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Sustainable Waste to Art Prize

About the Art Prize - Selection Criteria and Judging - Categories and Prizes - Important 2020 Dates - More Information 

Entries for SWAP will open this April but you can get started now! Get inspired by our creative activity ideas in the SWAP Educational Resource(PDF, 10MB).

The City of Ryde’s annual Sustainable Waste to Art Prize (SWAP) is back for its 10th year! With larger prizes and more opportunities to get creative, this environmental art competition is not to be missed.

SWAP is a chance to express your creativity through re-purposing rubbish and recovered materials. At a time when reducing waste is more important than ever, SWAP presents a fun opportunity to learn new skills and explore the artistic potential of items you would usually throw away.

Make an artwork and submit it for consideration in the 2020 SWAP exhibition at See Street Gallery, Meadowbank TAFE. There’s $5,000 in prize money up for grabs across six categories – Open (18+ years), Youth (14-17 years), Junior (10-13 years), Functional, Schools Participation and People’s Choice.

About the Art Prize

What kind of art can be submitted?
  • Artworks and design objects submitted to SWAP must relate to sustainability or waste themes and be made from used or recovered waste materials.
  • Works can be two or three dimensional. They can be an artwork (such as a sculpture, assemblage, collage or textile piece) or a functional object you can wear or use.
  • Works must be no larger than 150cm in width or depth. This includes the frame or any other display devices.
  • Three dimensional works can be free standing or wall mounted. If wall mounted they cannot exceed 20kg in weight.
  • Original (non-waste) products can only be used for assembling the work, including for binding, bonding, adhering and painting.
  • All entries must be an original work of the exhibitor and created within two years prior to 16 September 2020. Art and design objects previously exhibited in other prizes and exhibitions are still eligible.
  • For cultural sensitivity reasons, artworks that contain certain unauthorised use of indigenous symbols, motifs or styles are not eligible.
  • Works that are considered offensive will not be selected. Council reserves the right to refuse to exhibit artwork that does not align to Council’s community values.
Who can apply?

All entrants must either live, work, study or play in the City of Ryde.

City of Ryde staff, Councillors and those employed or volunteering on the SWAP 2020 project are eligible to apply and be selected for exhibition but are not eligible to win any of the prizes, with the exception of the People’s Choice Award.

Please note a maximum of two artworks may be submitted per person.

Selection Criteria and Judging

It is anticipated that around 80 art and design objects will be selected for the exhibition.

Selection into the exhibition will be based on innovative and creative use of waste materials to make art or the upcycling 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.

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 16 September 2020.

Junior YEP | Younger Category

Winner $300 / Second Prize $100
Open to young people aged 10 to 13 years as at 16 September 2020.

Schools Participation Award

Winner $200
Awarded to the school with the highest number of entries (maximum two entries per person).

Functional Award

Winner $500 / Second Prize $250
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 exhibition in any category. Audiences will have the opportunity to vote for their favourite artwork or design object in the exhibition.

Important 2020 Dates

Date What's happening
Monday, 27 April 2020 Applications open
Monday, 17 August 2020  Applications close 
Monday, 31 August 2020 Successful exhibiting artists notified by email and posted on the City of Ryde website
Friday, 11 September -
Saturday, 12 September 2020

Selected artwork must be delivered to See Street Gallery between 10.00am and 6.00pm on either of these dates

Wednesday, 16 September 2020  Exhibition opening event and announcement of winners at See Street Gallery between 6.00pm and 8.00pm
Thursday, 17 September -
Thursday, 1 October 2020

Exhibition period at See Street Gallery.
Gallery hours: Tuesday to Saturday, between 11.00am and 4.00pm

Friday, 2 October 2020  Artworks must be collected from See Street Gallery between 10.00am and 6.00pm

More Information

All queries regarding the exhibition and the application process can be made to City of Ryde's Waste Project Coordinator on 9952 8222.

Last updated on 31 March 2020