fifty squared art prize

2023 winners

Brunswick Street Gallery is proud to announce the winners of the 2023 Fifty Squared Art Prize.

Featuring hundreds of artworks measuring no greater than 50x50cm, the Fifty Squared Art Prize brought together artists of diverse practices from all over Australia and beyond.

Brunswick Street Gallery would like to thank our esteemed guest judge Meg Slater, Curator, International Exhibition Projects at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), for the assistance in the selection of our First and Second Prize winners.

We would also like to thank Chapman & Bailey, PG Printmaker Gallery and Derivan for their selections, support and generous sponsorship of this national art prize.

Finally, an enormous congratulations to all of the artists who are exhibited as part of this year's Fifty Squared Art Prize – whose works transform our gallery each year, showcasing the breadth of talent and multiplicity of art practices, on show for all of the community to enjoy.

All artworks entered exhibited to the public from the 24 June–7 July 2023.

2023 winners



Brunswick Street Gallery is pleased to announce the First Prize winner as Isabella Imperatore for their artwork Pio

Of this work, esteemed judge Meg Slater said in a statement:

‘I was intrigued and impressed by this work the moment I saw it for several reasons. First, its composite format. The framing of the different elements that make up this ode to the artist’s grandmother’s home is highly effective in communicating the work’s overall message. Second, the merging of disparate materials into a unified whole. Dappled yellow glass sits alongside a digital collage and an image of Padre Pio in harmony. Third, the work generates an immediate sense of home comforts. Despite being a record of a very specific set of familial connections, this work transported me back to my childhood, specifically my grandmother’s home by the beach, which was filled with similarly warm, patterned carpets, tiles, and tablecloths.’

– Meg Slater

Congratulations to Isabella Imperatore, awarded the First Prize, as selected by Meg Slater, Curator, International Exhibition Projects at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV).

The First Prize winner will receive a $4000 Cash Prize (non-acquisitive).

Image: Pio, Isabella Imperatore, photographic print, glass, wooden frame, 30x30cm



Brunswick Street Gallery is pleased to announce the Second Prize winner as Grace Cram for their artwork Back Garden Sun

Of this work, esteemed judge Meg Slater said in a statement:

'This work immediately conjured a memory doing just this – sitting in my underwear on the back deck on a perfectly clear day, basking in the sun – during one of the COVID-19 lockdowns. The sitter’s fair completion and red hair, illuminated beneath the sun have been rendered in such a way that you are quickly drawn into this painting. What kept me with the work was its subversion of the traditional portrait. This person does not appear to be posed. Instead, they seem to be completely at ease and unaware of the painter’s presence.'

– Meg Slater

Congratulations to Grace Cram, awarded the Second Prize, as selected by Meg Slater, Curator, International Exhibition Projects at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV).

The Second Prize winner will receive a $1000 Cash Prize (non-acquisitive).

Image: Back Garden Sun, Grace Cram, oil on board, 45x30cm.



Selected by our curatorial team, The BSG Prize is awarded to an artist whose entry is indicative of a practice that we are excited to support, awarding them with an exhibition with us in the upcoming 2023-24 exhibition schedule.

This year we have awarded the prize to an individual that has demonstrated an approach to their medium that plays with traditional painting techniques, favouring, quite literally, a broader stroke to work with. We are excited to see the work they will produce for their awarded exhibitions.

With this, Brunswick Street Gallery is pleased to present a BSG Prize to Angus Hamra for their painting Tried To Buy A Shack.

Of this piece, Brunswick Street Gallery issued a joint statement:

‘It is deceptively difficult to convey a complete scene with such remarkable economy of brushstrokes, particularly one so convincing and effective as Angus Hamra’s Tried to Buy a Shack. As the marks are considered not only for their breadth but also the  texture of the bristle, the transparent paint is illuminated by the white gesso beneath, utilising a method most commonly associated with watercolour painting on paper. Selected not only for its exceptional handling of paint and light, this intimate painting’s quotidian subject immediately evokes the feeling of peering through the trees on an afternoon walk. The curatorial team at BSG is looking forward to working with Angus more closely in the future.’

Congratulations to Angus Hamra, awarded a BSG Prize as selected by the Brunswick Street Gallery’s Director Sean Smith, Gallery Manager Jacqui Burnes, Gallery Coordinator Woody Mellor and Gallery Coordinator Charlie Job.

The BSG Prize winner will be awarded a solo exhibition at Brunswick Street Gallery in 2023/24.

Image: Tried To Buy A Shack, Angus Hamra, oil on board, 36x30cm.



Brunswick Street Gallery is pleased to present the Works on Paper Prize to Esther Sarazin for their drawing The Waves Left Her, as supported by the team at PG Gallery.

Of this work, PG Gallery's Owners/Directors Irene Torres and Fi James said in a statement:

'Like an old found photograph, 'The Waves Left Her', by Esther Sarazin, is imbued with a strong sense of nostalgia and melancholy. Evocatively alluring, it transports us to the past, to a collective memory, one which tells us a story. We are triggered to construct our own memories, and summon the material of our past, perhaps an idyllic day by the sea, or one of loss or grief. The anonymity of the figure, as a water reflection, adds a level of complexity to this accomplished work. There is a sense of stillness and deep contemplation in the reflections of the waves whilst the exploration of muted tone and colour invites the viewer to sit quietly in its presence.' 

Congratulations to Esther Sarazin, awarded the Works on Paper Prize as selected by PG Gallery.

The Works on Paper Prize winner will be awarded a PG Gallery voucher for their fine art services.

Image: 'The waves left her', Esther Sarazin, photography print on a Canson Rag, 310gsm, 39x50cm.



Brunswick Street Gallery is pleased to present the Highly Commended Prize to Dana Hubraq for their painting 24.

The Highly Commended Prize is awarded to Dana Hubraq, whose eye-catching piece captures a glimmering memory of celebration, makes us excited to see the artist’s practice as it develops–with a voucher for fine art materials from Chapman & Bailey to support it on its current trajectory.

Congratulations to Dana Hubraq, awarded the Highly Commended Prize as supported by Chapman & Bailey.

The Highly Commended Prize winner will be awarded a $500 voucher for services & art materials at Chapman & Bailey.

Image: 24, Dana Hubraq, oil on panel, 25x25cm.

2023 honourable mentions


Of this work, Guest Judge Meg Slater said the following:

'I loved finding an embroidered work on a cloth napkin in this exhibition. The use of text in a very casual way (as if translated directly from a hand written note) alongside a meticulous illustration of two hands, made me want to read the work’s message immediately. The use of a napkin, a coded symbol used within queer communities for generations, was particularly effective in conveying the sense of connection that sits at the centre of this work.'


Of this work, Guest Judge Meg Slater said the following:

'This work is the only of its kind in this exhibition and has been executed brilliantly. I love the use of the old Hollywood horror film poster format to communicate the work’s message. These posters are characterised by their over-the-top, simplified and fear-mongering tactics, which is mirrored in alarmist, discriminatory public commentary on trans and gender diverse people and communities.'


Brunswick Street Gallery's team were particularly impressed with David's use of a striking, contrasting palette to create a still life scene that, though rooted in a traditional art movement, felt fresh and contemporary.

FIFTY SQUARED 2023 supported by