Elham Eshraghian-Haakansson named 2020 Invitation Art Prize Overall Winner


Elham Eshraghian-Haakansson has been named Overall Winner of the 2020 Invitation Art Prize (IAP) – the City of Joondalup’s most prestigious visual arts competition. The announcement was made at the launch of the 2020 IAP exhibition, which ran until Sunday 25 October at Westfield Whitford City.

Eshraghian-Haakansson received $25,000 in prize money for her entry, titled face to face.

2020 judges were:

  • Jana Braddock, Creative Lead and Curator of Goolugatup Heathcote
  • Max Delany, Artistic Director and CEO, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art.Paul Kaptein, artist and winner of the IAP Overall Award in 2019
  • Ian Strange, Artistic Director, Art Gallery of Western Australia.

The video, created during the COVID-19 lockdown, depicts Eshraghian-Haakansson connecting on a deeper level of engagement with her familial heritage and the practise of communal care.

The judges said of face to face: “Elham Eshraghian-Haakansson’s thoughtful engagement with archival and family histories provides a strong and evocative reflection upon displacement, and narrative histories of refugees and asylum seekers fleeing persecution.

The strength and complexity of the themes explored through the work after hard deliberation set Eshraghian-Haakansson’s piece ahead as a worthy recipient of the Overall Prize for the 2020 Invitation Art Prize.”

Eshraghian-Haakansson is a Bahá’í multimedia and installation video artist. She graduated with First Class Honours in Fine Arts from University of Western Australia, and is currently continuing her research at the university.

Joondalup Mayor Albert Jacob congratulated Eshraghian-Haakansson on winning the prize.

He said it was not an easy task to select the final 30 artists from a list of 160 expressions of interest.

“This task fell to Max Delany as our exhibition selector and Max did a fantastic job given the quality of artists wanting to take part. I’d like to also thank our IAP judges for their time, knowledge and expertise,” Mayor Jacob said.

“The ongoing provision of an accessible and high calibre art collection is of course integral to the cultural development and vibrancy of a relatively young City like ours and the City is committed to developing this collection through purchases, acquisitions and commissioning new works.

“I thank IAP sponsors Westfield Whitford City who have sponsored the IAP for the second year in succession.”

Members of the public can vote for their favourite artwork in the Popular Choice Award while visiting the IAP exhibition and the winner will be announced in November.

2020 Invitation Art Prize Exhibiting Artists

Carla Adams, Nathan Beard, Fatemeh Boroujeni, Matt Brown, Erin Coates, Jennifer Cochrane, Penny Coss, Samantha Dennison, Elham Eshraghian-Haakansson, Caspar Fairhall, Tom Freeman, Naomi Grant, Brent Harrison, Adam Hisham Ismail, Hiroshi Kobayashi, Guillermo Kramer, Jina Lee, Maxxi Minaxi May, Lia McKnight, Andrew Nicholls, Sherry Paddon, Amy Perejuan-Capone, Annette Peterson, Bjoern Rainer-Adamson, Anna Louise Richardson, Nicole Slatter and Bruce Slatter, Helen Smith, Sue Starcken, Mandy White, Kay Wood.