Join us as we present the 2019 Ballarat International Foto Biennale Martin Kantor Portrait Prize, made possible with generous support from the Dara Foundation. Named in honour of the late portrait photographer Martin Kantor, the $15,000 prize is awarded for an exceptional photographic artwork of a significant, living Australian in the fields of art, letters, science, sport or politics. The exhibition will showcase the winner and finalists — cast your vote for the people’s choice award.


The judges unanimously chose Penelope Hunt’s portrait of Alan Constable. Below is their collective statement.

“Alan Constable is a distinguished artist whose work has been exhibited widely nationally and internationally. Penelope Hunt’s portrait gives a strong feeling for the very tactile nature of his ceramics sculptures and drawings. The portrait is an intimate, complex representation of the subject, and its unorthodox framing and composition aligns strongly with Alan Constable’s work. The relationship between viewing devices (cameras and binoculars) and sight is a recurrent theme in Alan Constable’s work and life experience. The return of the photographer’s (and by extension the viewer’s) gaze is also important, as is the awareness, participation (and possibly resistance) of the subject in this process. We were also pleased to learn Penelope Hunt has worked with Alan Constable for over a decade, and this relationship, intimacy and understanding is apparent in the work.”

The judges  also gave a special mention to:
Mia Mala Macdonald for her portrait of Helen Garner
Rod McNicol for his portrait of Ron Merkel QC
Tobias Titz for his portrait of Michael Leunig



The finalists who will be exhibited as part of the 2019 Ballarat International Foto Biennale are: Alison Bennett, Chris Budgeon, Jeff Busby, Kelly Champion, Alex Ellinghausen, Robert Earp, Sonia Esposito, Ponch Hawkes, Shara Henderson, Sophia Hewson, Glenn Hunt, Penelope Hunt, Katrin Koenning, Kellie Leczinska, Kirsten Lyttle, Ellie Meade, Mia Mala McDonald, Rod McNicol, Christopher Polack, Allison Rose, Sanjeev Singh, Rodney Stewart, Tristan Still, Tobias Titz, Thuy Vy and Steve Young.



Max Delany

Max Delany is the Artistic Director and Chief Executive Officer at Australian Centre for Contemporary Art. He was formerly Senior Curator, Contemporary Art, at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2012–2016), and Director, Monash University Museum of Art (2004–2012), where he oversaw the development of MUMA’s award-winning architectural premises on the Caulfield campus.

Since 2011 Max has also held the position of adjunct Associate Professor, Curatorial Practice, in the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture, Monash University.


Pippa Milne

Pippa Milne is a writer and curator in Melbourne. She is the Senior Curator at Monash Gallery of Art, Melbourne and has held curatorial roles at Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne; Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne; and Queensland Art Gallery / Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane. She was the Australia Council Venice Biennale Emerging Curator for the State of Victoria in 2015 and contributes to publications in Australia and New Zealand.

Image Credit: Evan Mery

Susan van Wyk

Susan van Wyk is the Senior Curator of Photography at the National Gallery of Victoria.

Since joining the NGV, she has worked on more than sixty exhibitions of Australian and international photography. Recent exhibitions include Bill Henson, Alex Prager, Thomas Demand, and William Eggleston.

Over a thirty year career Susan has written numerous catalogues, contributed to and journals on photography. And, she is the author of a number of books including: No Standing Only Dancing: Photographs by Rennie Ellis, The Paris End: Photography Fashion and Glamour, and co-author of Second Sight: Australian Photography in the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria, Colony: Australia 1770-1861and Follow the flag: Australian artists at war.



The Dara Foundation has graciously sponsored this award in memory of the late Martin Kantor. Kantor was a photographer and philanthropist who was known for his arresting portraits of famous musicians and artists like Iggy Pop, Howard Arkley, painter Adam Cullen and conceptual artist Dale Frank. 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 well-known St Kilda gallery Brightspace and was a strong supporter of indigenous and environmental causes.

Please select
entry time

Martin Kantor Portrait Prize
  • August 24, 2019 - October 20, 2019
    1:00 pm - 2:00 pm