PRIZE REVIEW: Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize 2024 

Close up photograph of a marble statue
Photo by FotoFlo on Unsplash

This month, Arts Law has reviewed the terms and conditions of the Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize 2024 in New South Wales. Read the terms and conditions of this competition here.  

The deadline for this competition is 30 June 2024

What is the rating? 

A graphic of 4.5 out of 5 gold stars

Arts Law has awarded the competition 4.5 stars out of 5. Congratulations to the organisers, Woollahra Gallery, for their artist-friendly terms and conditions.  

Read on to find out more detail. 

How did Arts Law help?  

Arts Law reached out to Woollahra Gallery to make this competition’s terms and conditions artist friendly. We are delighted that they took on board our suggestions and updated their terms from what was originally published. This process helped to lift the terms from an overall rating of 2 stars to the current rating of 4.5 stars out of 5. 

How artist-friendly is this competition?  

Overall, this competition is very artist friendly. Finalists’ work will be exhibited at Woollahra Gallery in Redleaf, Double Bay – providing great exposure for the artists involved. Woollahra Gallery commits to respecting the moral rights of entrants and requests a non-exclusive copyright licence from finalists (although for an unlimited time).  

Finalists’ works must be available for sale at the exhibit at a price set by the artist (at the time of entering the competition), and Woollahra Gallery deducts a 40% commission (plus GST). The organisers have stipulated in clause 4 that, if an artist is represented, this commission will be shared equally between that representative and Woollahra Gallery. In effect, this guarantees that the artist’s share will always be 60% of the GST exclusive sale price. While this may be subject to an artist’s separate agreements with their gallery representatives, the intention here is good to make sure that artists are the main beneficiaries of sales made through the prize. 

There is a non-refundable entry fee of $55.30 (including GST and transaction fee). Artists can submit more than one entry, noting that a separate entry fee is payable for each entry.  

How do the copyright terms stack up?  

What is copyright?  Copyright is a bundle of rights that protect literary, artistic, musical and dramatic works (as well as films and sound recordings). These rights allow the owner of copyright to control the ways that a work is used. If you want to learn more, you can read Arts Law’s Information Sheet on Copyright here 

The copyright terms in this competition are fairly artist friendly.  

Arts Law suggested that Woollahra Gallery should include terms and conditions stating that copyright remains with the entrants. We are delighted that the gallery accepted this suggestion with there now being a clause to this effect (clause 9). 

Woollahra Gallery also took on our suggested changes to the licensing terms. Only finalists (rather than all entrants) are required to grant Woollahra Gallery an unlimited, non-exclusive licence to produce their work for ‘promotional purposes and as a feature of the Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize archive.’ It is good to see that this licence is non-exclusive which means that the finalists retain the right to commercialise their work in other ways. 

The artist and their gallery (if applicable) will be credited in all such materials. Although it is good to see that the licence is confined to purposes for promoting the competition and the gallery’s archive, it would be ideal to include an end date for these licences (particularly considering that no licence fee is paid to the artists).  

In light of the exhibition opportunities, this licence is reasonable. 

Does the competition respect moral rights?  

What are moral rights?  Creators have moral rights when their work is used (i) to attribution, (ii) against false attribution, and (iii) to integrity, which means not having their work treated in a derogatory way. For more information, you can read Arts Law’s Information Sheet on Moral Rights here.    

Arts Law suggested that the organisers should include terms and conditions addressing moral rights. We are thrilled that the organisers accepted these suggestions and included a clause respecting moral rights (in clause 8, and also in clause 7).  

The terms expressly state that the entrants retain all moral rights in their artworks. Woollahra Gallery commits to crediting the artist whenever their work is displayed or used. The organisers also commit to not making any changes to the work and ensuring that the work is not treated in a derogatory manner. Any special display requirements requested by the artist will be considered by the gallery.  

What about Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property? 

What is ICIP?   ICIP is a broad term that covers all of the rights that Indigenous people have, and want to have, to protect their traditional arts and culture (including writing, music, performances, paintings, languages, sacred sites, stories passed down orally, and other records of heritage). If you want to learn more, you can read Arts Law’s Information Sheet on ICIP here.    

Arts Law suggested that the organisers should include terms and conditions addressing any Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property (ICIP) that might be embodied in the entries. We are pleased that the organisers accepted these suggestions and included a process for respecting ICIP. 

The terms now include a positive commitment to consult with an internal expert and/or the artist to ensure that artwork is not presented in a way that might be considered by an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander community to be, derogatory, degrading, inappropriate or offensive. Woollahra Gallery has also agreed to attributed ICIP (as notified by entrants) in the exhibition.  

