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Yankunytjatjara artist Vicki Yatjiki Cullinan awarded Hadley’s art prize 

Yankunytjatjara artist Vicki Yatjiki Cullinan awarded Hadley’s art prize 


Vicki Yatjiki Cullinan has won Hadley’s art prize, which acknowledges an exceptional representation of the Australian landscape, for her artwork Ngayuku Ngura, translating as ‘My Country’. 

The prize is worth $100,000 – considered one of Australia’s richest art prizes – and is judged by an expert panel that includes nationally treasured artist Wendy Sharpe AM, renowned Tasmanian artist Milan Milojevic, and artist, curator and writer Doctor Fiona Foley. 

It has a brief but exciting history – established by Hadley’s Orient Hotel, Hobart, in 2017, and open to all Australian artists over the age of 18 who specialise in two-dimensional mediums.  

Curator of Hadley’s art prize Amy Jackett says the prize aims to support, nurture and honour Australian artists who aspire towards exceptional and moving contemporary landscape art. 

“We are thrilled to award the 2023 Hadley’s Art Prize to Vicki Yatjiki Cullinan, and extend our congratulations to all of this year’s finalists,” says Jackett. 

Cullinan is originally from the Indulkana community in South Australia, and has tallied more than 20 years of experience in painting, printmaking and drawing. 

Her role as director and cultural liaison at Iwantja Arts has seen her embrace mentoring the next generation of artists in skills development, cultural activities and governance.

She shares that her paintings are an accentuation of her personality and communicate how she perceives her place in the world. 

“I paint my Country, the beautiful and powerful Yankunytjatjara Country that I live on and that will always be a part of me. My painting is also connected to the Tjukurpa – ancestral stories – I know,” says Cullinan. 

The panel recalled their immediate gratification towards Cullinan’s artwork, as it possessed a unique quality of “not revealing all its secrets at once”.

“Cullinan’s work just kept giving. The longer you look at it, the better it gets. Like the Country, it is vibrant and alive,” says this year’s judging panel. 

This year’s prize drew in a wide and varied entry pool, with submissions from every state and territory of a high-calibre. 

Additional awards were given to Mellissa Kenihan, who received the $10,000 Hadley’s residency prize, and Joshua Andree, Patrick Mung Mung, Joan Ross, and Denise Brady were all recognised under the honourable mentions category. 

Hadley’s Orient Hotel is exhibiting the artwork of the 30 finalists from 22 July to 20 August. 

Featured Image: Vicki Yatjiki Cullinan with her artwork Ngayuku Ngura (My Country), 2023, acrylic on linen, 152 x 167 cm.

Photography by Jessica King.

Read about the Country Road and NGV led First Nations commission. 


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