditional female art form. The award grew over the years to include all mediums and served an important role in the Tasmanian art ecology by encouraging people to consider the role of women’s creativity in society.  

To determine the future direction of the Material Girl art award, RANT Arts in conjunction with Bell Bay Aluminium and Zonta conducted a detailed community survey over a six-week period. In addition to the survey, RANT held strategic interviews with sector leaders, hosted direct conversations with the public, liaised with Arts organisations, researched gender politics and examined relevant government policy.

RANT’s sector research survey measured the community’s opinions, insights and recommendations about the Art Prize. Analysis of the data collected from this survey indicated a strong desire for change and transformation to accommodate our diverse modern society while still embracing the traditions established since the prize foundation. The Women’s Art Prize Tasmania is now positioned to be one of Tasmania’s most exclusive and prestigious Art Prizes.