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Sustainable Waste to Art Prize

2019 Winners and Commendations have been announced!

Exhibition - 2019 Winners and Commendations - Selection Criteria and Judging - 2019 SWAP Judges - Categories and Prizes - Important 2019 Dates - More Information

The City of Ryde proudly presents the 2019 Sustainable Waste 2 Art Prize (SWAP) exhibition. Bringing together works made from repurposed waste material, this exhibition explores the theme of sustainable living.

2019 Winners and Commendations


Winner: The stories behind a cuppa by Milka Ordonez

We are delighted to announce the People’s Choice winner for the Sustainable Waste to Art Prize (SWAP) 2019 – The stories behind a cuppa… by Milka Ordonez.  The stories behind a cuppa explores themes of memory and story-telling through tiny paintings on used tea bags.

Explaining the meaning behind her artwork Ms Ordonez said, “When I moved to Australia I did not speak any English, however, my new friends invited me over for a ‘cuppa’ and a chat and created the foundations for the work you see today. The images are representative of my history, whilst the tea-bags are symbolic of the ritual of tea-drinking and are evidence of my love of prolonging the life of objects. This is an ongoing body of work, as I share cups of tea and my stories; the artwork will grow, develop, and become a ‘year book’ of my life.”  

Over 400 people voted for this year’s SWAP People’s Choice award.

Open Category

1st Prize:  Menindee Ghost Ship by Danja Derkenne
2nd Prize: The Fashion of Menstruation
by Taylor Angelo
Highly Commended: The PRETTY TRASHY Showcase "On a Shoestring" by Anna Mango
Highly Commended: Seated Dancer (after Degas) by Wendy Bishop
Highly Commended: Marcela Ordonez, Self-Portrait - After Frida by Marcela Ordonez


1st Prize: Priscilla the Peacock by Tyler Old
2nd Prize: Coffee Table by Sam Graham
Highly Commended: Sea-Sore by Sophie Jallian
Highly Commended: Recovering History by Nelson Kerley

JUNIOR YEP | Younger Category

1st Prize: Not Just a Pretty Face by St Lucy's School Visual Arts Department
2nd Prize: Polluted Night by Stephanie Wilcock
Highly Commended: Rainbow Serpent by Dia MacNamara


Winner: Burlesque by Julie Scully
Highly Commended: Teddy Chairs by Rachel Swinton


The 2019 SWAP exhibition features work by 78 short listed artists and community members who live, work, study or play in the City of Ryde. See waste transformed into insects and animals, landscapes and portraits, fabulous fashion and much more. Come along and vote for your favourite artwork or design object on show.

Exhibition period: Thursday 19 September to Thursday 3 October
Venue:See Street Gallery, Meadowbank
Gallery hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 11am - 4pm

Entry into the exhibition is free. School groups are encouraged to attend but are asked to first contact Council so we can ensure adequate staffing at the gallery is available.

Selection Criteria and Judging

Selection into the exhibition will be based on innovative and creative use of waste materials to make art or the up-cycling of waste materials into an art or design object (creating a better quality object or one of higher environmental value).

The winners of the major prize categories will be chosen by a panel of expert judges. Decisions in regards to the selection of works for exhibition and the category prizes are final and no correspondence will be entered into.

2019 SWAP Judges

Marina Debris - Australia’s leading waste to art practitioner

Marin DeBris

Sydney-based artist Marina DeBris has been picking up trash along beaches and creeks for almost twenty years. Her mission began when she moved from Bondi Beach to Los Angeles. “In the beginning I would just pick up stacks of styrofoam cups and bring them to the local 7-Eleven, but I soon realized that this wasn’t really attacking the root problem. I needed a creative way to draw attention to it. The whole idea of making beach detritus into art began in 2009 with the realization that the waste we create always comes back to haunt us."

Trained as a graphic designer at Rhode Island School of Design, Marina’s interest in the intersection of art and the environment has been a constant. “My first goal is to provoke viewers into thinking about the consequences of our habits and how we can change them. My second goal is to get rid of all the garbage in my garage! In a responsible way, of course.;

Oliver Watts - Chief Curator, Artbank

Oliver Watts

Oliver Watts is a contemporary artist, lecturer and theorist. He is Chief Curator at Artbank. Oliver completed his PhD in art history and jurisprudence at the University of Sydney in 2009 and lectures at UNSW Art & Design.

He has been a selected entrant in prizes including the Mosman Art Prize, the Helen Lempriere Travelling Scholarship and the Brett Whitely Scholarship Exhibition and won the Noel Chettle Art Prize. He was a founding member of the Chaser Team as a cartoonist and a illustrator.

Dave West - Founder and National Policy Director, Boomerang Alliance

Dave West

Dave West is the Founder and National Policy Director of the Boomerang Alliance and is one of the most experienced waste campaigners in the world. Dave has been involved in extensive environmental investigation operations including tyre waste over the Vietnam/Chinese border to prove the extent of Australian recyclers involvement in illegal smuggling, and the exposure of fraudulent share offerings from the public company Carbon Polymers. Dave has also been instrumental in the Container Deposit schemes in NSW and QLD and is currently striving for the future adoption of schemes by all States and Territories. In a career spanning 25 years in the environment sector, Dave has worked for virtually every major environment group in Australia across a range of campaign sectors including toxic, nuclear energy, waste and corporate sustainability. Dave's experience is complemented by degrees in Economics, Valuation and Natural Resource Management along with a Masters in Business.

Categories and Prizes

SWAP | Open Category

Winner $1,800 / Second prize $600
Open to artists, designers and members of the community who are 18 years and over.


Winner $750 / Second Prize $250
Open to young people aged 14 to 17 years as at 18 September 2019.

Junior YEP | Younger Category

Winner $300 / Second Prize $100
Open to young people aged 10 to 13 years as at 18 September 2019.

Functional Award

Winner $500
Judged from across all disciplines in SWAP Open Category, YEP and Junior YEP categories. Awarded to the design object which best uses reclaimed material to form a functional piece.

People’s Choice Award

Winner $250
Open to all applicants who are selected for the exhibitions in any category. Audiences will have the opportunity to vote for their favourite artwork or design object in the exhibition.

Important 2019 Dates

Tuesday 4 June
Applications open

Sunday 18 August
Applications close

Monday 2 September
Successful exhibiting artists are notified by email and will be posted on the City of Ryde website.

Thursday 12 September, Friday 13 September and Saturday 14 September
Delivery of artwork required. Selected artworks to be delivered to See Street Gallery, Sydney Gallery School at the Meadowbank Campus of The Northern Sydney Institute - part of TAFE NSW, between 10am and 6pm.

Wednesday 18 September
Opening event and announcement of winners at See Street Gallery, Meadowbank, 6pm - 8pm.

Thursday 19 September to Thursday 3 October
Exhibition Period
Gallery open days and times: Tuesday to Saturday, 11 am - 4pm.

Friday 4 October
Collection of works from See Street Gallery between 10am - 6 pm.

More Information

All queries regarding the exhibition and the application process can be made to Councils City of Ryde Arts and Cultural Development Coordinator on 9952 8222.

Last updated on 10 October 2019