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The Norma Bull Portraiture Scholarship AWARD TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF ENTRY


Norma Bull was born in Melbourne in 1906. As an artist she was most active in England during World War II and famous for her wartime depictions.  Her skills were diverse with etching and painting being her focus.  The opening of her exhibition, ‘War time Britain’ on 4th December 1947 was attended by her Majesty the Queen of England. In the prelude to this exhibition one journalist expressed ‘What I liked most was the artist’s enthusiasm: it seemed to me she felt she had a message to give to the people of Australia’ After a long and distinguished career, she passed away in 1980 after a trust was set up to celebrate the study of art in the form of naturalist portraiture.


This is a biennial award, which aims to encourage students of all ages to advance in the Naturalist style. In 2023 the scholarship is for $5000. The winner will receive $2500 at the award’s announcement. Within 12 months the winner will report on the progress in their studies to receive the final $2500.


The award is open to tertiary and adult students who are studying art. Studies may occur in art schools, informal institutions, societies or studios under qualified teachers recognised by the Trustee.


  1. Identify yourself as an entrant by 3.00pm on Friday 14th July 2023 by     submitting your entry form; providing photos of your current portfolio; and explaining how you intend to use the grant (e.g for further art study in Victoria)
  2. A selection of artists will be invited to proceed to the next stage. Notification will be provided by email.
  3. Artists are to submit a framed portrait for the Norma Bull Scholarship by Tuesday 8th August 2023.  Delivery to be made to the Secretary of the Victorian Artists Society, 430 Albert Street, East Melbourne 3002.
  4. The Norma Bull Portrait Exhibition will be open for viewing from Thursday 10th August 2023.
  5. The winner will be announced 4pm Saturday 12th August 2023 at the VAS Portrait Exhibition Opening and Awards Function.

What are the requirements of the portrait to be eligible?

  1. The work must be original to the artist.
  2. The size of the portrait must be a minimum of 76cm x 107cm and a maximum of 92cm x 122cm (excluding frame)
  3. The size of the subject must be a minimum of 3/4 portrait. There is no maximum as long as the subject’s dimensions remain life-size.
  4. The work must be presented framed.
  5. The work must be painted from a live model.
  6. The medium may be of oil or acrylic.
  7. A colour photograph of the model must accompany the artwork, not necessarily in the pose in which they are depicted in the submission.
  8. Working sketches and drawings should accompany the painting but will remain the property of the entrant.
  9. Finalists’ entered artwork may be sold in the exhibition; it should be priced to its genuine value and will be subject to the Society’s standard commissions of 28%.


Works entered into the Norma Bull Scholarship Award 2023 will be judged by a panel of VAS Exhibiting Council Members, as Trustees of the Norma Bull Trust.

Collection of work

Work will be available to collect from Tuesday 22nd August 2023.  Any piece not collected from this time is not the responsibility of the Trustees and will be handled in line with the Victorian Artists Society’s practice.  Whether this be to sell for donation to the society, retain for its permanent collection or disposed of.  To avoid any disappointment please ensure you collect your item within the agreed time.

Completing the scholarship

Within 12 months of being awarded the scholarship the winning artist will present to the Victorian Artists Society either a new portrait that shows the development of their technique or a portfolio of activities that they have been involved in, in order to prove advancement. Upon review by the Trustees, the final payment of $2500 will be provided.

USE_Swathi Madike_Shakthi

'Shakthi', Oil on Canvas by Swathi Madike, Winner 2021


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