Napier Waller Art Prize – AWM 2022

The Napier Waller Art competition has been running for four years. The Australian War Memorial’s Napier Waller Art Prize encourages artistic excellence, promotes the transformative power of creativity, and raises awareness of the experiences and talent of service personnel.
Now in its fourth year, the 2022 prize was open to current and former service personnel of the Australian Defence Force.
The winning work is accessioned into the Australian War Memorial collection, with the winning artist receiving a $10,000 cash prize.


Above:  ‘In Plain Sight’ Ron Bradfield (Bardi) – was highly commended in 2020. (near current entrance AWM August 2022
(I saw this piece of art during my visit to AWM August 2022 and was impressed by the 100’s of pieces of fabric, constructed to look like a serviceman in camouflage. Cheryl Mellor)
‘In plain sight is a textile work, depicting a ghillie suit made from the many shirts I have worn to hide from the view of others. While I was in the ADF and I was in my uniform, no-one saw the Aboriginal man inside, they only saw the sailor on the outside.
When I left the RAN in 1997, I discovered that not being able to hide made me a target once again – just as it had before I’d first put on an ADF uniform in the late 80’s. People more often saw the “Aborigine” and not the man.
I became a youth worker in 1998, helping kids at risk – often in gangs and on the street, away from their homes. In order to make myself appear less of a threat to the young people I worked with (and their parents), I reached back into my wardrobe and found my “pirate rig” shirts – bright splashes of colour found in the fluoro shirts that were knock-offs of the African Dashiki shirts.
Overnight, I’d found my new camouflage and these shirts have kept me safely hidden – in plain sight – ever since!’