International Success at Screengrab


The internationally recognised Screengrab New Media Arts exhibition returned for its fourth year in August, with one talented digital artist walking away with a $5000 cash prize.

WINNER: A screengrab of Jo Lawrence’s winning entry Ylem

By Stephanie Waller

The annual Screengrab New Media Arts exhibition opened on August 10, showcasing the digital artwork of 18 finalists.

The international call for entries was put out in May this year, asking artists to explore the competition theme of ‘control’. More than 170 entries were received from a total of 21 countries.

JCU’s New Media Arts coordinator Mitch Goodwin was the driving force behind the Screengrab competition when it began four years ago.

“The School of Creative Arts had moved into a brand-new facility in which there was a designated space for showing artwork,” Mr Goodwin said.

“The agenda was to create a gallery that was very different to what was available elsewhere in North Queensland and was more aligned with the delivery of our Bachelor of New Media Arts degree.

“I proposed we establish a prize for a screen-based media artwork, and that this be advertised through electronic and media art email lists in not just Australia but also in Europe, Asia and the United States.

“This would bring, via the web, cutting edge creative work to Townsville where it could be viewed by both the public and JCU students.”

Mr Goodwin said this year, the competition received many “diverse perceptions” of the proposed competition theme ‘control’.

“The very interesting aspect to the entries was they interpreted the theme of control in so many different ways,” he said.

“Some interpreted this to mean a loss of self-control, for others it was about being out of control or living within an established order which was showing signs of increased levels of control.

“Other pieces demonstrated how the artists had set about subverting and/or disrupting these modes of external control.”

Competition judges Bernadette Ashley (Moviemento Studios), Jak Henson (Perc Tucker Regional Gallery) and JCU Creative Arts lecturer Dr Steven Campbell chose 18 finalists out of the 171 entries, announcing the winner at the opening of the exhibition.

The winner of the $5000 award (donated by the JCU School of Creative Arts) was London-based artist Jo Lawrence for her digital piece titled Ylem.

Mr Goodwin said Lawrence’s artwork was a standout for the judges and imaginatively represented the competition’s theme.

“The work was very well constructed and technically the elements were very precisely organised. It had numerous layers of subtext and addressed the theme in a very direct and imaginative way,” he said.


The finalists’ work will be on show at JCU’s School of Creative Arts eMerge Media Space until September 5. Click here to view Jo Lawrence’s winning digital piece online.