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Ellen José Art Award for young women

What is the Ellen José Art Award?

Photo of Ellen Jose

Ellen José (1951-2017) was a pioneer in Australia's urban Indigenous art movement and a radical activist and social justice campaigner.

The Ellen José Memorial Foundation is providing a $15,000 non-acquisitive award to a female visual artist aged 18-35 years working in any medium. Managed by Bayside Gallery, the Ellen José Art Award for young women is a partnership between the Foundation and Bayside City Council and aims to provide support to young female artists in the early stages of their career.

The award is given in the hope that it will support the winning artist’s continued development by providing recognition as well as a financial boost. All finalists will receive an artist fee and have the opportunity for their work to be professionally presented in an exhibition with an accompanying publication.

Finalists and exhibition

The finalists for the 2022 Ellen José Art Award for young women are Moorina Bonini, Elham Eshraghian-Haakansson, Hannah Gartside, Nadia Hernández, Annika Romeyn and Emma Singer.

The exhibition of finalists works will be on display at Bayside Gallery from 2 July to 28 August 2022.


Who are the judges?

Max Delany, Artistic Director & CEO, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA) and Professor Marcia Langton AM, Associate Provost at the University of Melbourne.



The judges elected to share the award between two finalists. We are pleased to announce the winners of the ‘Ellen José Art Award for young women’ 2022 are Moorina Bonini with her work ‘Gowidja (After)’ (2021) and Elham Eshraghian-Haakansson with her work ‘edges of place’ (2022).

Judges’ statement

We would like to congratulate the Ellen Jose Memorial Foundation, Ellen’s husband Joe Toscano and members of Ellen’s family, and the Bayside Gallery for their initiative in honouring the memory, achievements and legacy of pioneering artist and social justice campaigner Ellen José.

We also commend and congratulate all of the participating artists for their ambitious, inspiring and moving works, which have been beautifully realised, with the exhibition itself a fitting tribute to Ellen’s memory.

We have elected to share the Award amongst two artists, in recognition of two outstanding and especially sophisticated works. We found it difficult to elevate one above the other, for they both have undeniable power and complexity, and historical and emotional gravitas, and show great promise from two young artists in the early stages in their career.

As was the case in the work of Ellen José, both artists combine rich poetry with powerful politics, in both form and content. Both works engage archival and public histories which they movingly entwine with their own family histories and personal narratives.

In very different and specific ways, both works attest to histories of people being dislocated and displaced from their homelands. One work speaks to the theft and vandalism of Aboriginal culture and Country, the exploitation of the river and ecology, and the dislocation of communities from their land, heritage and cultural practices. Another creates rich emotional landscapes from the ruinous violence of fundamentalism, the experience of homelessness, and the complexities of geography and history.

Both works employ very sophisticated contemporary modes of collage in the assemblage and animation of cultural artefacts so that they resonate in the present. In each case we are witness to specific cultural contexts and histories which have wider, universal resonance.

The two artists who jointly share the inaugural Ellen José Art Award for young women are Moorina Bonini, for her video work Gowidja (After) 2021 and Elham Eshragian-Haakansson for her audio-visual installation edges of place 2022.


- Prof. Marcia Langton, Associate Provost, University of Melbourne, and Max Delany, Artistic Director & CEO, ACCA


Ellen José Art Award for young women catalogue

Copies of the Ellen José Art Award for young women catalogue are available to purchase from Bayside Gallery for $15 each.


View digital catalogue