The Brisbane Portrait Prize (BPP) has officially announced its collaboration with Queensland Ballet, following a First Nations Partnership launch event on Friday 21 April 2023.

The partnership will see Queensland Ballet’s headquarters, the Thomas Dixon Centre at West End serve as host to the BPP’s First Nations Artists Showcase Exhibition from November 2023 to April 2024.

Quandamooka man and BPP Director, Cameron Costello told event guests that “it’s called celebrating First Nations Artists, because that’s exactly what it does.”

The Brisbane Portrait Prize celebrates contemporary stories, and has always had a broad definition of portraiture, to ensure it can be as inclusive as possible.

Mr Costello has been working with the BPP team to make the Brisbane Portrait Prize more accessible and open to First Nation’s artists.

First Nations people have been making art and expressing ideas of cultural identity, personal history and place making for thousands of years. We want to support and empower the continuation of that tradition,” Mr Costello said.

Portraits are about telling a story of a person, and that story might not be a head and shoulders depiction in a gold frame.

It might be more creative and abstract, it might tell the story of the family, connection to land, or of what is important to that artist.”

BPP Chair Anna Reynolds said it was important that dominant and traditional Western notions of portraiture are not a barrier to entry.

“First Nations Artists may not work within the more traditional definitions of western portraiture,” she said.

“And that’s important to recognise. As we move toward the Voice, and the Path to Treaty, its important we provide every opportunity to the First Nations artists to tell their stories, and have those stories seen by wide audiences.

In examining definitions of portraiture in the context of First Nations storytelling, the BPP Board has consulted with First Nations artists. First Nations Artists are eligible for entry in all categories, in addition to the First Nations Showcase Exhibition.

The Brisbane Portrait Prize is about celebrating portrait artists and their sitters, while encouraging public engagement with the arts.
Any artist with a connection to Brisbane is eligible to enter.

For more details, visit

Key dates:

The Finalists Exhibition is held at the Brisbane Powerhouse. Key dates for the 2023 prize are:

August 1 Entries Close at 6pm

September 16 Finalists Announced

September 28 Finalists Exhibition Opens

October 3 Winners Announced

October 2 Finalists Exhibition Closes

Prizes include:

Lord Mayor’s Prize $50,000 –
presented by Brisbane City Council, all entries into the Brisbane Portrait Prize are eligible for the Lord Mayor’s Prize.

Accenture Prize for Digital Portraiture $10,000 –
supported by Accenture, any digitally created still work, including photography is eligible for the Digital Prize.

CourierMail People’s Choice Award $7,500 –
supported by the CourierMail, this award is chosen by popular vote from all the finalists.

Performing Arts and Music Award $7,500 – s
upported by the Lister Family Foundation, this award is open to portraits featuring sitters from the performing arts and music industries.

Sylvia Jones Prize for Women Artists $5,000 – s
upported by the Clem Jones Foundation, this award is open to all individuals who identify as women.

Packer’s Prize $5,000 – s
upported by Howard Smith Wharves, this award is chosen by the team who hang the 2020 finalists exhibition.

Next Gen Prize $2,000 – s
upported by Gadens, this award is for the best portrait by an entrant 18 and under.

Support for Emerging Artists $1,000 Voucher – s
upported by Oxlades, this will be given to two emerging artists and will be selected by the Board of the Brisbane Portrait Prize.

Metro Arts Experimental Portraiture Prize Twoweek exhibition at Metro Arts + $900 –
supported by Metro Arts, this prize will be awarded to one emerging or early career artist with an experimental practice


Images supplied