Get ready. Make art for 2020. Make a statement.

M16’s Gallery 1

FULL EXHIBITION DETAILS (including specifications and dates)

All exhibitors must be a Canberra Art Workshop (CAW) member.

Please direct queries to: [email protected]

Key dates

Monday 1 June 2020
Entry form available online.
Monday 27 July
Submit and pay fees, along with hi-res images (1Mb to 3Mb jpegs) of artworks.
Wednesday 29 July
Deliver artworks (wrapped in bubblewrap/soft material or in strong plastic sleeves for works-on-paper) to M16.
Thursday 13 August
6–8pm Opening night, M16 Artspace, Gallery 1.
(NOTE: these are preliminary dates and provided to assist your planning. These details may be subject to change).
Thursday 13 to Sunday 30 August 2020
Exhibition open days.


General information

Some CAW members may already be addressing these subjects creatively. For the 2020 exhibition, members, or entire CAW art group teams, are invited to create works that depict the health of:
  • our natural environment
  • our built environment — in our country, region, city, society, local community or our homes
  • our own inner and physical being.
These macro — and micro — and inner — environments are among the most important in our lives and for our survival. What is their current health? How well are they doing? And what can the art you exhibit in 2020 say or do about it?
  • Inscapes – artworks in any genre or medium and could range across portraits and life; urban interiors, inner views and still life; inner peace; health and balance. For example, our portrait and life drawing artists may depict human vitality through birth to old age and their art could make a statement about the implications that health and environmental change may have on them
  • Ecoscapes – artworks in various mediums that express artists’ responses to the health of the environment (natural or urban), or its issues and the emotions it raises. Potentially, such works can cause social change and galvanise environmental awareness (think of the photo Rock Island Bend by Peter Dombrovskis and its effect through the subsequent Franklin River blockade campaign).

EXAMPLE: of Ecoscapes by Prue Power


Original paintings or works on paper designed in a poster format. These should be designed to be hung as works of art in the gallery. They should say something about the main health or environmental themes. The example shown features an ‘inscape’ interior environment by David Hockney – a poster produced in 2018 by artists at the Kunsthalle Helsinki for his exhibition – see the image of Hockney poster.

CD album cover.

(prepared as an artwork for potential gallery exhibition) on the theme of childbirth and mothering. These are to be submitted as the art for the 2020 Hush Foundation music record. Please note that art work for a Hush album cover should complement past covers so have a look at these (and what else this wonderful Foundation stands for) on the Hush Foundation website. Your work will be subject to external assessment for the cover. Deadlines and specifications for the album artworks will be announced to members early in 2020.


Members’ works are to be selected by the curator for artistic excellence. Finalists will be hung in M16’s prestigious Gallery 1.


Our 2020 Exhibition is to be unified by presentational specifications (such as general canvas dimensions and shapes) under the two big themes of Environmental Health and Human Health within our environments.

Techniques and supports will include oil, watercolour, print, drawing and pastel mediums, acrylic, gouache, canvas, board and paper, whether using realistic, abstract and expressive methods.

Artworks may fit within the health and environment sub-theme categories (inscapes/ecoscapes) in obvious, literal, subtle, stylistic or compositional ways.

The look of the exhibition works will be unified through the broad specifications for ‘main’ works and ‘footprint’ art (described below).

Main works should be:

  • original work (more recent work preferred, but there is no timeframe)
  • canvas dimensions – generally no larger than 1m x 1m, including frame (but larger sized works will remain at the discretion of the curator, to allow for some ‘hero pieces’, all-important in presenting a good exhibition)
  • ready-to-hang (framed/unframed or plain works-on-paper will be accepted)
  • works-on-paper dimensions – no larger than standard A2 dimensions (maximum 45x65cm)
  • have attached or written on back (say, in pencil) the artist’s name, phone number, the work’s title, size (height x width), media used, price.



  • In addition to main works, each entrant may also enter up to three individual smaller pieces for selection to the show. These ‘footers’ should all be on deep-set, square-stretched canvas supports – about 30.5×30.5cm by 3.8cm depth (12x12x1.5 inch), each with exposed sides finished in white paint. An alternative to a canvas surface would be to mount a thin ‘footer’ panel or paper onto a simple under-frame (perhaps using 35mm-thick timber).
  • As well as drawings and paintings (in oil, acrylic, watercolour and so on) executed upon these 30.5×30.5cm by 3.8cm ‘footprint’ canvases, non-traditional supports could be mounted on these canvases or stretchers. These may include works on paper, collage, canvas and board/panel among others, depending on the artist’s interests and style.
  • The curator will be the final arbiter to what will be hung in the exhibition and may, for instance, create a unified ‘statement’ assemblage, or may assemble lines of these smaller sized ‘footers’ across the M16 gallery walls to ‘punctuate’, link or unify the curation in various parts of the gallery, or to direct the eye to display groups of other and bigger works.

But, in addition to this, individual CAW art groups are invited to collaborate in 2020 to create, and enter, a joint assemblage – provided the total dimensions do not exceed 1.5 x 1.5 metres (or as previously negotiated with the curator).

Assemblages can create great visual interest and the approach was used in 2018 in M16’s Gallery 3 by CAW members in their Xperimental exhibition. This requires extensive coordination and a timeline of several months.

For example, specifications for the group assemblage in the 2018 Xperimental exhibition were planned meticulously by members of the Experimental Painting (Thursday) artgroup:
  • Each Xperimental painter was invited to contribute up to three individual pieces for the assemblage. The assemblage was unified by each using square supports – (i.e. quarter-size versions of the square 12x12x1.5 inch standard canvases specified for our forthcoming 2020 exhibition). Sides of the supports were painted in black gesso.
  • In the case of the 2018 Xperimental show, the artgroup decided the subject matter of each mini-work was the endangered or extinct flora and fauna of Australia. Works did not have to be representational (they could, instead depict small detail magnified, a pattern on the flora/fauna surface, an abstraction, linework, and so on).
  • Each artwork’s composition, or narrative, was somehow to involve the concept or shape of ‘X’ (which has many meanings and has appeared as a symbol in human cultures for millennia).
  • In 2018, dozens of individual works by the artists were brought together into a square-shaped assemblage. The works for this assemblage were made collectively by the artists, and the collaboration helped make the art group more of a ‘community’.
  • The works were further unified by each painter using a palette with only three hues – cadmium yellow light (pigment PY35), ultramarine (pigment PB29) and cadmium red medium (pigment PR108), which are commonly available in oil, acrylic, watercolour and gouache. The yellow and blue could be mixed in any proportion, but red was only to be used in its pure form. (Or, the work could be painted without any red).
  • Black (but no Paynes grey) and white could be used, as in a grisaille, and mixed with yellow and blue, but not red.
CAW’s 2020 Exhibition will be a ‘platform’ to convey important artists’ statements to the wider world. The idea can grow from a simple initial concept in 2020 to win future sponsor support that could turn this into a significant Australian open art competition in future years. The two big themes of Environmental Health and Human Health are intertwined as issues and can almost amount to the same thing. Societies that degrade either health tend to end up suffering in both. Extreme examples of these lost places include the world’s rustbelts and man-made deserts. Skilful direction will bring together a broad spectrum of work for the exhibition. We are inviting Julie Bradley to curate, and Berrand Kaark to manage the hang.