2019 Judges

Stormie Mills is best known for his whimsical, thought provoking characters created from a restricted colour palette of black, white, grey and silver.

Having successfully segued from the streets to the gallery walls Mills work continues to explore the human condition over his thirty year career.

His distinctive characters have captured the imagination of international audiences building a strong following for his work which has seen him participate in global commissions, international street art projects, exhibitions and site specific festival installations. Most recently he was invited to Italy by the prestigious Florence Biennale to participate in an exhibition and paint one of the first ever city sanctioned murals in Florence.

Stormie’s compelling journey has resulted in speaking engagements at several creative forums including the internationally recognised AGIdeas Conference.

He is widely published and is the only Australian street artist to have been invited to create his own Suite at the award-wining Art Series Hotel.

Jane King, current Gallery Manager of John Curtin Gallery, Curtin University has had an extensive career in the Arts and Culture sector. Jane has previously held a plethora of role in the Arts sector, including Head of Member Development at Artsource; Executive Director, State Library of WA Foundation; and, Executive Officer, Museums Australia.

Jane also volunteers her time as Co-Artistic Director with the North Midlands Project, a regional Arts and Culture organisation based in the mid-west.

In addition to her volunteer work, Jane sits on a variety of artistic boards including the Deputy Chair of North Midlands Project, FutureNow, the Industry Advisory Council for the Creative and Leisure Industries, and was a founding board member of the Chamber of Arts and Culture in Western Australia. Jane was recently elected to the National Council of the Australian Museums and Galleries Association (AMaGA).

Jane has degrees in Economics and Fine Art, a postgraduate Diploma in Management, and is also a graduate of the Museum Leadership Program. Her work has been recognised with MAGNA Awards (Museum and Gallery National Awards): 2019 Research Award, 2018 Indigenous Project Award and 2015 Exhibition award for small museum exhibition. Jane was a State finalist in the Telstra Business Women's Awards 2014.

In her “spare” time Jane takes on independent curatorial roles, and still finds a little time to keep her hands dirty with her own art practice.

Sam Leach’s paintings and installations draw on the history of visual representations of science and are informed by art history and philosophy. The artist draws connections between figuration, data visualisation techniques such as maps and graphs and formalist abstraction. Leach’s paintings are expansive; they are intended as catalysts for imaginative and playful thinking, where one’s role as a living creature on this shared earth can be contemplated.

A major book on Sam Leach’s work was published in 2015 with essays by Andrew Frost and fiction writer Tim Winton. In the same year, he completed an Art OMI Australia Committee Fellowship Residency in New York. In 2010, Leach won both Wynne and Archibald Prizes at the Art Gallery of New South Wales and was a finalist for the Royal Bank of Scotland Emerging Artist Award in 2009.

Leach’s work has been extensively exhibited nationally and internationally. Recent solo exhibitions include Avian Interplanetary, Linden New Art, Melbourne (2017); Gravity Tractor, Sullivan+Strumpf, Singapore (2016); Crossing Borders, Palazzo Bembo, 56th Venice Biennale, Italy (2015); The Ecstasy of Infrastructure, TarraWarra Museum of Art, Victoria (2012) and Cosmists, 24HR ART, Northern Territory of Contemporary Art, Darwin (2010). Leach was recently included in the group shows Melbourne Now, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2013); SkyLab, La Trobe Regional Gallery, Victoria (2013); Haunts and Follies, Linden Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne (2012) and First Life Residency in Landscape, Xin Dong Cheng Space for Contemporary Art, Beijing (2011).