EXCLUSIVE

Maggie Diaz Photography Prize for Women calls for entries

The Maggie Diaz Photography Prize for Women is now open for entries, with $6000 up for grabs.

Now in its second year, the prize accepts entries from women photographers with the condition that the entry uses available light only.

Maggie Diaz, Washing Day, 1950s. <cite>Photo: Supplied</cite>
Maggie Diaz, Washing Day, 1950s. Photo: Supplied

The prize is named in honour of the American-born Australian photographer who became a prominent figure in this country's photographic history, with her commercial and street photography.

Diaz died in October 2016 after a long and illustrious career, with her work now acquired by the State Library of Victoria, the National Gallery of Australia and the National Library of Australia.

Maggie Diaz working in Chicago, 1950s. <cite>Photo: Supplied</cite>
Maggie Diaz working in Chicago, 1950s. Photo: Supplied

The prize is the initiative of fellow photographer Martin Kantor, founding director of Brightspace Gallery in Melbourne's St Kilda, who himself has a photographic prize dedicated in his name.

The panel of judges includes photographers Hoda Afshar, Robert Imhoff and Julie Millowick.

The prize is part of the Ballarat International Foto Biennale.

"Maggie was one of our core artists in 2011 and this year's biennale will feature over 20 women artists of which 10 are Indigenous." Fiona Sweet, director of the biennale, said. "This prize is for women from all backgrounds and career stages, and as the biennale strongly believe in art for all, this is a perfect addition to our program."

Brightspace Gallery described Diaz as a pioneer for women photographers in Australia.

"Maggie Diaz arrived in Melbourne alone and on a one-way ticket in 1961. With over a decade of experience as both a commercial and street photographer, she soon established herself as one of our leading photographers at a time when few women worked in the profession," Brightspace Gallery said.

"Alongside her growing commercial practice, she continued her love of street photography, chronicling Melbourne arts scene and changing social landscape over four decades."

The photographer who wins first prize will get $5000, while the people's choice award winner will receive $1000.

Further details on the prize can be found here:  http://www.maggiediazprize.com/