The terms and conditions also provide that in the event of an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander artist’s death, if the gallery is contacted by relatives or representatives of the artist requesting that the artist’s likeness not be displayed, then the gallery will remove the artist’s likeness from any promotional material or publication.  

Other issues 

The artist (not the gallery) must arrange insurance for the artwork during transportation to and from the exhibition and during the exhibition itself. The terms state that the Woollahra Council is not responsible for loss, theft or damage of the artworks. The artist (not the gallery) is also responsible for freight costs. These additional costs may be a barrier to entry for the artist (in addition to the entry fee).  

National Association for the Visual Arts ’(NAVA’s) Code of Conduct recommends that organisers can improve equitable access for artists by paying for or sharing in transportation costs with the artist and paying for artists to be insured while in transit and for the duration of the exhibition, for damage and theft. It would be best practice for the Organiser to offer insurance cover to protect the artwork while it is in the Organiser’s possession and control.   

The terms do not set out the judging criteria for finalists or the winners of the prizes. Whilst the three judges are identified, Woollahra Gallery does not state who will be part of the initial selection panel for finalists. Clarity regarding the judging process itself and the criteria for successful entries would help artist to make informed decisions about their entries (keeping in mind the entry fee) and prospects for success.  

The winner of the Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize will be acquired by Woollahra Gallery. This means that the artist will no longer own the physical artwork. Entrants may therefore wish to consider the value of their artwork and whether it may be greater than the $25,000 prize money before entering.  

What could they have done better?  

Overall, we are pleased with the terms of this competition, and are pleased that the Woollahra Gallery has taken on much of our feedback to make these terms fairer for entrants. To receive a full five stars, Woollahra Gallery could have:  

  1. taken responsibility for insuring the artworks whilst in the gallery’s possession during the exhibition period;  
  1. included a term limiting the copyright licence to a limited period; and  
  1. provided information regarding the selection and judging process.  

You can lodge a query with us here if you would like to obtain advice from Arts Law about this competition.  

What is Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize 2024 about?  

The Organiser describes the competition as ‘an international award for original, freestanding or wall-mounted sculptures.’ 

Entries are to be sculptures (defined as ‘freestanding, non-site specific, three-dimensional objects or wall-mounted objects’) not exceeding 80 cm in dimension with a stable base (or appropriate mount) and designed or completed since September 2022. There is no set theme. 

There will be 45 to 60 finalists whose works will be exhibited at the Woollahra Gallery, from which the winners will be chosen. The exhibition period is 13 September 2024 to 20 October 2024. 

What prizes are on offer in Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize 2024?  

There are four prize categories and the selection process for each of the prizes differ:  

  1. The Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize – an acquisitive award of $25,000 
  1. Three judges (Liz Nowell, Jarrod Rawlins and Erin Vink) will decide this award, with the winner announced at the opening of the exhibition on 12 September 2024. 
  1. The Special Commendation Award – a non-acquisitive award of $2,000 
  1. Three judges (Liz Nowell, Jarrod Rawlins and Erin Vink) will decide this award, with the winner announced at the opening of the exhibition on 12 September 2024. 
  1. The Mayor’s Award – a non-acquisitive award of $1,000 
  1. The Mayor of Woollahra will decide this award, with the winner announced at the opening of the exhibition on 12 September 2024.  
  1. The Viewers’ Choice – a non-acquisitive award of $1,000 
  1. The public will vote on the Viewers’ Choice, and the winner will be announced following the conclusion of the exhibition. 


Arts Law regularly reviews the terms and conditions of competitions and rates them out of five stars. Our review looks broadly at the terms and conditions of a competition. In particular, we look closely at how a competition deals with an entrant’s copyright and moral rights, and consider this in light of the prize.  Entrants should always take into account the possible profile-raising which may result from being a finalist or winner.  

By accepting the terms and conditions of a competition, entrants should be aware that they may be entering a legally binding contract.  

For more information, see our free information sheet on competition conditions. Artists are welcome to contact Arts Law for legal advice on the terms of a competition. We also invite competition organisers to contact Arts Law for best practice assistance to make their terms and conditions fairer for artists. 

Please note: Prior to February 2018, Arts Law’s rated out of five stars only the terms of a competition which dealt with copyright and moral rights. Arts Law’s competition reviews are now more holistic, such that our rating out of five stars now reflects a broad review of all the terms and conditions of the competition. For more information see our website. 

Further Information 

Please email us at [email protected] to tell us about any competitions or prizes you think we should check.  

See more about Arts Law’s campaign to improve competition terms and conditions in the Prizes and Competitions section.