the pool grant

Submissions Open: June 1 2019
Submissions Close: June 27 2019, 11:59 PM

*No late entries will be accepted.

Submission Fee: $50 AUD



The Pool Grant is an independent initiative created by The POOL COLLECTIVE that provides $15,000 and a year of mentorship to an emerging photographer to conceptualise and produce a solo exhibition 

Founded in 2009, The POOL COLLECTIVE’s artists created The Pool Grant to support the development of emerging talent in the industry and have spent the past ten years acting as mentors to each year’s recipient. The Pool Grant is a cornerstone of POOL’s philosophy; POOL’s artists believe it is essential to support the creative community by sharing their experience and resources in an impactful and tangible way. 




Entrants must submit a PDF file containing:

  1. Creative Concept & Treatment
    Explain your creative idea through a written and visual treatment. A treatment is a document that summarises the technical and artistic approach to your idea. 

  2. Exhibition Proposal
    An explanation of how your idea would come to life in an exhibition (may include visual references)

    • Physical manifestation of work, i.e. framed and printed images, projections, installations, etc.

    • Type of venue (may include specific options) 

  3. Production
    A brief explanation of how you would execute your idea, which may cover:

    • Pre-production

    • Shooting 

    • Post-production

  4. Artist Statement, CV & Portfolio References

    • Artist statement (150 words max)

    • CV (focused on photographic experience, including professional experience and prior exhibitions, if any)

    • Samples of your photography (not necessarily related to your proposal)

Only one proposal can be submitted per applicant. 

Since this is primarily a mentorship experience, we encourage applicants to submit proposals that allow for further development throughout the year, i.e. projects do not have to strictly adhere to what is included in the initial proposal.

You may not submit your proposal, or any works related to the project, to other grants or competitions while The Pool Grant submission is pending.



To be eligible to enter you must be an Australian or New Zealand resident, aged 18+ years.

You will not be eligible to receive The Pool Grant if you have earned your primary income from photography for more than 3 years or have extensive experience in the arts community, i.e. prior exhibitions, books, etc. (determined on a case-by-case basis).

The Pool Grant does not require applicants to meet a minimum level of photography experience; however, you will need sufficient technical skill to support your idea and complete the project successfully.



Digital manipulation and composite imaging are permitted, but applicants may not propose projects that WOULD BE wholly computer generated or 3D illustrated.




Judging criteria will be based upon the artistic merit and originality of the creative treatment and exhibition proposal, as well as the feasibility and potential of the production and budget proposals (supported by examples of applicants’ photographic work).

The judges are the POOL team, who will compile a shortlist between 3 & 5 photographers and a recipient.



The Pool Grant recipient will be announced on Opening Night of The Pool Grant annual exhibition.



You may use $10,000 of the grant money in whatever way is most beneficial to you during the year to help complete the project successfully. The remaining $5,000 is allocated to the production of the exhibition and opening night event (for example, marketing, venue hire and exhibition materials).

Recipients may also allocate funds from the $10,000 towards the exhibition and opening night event, should they so choose. 




The POOL team works year-round on promotion, marketing and sponsorships necessary to present The Pool Grant recipients with the opportunity to show their work to a wide audience.

POOL also manages production of the exhibition in collaboration with The Pool Grant recipient. See Benefits & Costs page for more details.



Copyright of the photographs shall remain with the photographer at all times. The Pool Grant recipient agrees to allow his/her awarded images to advertise and promote The Pool Grant. Upon completion of your project, one piece of artwork from your series must be provided to POOL for inclusion in the POOL gallery.




Why has the wording of the description changed this year? 

We’ve re-worded the description to emphasise that The Pool Grant is in essence a means to produce an exhibition, which we feel is an important and unique distinction compared to other photography grants. Our recipients are given the opportunity and resources to connect face-to-face with an audience and see their work in tangible form. The physical manifestation of our recipients’ creative ideas is at the heart of The Pool Grant’s value proposition, which is why we want our language to reflect that. 

Why has the grant amount increased this year?

The grant amount has been increased from $10,000 to $15,000, with $10,000 still to be used in whichever way is most helpful to our recipients throughout the year and an additional $5,000 to be allocated to the production of the exhibition. We decided to make this change to more accurately communicate the monetary contribution our recipients receive every year for their exhibitions. 

Why have the submission guidelines and fee changed this year? 

The submission guidelines and fee have been altered to accommodate the above developments. We’ve added more detail to what we’d like to see in your proposals, giving us a better idea of how you see your creative concept translating into an exhibition and how you think you would be able to achieve it. The submission fee has increased from $20 to $50 to reflect the expanded guidelines. Overall, we are looking forward to seeing thoughtful proposals that will translate into compelling shows. 


images copyright rob farley, the pool grant 2018/2019 co-recipient