Petrina Hicks wins the $25,000 2014 Bowness Photography

Art Press Release from Australia. Published by Monash Gallery of Art on Wednesday 17 September 2014.

Venus image

One of Australia’s most established photographers Petrina Hicks has won Australia’s prestigious photography award, the $25,000 Bowness Photography Prize. Petrina Hicks’s winning photograph Venus 2013 from the series The shadows is an alluring and symbolically rich picture. As with many of the Hicks’s works, Venus is at once a beautiful, archetypal and complex image.

The Director of the National Portrait Gallery of Australia, Angus Trumble announced Hicks as the winner of the Bowness Photography Prize at a cocktail party at Monash Gallery of Art on Thursday 4 September 2014.

In Venus, Hicks references mythology and art history to explore representations of women. The artist presents the viewer with a portrait of a young woman whose face is obscured by a conch shell. For Hicks the conch shell is ‘symbolic of fertility across many cultures’, and her portrait of Venus stretches back to some of human culture’s earliest images of women.