Main Content Anchor

Sustainable Waste to Art Prize

Back for its ninth year, the City of Ryde’s annual Sustainable Waste to Art Prize (SWAP) is a chance to express your creativity through repurposing 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.

Get inspired at one of our free workshops. Make an artwork, and submit it for consideration in the SWAP exhibition happening at See Street Gallery, Meadowbank TAFE.  There’s $4,500 in prize money up for grabs across five categories – Open (18+yrs), Youth (14-17 yrs), Junior (10-13 yrs), Functional and People’s Choice.

The submission period for SWAP 2019 has closed.


From Plastic to Fantastic (FULLY BOOKED)

Wednesday 10 July 2019, 10 am - 4 pm, West Ryde Community Hall - 1a Station Street, West Ryde

This workshop is open to 10 - 13 yrs 
Did you know that in just 30 years, there could be more plastic in our oceans than fish? Let’s get that plastic out of our environment and turn it into something creative! View more details and register online.

Mixed Media Magic

Saturday 13 July 2019, 10 am - 4 pm, West Ryde Community Hall – 1A Station Street, West Ryde

This workshop is for people aged 18 years and older
Join in a workshop where industrial excess and domestic recycling moves from producing rivers of rubbish to oodles of creative possibilities! Using eclectic loose parts and a rich variety of open ended recycled materials, this mixed media workshop is based around joyful experimentation. View more details and register online

Junk Bugs

Wednesday 17 July 2019, 10 am - 4 pm, West Ryde Community Hall – 1a Station Street, West Ryde

This workshop is open to 10 - 13 yrs 
Learn how to construct a futuristic bug from found materials including plastic, wire and common household objects. Using small hand tools, students will create a freestanding sculpture that is worthy of a sci-fi blockbuster. View more details and register online

Found Object Figures

Saturday 20 July, 10 am - 4 pm, West Ryde Community Hall - 1a Station Street, West Ryde

This workshop is for people aged 18 years and older
In this workshop you will be guided to create a figure from found and discarded natural and human-made objects using a variety of sculptural techniques including wire work, gluing, assemblage and the use of hand and power tools. View more details and register online

Art Prize Details

Artwork Eligibility Criteria

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 150 cm 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 20 kg 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 original work of the exhibitor and created within two years prior to 18 September 2019. 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.

Entrant Eligibility 

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 2019 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.

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 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. The City of Ryde reserves the right to change the judges without notification to the entrants. 

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 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 Dates

Tuesday 4 June 2019
Applications open

Sunday 18 August 2019
Applications close

Monday 2 September 2019
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 10 am and 6 pm.

Wednesday 18 September 2019
Opening event and announcement of winners at See Street Gallery, Meadowbank, 6 pm - 8 pm.

Thursday 19 September to Thursday 3 October 2019
Exhibition Period
Gallery open days and times: Tuesday to Saturday, 11 am - 4 pm.

Friday 4 October 2019
Collection of works from See Street Gallery between 10 am - 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 20 August 2019