Winning artworks unveiled as State Library Victoria and Redbubble create art history

Media release

This is an archived media release. Links were correct at the time of publication, but may have changed or expired.

Friday 01 December 2017


State Library Victoria partnered with global creative marketplace Redbubble in the unique art initiative to open the Library’s vast digital collection to more people, and encourage them to explore it.

Artists worldwide were challenged to design original new works inspired by historic images in three themes from the Library’s collection - botanicals, weird and wonderful creatures and magic. 

State Library Victoria CEO Kate Torney said thousands of artists were inspired to remix and re-imagine historic images dating back from 1493.  

“The Library’s collection of over 5 million items belongs to the public and we’re delighted to make high resolution images available to encourage more people to explore and enjoy it. The wonderful winning artworks will be permanently added to the Library’s State Collection to inspire future generations.” 

Natasha Sim was awarded first prize for ‘Explore’, her illustration of a young explorer striding through a map of fantastical creatures - a tribute to childhood library visits with her father.  Greece-based artist Frank Moth and Canberra’s Paul Sommerfield won second and third place respectively for their botanical-inspired works ‘Victoria’ and ‘Fantastic Botanical’.

The winning artworks will be displayed at State Library Victoria, along with historic collection items that inspired the works, until 31st January. Merchandise featuring the unique designs will also be available through Readings State Library and Redbubble’s online store.                                                       

Redbubble CEO Martin Hosking said he was delighted with the success of the collaboration with the State Library. 

“This has been Redbubble’s most successful challenge, providing another means for independent artists to reach new audiences. The creativity and diversity of artworks produced was extraordinary. We’re thrilled that so many artists were inspired by this challenge and now have their designs available across the product range on Redbubble including art prints, tote bags and notebooks.”

To celebrate the unveiling, State Library Victoria is holding a free, live ‘art party’ in its Cowen Gallery, Friday 1 December, 11am-3pm. All ages are invited to join Redbubble resident artists, James Ormiston and Nicholas Miller to create their own fantastical beasts and original artworks inspired by the Library’s collection.

The winning artworks and Redbubble products can be viewed at: https://www.slv.vic.gov.au/create-art-history