The Lester Prize 2023

The Lester Prize 2023

The Lester Prize is one of the country’s most recognised and prestigious fine art prizes – an award that places artists and the community proudly front and centre.

The prize pool available to professional and emerging artists has increased to over $115,000. This includes the Richard Lester Prize for Portraiture of $50,000.

This year's 40 finalist works were chosen from nearly 950 entries received from artists across Australia.

The Finalists were chosen by an independent pre-selection panel consisting of Annika Kristensen, Liz Looker, Kevin Robertson, and Bahar Sayed.

This year's prize pool consists of:
• The Richard Lester Prize for Portraiture (selected by a panel of judges) | $50,000 cash
• Tony Fini Foundation Artist Prize (selected by artists’ peers) | $20,000 cash
• Minderoo Foundation Spirit Prize (selected by Minderoo Foundation) | $10,000 cash
• Baldock Family People’s Choice Prize (selected by the general public) | $15,000 cash
• Ashurst Emerging Artist Prize (selected by a panel of judges) | $5,000 cash
• Highly Commended (selected by a panel of judges) | up to $5,000 value
• Barton Family Foundation Installers’ Prize (selected by AGWA's installation team) | $10,000 cash

The Finalists’ artworks are on display at AGWA from 22 September to 26 November 2023.

For more information please visit

Related Information



Tarryn Gill Limber (self-portrait in relief) 2023.
Tarryn Gill Limber (self-portrait in relief) 2023. Textiles on board, 90 x 65 cm. Courtesy of the artist.

Winner of the $50,000 Richard Lester Prize for Portraiture

Judges’ comments provided by Alan R. Dodge AM, Gina Fairley, and Emma Bitmead:

Tarryn Gill's portrait Limber (self-portrait in relief) demonstrates a resolved artistic practice through its confidence of making and visual language. The work uses materials powerfully to present a harmonious bodily and gestural portrait. Confined within the picture frame, the figure folds in on itself, creating an arresting central vortex that pulls the viewer in. The eye emerges with a sense of mystery and ambiguity, locking connection with the viewer. While there is a soft dissection of the body, which is not aggressive in any way, it rather hugs in a self-embrace. These elements in tandem convey a sense of uncertainty, and fracture that allude to issues of today. Gill’s work is a challenge to perceptions of portraiture, without ostracising the viewer. It is a very accomplished study of self.

For more information on this year's winners, please visit:

2023 Finalists

Katty Adano (WA) • Louise Ernestine Anders (SA) • Rita Attwood (VIC) • Phil Barron (WA) • Revee Bendixen (VIC) • Alycia Bennett (SA) • Stephen Brameld & Jay Staples (WA) • Ian Chapman (NSW) • W.H. Chong (VIC) • Mark Chu (VIC) • Joshua Cocking (WA) • Sophie Corso (SA) • Greg Creek (VIC) • Christina Darras (VIC) • Angie de Latour (VIC) • Natalie de Rozario (WA) • Julia Donney (NSW) • Jane Ericksen (QLD)⁠ • Tarryn Gill (WA) • Rachel Grove (VIC) • Minjung Kang (WA) • Bahman Kermany (NSW) • Kate Kurucz (SA) • Nerissa Lea (TAS) • Kelly Maree (NSW) • India Mark (NSW) • Ali Marshall (QLD) • Effie Mandalos (VIC) • Savannah Matthews (WA) • Anna Nazzari (WA) • Sarah Paton (WA) • Cameron Richards (WA) • Monica Rohan (QLD) • Charlotte Ruth (NSW) • Khashayar Salmanzadeh (VIC) • Natalie Scholtz (WA) • Robert Shepherd (NSW) • Oliver Stokes Hughes (NSW) • Liz Stute (VIC) • Brooklyn Whelan (QLD)

About The Lester Prize

The Lester Prize is managed by The Lester Inc, a not-for-profit organisation founded in 2007 to provide an avenue for artists to exhibit works of portraiture within Western Australia. With an annual prize pool now worth over $115,000, it is now one of the nation’s most recognised and prestigious art prizes.

Working with government, peak arts bodies and community groups, it plays a critical role in helping to diversify WA’s local economy, grow cultural tourism, and activate spaces through creative placemaking. The Lester Prize is proud to provide locals and visitors with the opportunity to engage with the best of the artform each year in a format that puts the artists and community front-and-centre. The Lester Prize’s exhibitions and public events program is targeted at diverse groups in the community and includes artist floor talks, workshops, live art demonstrations and pop-up community activations across the city.

On Saturday 27 August, the Gallery is open 10am-3pm only as we prepare for the AGWA Foundation Gala supporting women in the arts. Some exhibition access will be disrupted with two Tracks We Share ground floor galleries closed. AGWA Rooftop bar will be closed, reopening at 2pm Sunday. Details