The Archive

Needham Art Prize

$10,000 Acquisitive Art Prize

The Needham Religious Art Prize was established in 1998 through the Anglican Parish of Mount Gambier, to encourage artists to interpret or portray an event character, story or truth from the Bible.

The Needham Religious Art Prize attracts challenging and thought-provoking paintings from artists who draw inspiration from both the Old and the New Testaments.  Entries have come from South Australia, Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia.  Distinguished judges have been Giles Auty (1998, then national art critic for The Australian);  Ben Gennochio (2000, art critic for The Australian);  John McDonald (2002, then Head of Australian Art at the National Gallery of Australia);  Frances Lindsay (2004, Deputy Director of NGV Australia); Dr.  Ian George (2006, former Archbishop of Adelaide);  and Barry Jones AO (2008, polymath and former Federal Government Minister): Gordon Morrison (2015, Director of the Art Gallery of Ballarat).

Past Awards


2017: RAISIN, Gina; “Ojo de Dios” Gods Eye

2015: CHRISTENSEN, Andreas; Easter Morning - The Empty Tomb, Oil on canvas

2013: SHERRIFF, Helen; (She thought he was) The Gardener) , Oil and acrylic on a found MDF table top

2008: PURDIE, Shirley; Jesus Dreaming- Ngabuny Ngarrangharni, ; Ochres and natural pigments on canvas

2006: PEARSE, Mark; Who is Thy Neighbour, ; synthetic polymer on masonite

2004: KEMPF, Franz; Meditations I from The Garden Series, ; Oil on paper

2004: KEMPF, Franz; Meditations II from The Garden Series, ; Oil on paper

2002: SOUTER, Claire; Luke 2:35, Simeon to Mary: And sorrow, like a sharp sword, will break your own heart, ; Oil on Canvas

1998: PEARSE, Mark; ‘Return of the Prodigal Son’


2015: SHEEHY, Matt; The Beast of Revelation; 2015; Acrylic on canvas

2015: PETERS, Rachel; Take This Cup; 2015; Acrylic on canvas

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We acknowledge the Boandik Peoples as the traditional custodians of the land we meet on today. We respect their spiritual relationship with the land and recognise the deep feelings of attachment our First Nations Peoples have with the land.

Image: Belinda Bonney, Reconciliation of the Nation: we all walk together as one (detail)