Sydney painter Sally Robinson has won the $20 000 2015 Gallipoli Art Prize with her painting ‘Boy Soldiers’ depicting grave stones at Gallipoli stencilled with the names and ages of the youngest soldiers to die in the Gallipoli campaign.

Judges also commended Victorian Martin Tighe for his painting of a donkey ‘The Burden’ and NSW artist Maryanne Wick for her painting ‘Greater Love Hath no Man’ which is dedicated to her grandmother who sent three of her sons to war. The three paintings are amongst 38 finalist works that will be on display at the Gallipoli Memorial Club in Sydney from 23 April to 3 May (excluding Anzac Day and 26 April).

Artists were asked to submit works that reflect upon the themes loyalty, respect, love of country, courage and comradeship as expressed in the Gallipoli Club’s ‘creed’. Australian, New Zealand and Turkish artists were invited to interpret the broad themes in relation to any armed conflict in which Australia has been involved from 1915 up to the present day. The works do not need to depict warfare.

“We believe that within the community there exists an obligation for all to preserve the special qualities of loyalty, respect, love of country, courage and comradeship which were personified by the heroes of the Gallipoli Campaign and bequeathed to all humanity as a foundation for perpetual peace and universal freedom”.

Sally Robinson said of her winning work “Like others who have travelled to the Gallipoli grave sites in Turkey, I was struck by how young a large number of the soldiers who died there were, some no more than boys. This painting commemorates those young lives lost. Over a backdrop of Lone Pine Cemetery, where many of these boy soldiers now lie, and under the Australian Military Forces rising sun emblem, I have stencilled the names and ages of the youngest soldiers to die in the Gallipoli campaign.”

We have awarded the 2015 prize to Sally Robinson’s Boy Soldiers, a painting that captures the experience of standing in the Lone Pine Cemetery gazing at the rows of headstones,” said judge John McDonald. “No-one who has visited this place can fail to be moved by the inscriptions which reveal the youth of the fallen soldiers. In Robinson’s picture the words swim in hallucinogenic fashion across the canvas, as if the artist – and by extension, the viewer – is struggling to come to terms with this realisation.”

Sally Robinson emigrated from England to Australia in 1960. For the first twenty years of her creative life, Sally Robinson produced screen prints depicting the life and landscapes of Australia and Antarctica. She then returned to her first love, painting, with both portrait and abstract subjects, using stencils to create a dynamic, pixilated surface texture. In 2012 she won the Portia Geach Memorial Award for female artists with a portrait of her mother. Sally’s studio and gallery are in the bottom of the historic Astor building in Sydney.

A record number of 183 entries were received for this year’s $20 000 Gallipoli Art Prize, marking a significant milestone for the prize that celebrates its 10th and final year in its current form, coinciding with the Gallipoli Centenary. The Gallipoli Memorial Club will make an announcement in August this year regarding the future direction for the Gallipoli Art Prize. The Club also sponsors a parallel version of the art prize every year in Turkey, The Canakkale Art Prize, honouring the ties of friendship that now unite former adversaries.

The aim of the Gallipoli Art Prize has been to bring together an innovative group of works that preserve the best of the Anzac tradition, without falling into the heroic clichés that accompany popular depictions of war. It has been gratifying to watch how artists have responded to the challenge,” said judge John McDonald.

This year’s judging panel included John McDonald (writer and art critic for The Sydney Morning Herald), Jane Watters (Director, S.H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney), Barry Pearce (former Head Curator of Australian Art, AGNSW) and John Robertson (Director, Gallipoli Memorial Club)

An exhibition of the 2015 Gallipoli Art Prize finalists will be open 10am-5pm from Thursday 23 April to Sunday 3 May (excluding Anzac Day and 26 April) at the Gallipoli Memorial Club, 12 Loftus St, Circular Quay SYDNEY. More info at

Gallipoli Art Prize winners: 2015 Sally Robinson | 2014 Idris Murphy | 2013 Peter Wegner | 2012 Geoff Harvey | 2011 Hadyn Wilson | 2010 Raymond Arnold | 2009 Euan Macleod | 2008 Tom Carment | 2007 Lianne Gough | 2006 Margaret Hadfield

Winner: Sally Robinson – Boy Soldiers
Highly Commended: Martin Tighe – The Burden
Highly Commended: Maryanne Wick – Greater love hath no man
Alison Mackay – Fallen (Diptych)
Bruce Pussell – Lone Pine Cemetery
Chris Antico – Watch Tower
Christina Rogers – Old soldiers all have tired eyes (Hemingway)
Christine Alice Healy – Side by Side
Damian Cazaly – Killing Time (Extra on set of the television production ‘Gallipoli’)
David Denneen – 1915 to 2015 Memories
Diana Cole – ANZAC Day Two
Elizabeth Rankin – Ingleburn Portrait – Dyptich
Fleur MacDonald – Architect of War and Peace
Geoff Harvey – Under foreign skies
Glen Robert Preece – The Kangaroo March
Gregory Alexander – Memorial
Gregory Frawley – Cross for Oswald and Frank (Byzantine Moon Series)
Hadyn Wilson – In Memorium
Janet Leith – A postcard from France
John Colet School – Lest We Forget
Judith White – The Passing: Lost Youth
Kate Dorrough – Bones of the land, the collective unconscious
Kristin Hardiman – We will remember them
Lee Porter – The Saddest Farewell
Lindsay Spears – A parcel for Christmas
Mertim Gokalp – Donald Keys for the Descendants Project
Mervyn John Appleton – The Field Kitchen
Michelle Hungerford – Terra Nullius
Nyle Craig Major – All my mates got to wear wooden crosses
Peter Smeeth – Lemnos Pieta
Rosalie Duligal – Humble Remains
Rosalind Helyard – They have become our sons
Susan Barbara Sutton – Out came the Sherrin
Terence Mahony – Serving their country
Tony Costa – Murphy and Kirkpatrick
Vicki Sullivan – Courage, Camaraderie and Consequence
Wilhelmus Breikers – The Way
Zoe Panagiotopoulos – Bertie

General: Gallipoli Memorial Club Margaret Brown 02 9235 1533