The Gold Award 2018 – Winner Announced

Published on 19 August 2018

Richard Bell Winner.jpg

The Gold Award 2018 – Winner Announced

The winner of The Gold Award 2018 has been announced – it is one-time Central Queensland resident, Richard Bell.

Bell, who, as a child, lived on a farm near Rockhampton and attended Park Avenue School, was one of nine notable Australian artists who were invited to enter works in The Gold Award 2018, which is one of the richest art prizes in the country.

His work, Untitled 2018, is an acrylic and sand on canvas work. It explores the complex artistic and political problems of Western, colonial and Indigenous art production and its reception.

Simon Elliott, Deputy Director, Collection and Exhibitions, Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art judged the works and the winner was announced at a special function at Rockhampton Art Gallery on Saturday evening (18 August).

Chair of Rockhampton Regional Council’s Community Services Committee, Cr Rose Swadling said: “I congratulate Richard and indeed all of the artists who entered works in The Gold Award 2018."

"It is wonderful to hear that an artist with such a strong connection to our Region has been judged as the winner of the Gold Award 2018," she said.

“The Gold Award was made possible through a bequest from the estate of Rockhampton philanthropist Moya Gold, and I feel certain that she would have been very pleased to see how her bequest continues to enhance not only Rockhampton Art Gallery’s collection but also to contribute Australia’s national visual arts scene.

“I encourage the people of the Region to visit Rockhampton Art Gallery to see for themselves the calibre of the works entered," she said.

Judge Simon Elliott commented:
"There is more than meets the eye in Richard Bell’s deceptively simple painting of a bedroom, that appealed to me. His almost comic book, empty designer-neat bedroom displays paintings on the wall that provoke ideas about ‘place’ – who belongs and who should go," he said.

"An artist with a national profile and of Indigenous heritage, Bell cleverly mimics the styles of two great American artists - Roy Lichtenstein and Jackson Pollock - who are so familiar to Australians to query the place of Indigenous art and its celebration in this country. 

"I hope Richard Bell’s Untitled will add another dimension to the rich Australian artists’ painting collection of the Rockhampton Art Gallery," he said.

Designed as an invitational award to acquire contemporary Australian painting, the most outstanding work or works by an artist are awarded a cash prize of $50,000 and acquired to Rockhampton Art Gallery collection. Invited artists are encouraged to submit more than one work as part of the Award, to create a fulsome and rich exhibition that offers a coherent vision of an artist’s practice.

Artists who have entered work in The Gold Award 2018 are:

Richard BELL (QLD)
Richard LEWER (VIC)
Huseyin SAMI (NSW)

Background on the winner:

Richard BELL (QLD)
Richard Bell grew up in Rockhampton and went to Park Avenue State School. A leader in contemporary Australian painting, his works speak to ideas and stereotypes of Aboriginal people, culture, history and art. The representation of practices, like Richard Bell’s, are invaluable to forming a wider narrative to the story of Australian painting that Rockhampton Art Gallery collection tells.

The Gold Award 2018 will be on display at the Rockhampton Art Gallery from 18 August to 7 October. Entry is free. For more details visit

Rockhampton Art Gallery is owned and operated by Rockhampton Regional Council