Libris Awards

Due to new COVID-19 rules, social distancing and upgraded hygiene measures are now in place at Artspace Mackay for the safety of visitors and staff. Hand sanitiser is available on entry, and events are limited in numbers and spaced to allow participants to engage in adequate social distancing within all areas of the facility. Please contact us if you have any concerns or queries prior to visiting 4961 9722.



As extraordinary developments continue to unfold in response to Covid19, Artspace Mackay has faced and overcome many challenges presented throughout the year to now be showing another inspirational Libris Awards exhibition, on show until 13 September 2020.

Interstate travel constraints prevented our designated 2020 Libris Awards judges, Des Cowley and Robert Heather - who completed the selection of finalists from an extensive range of artists’ book entries from across the nation - from travelling to Mackay to select winners in the three categories. Artspace Mackay Director Tracey Heathwood completed the final process of selecting this year’s prize winners.

To see the live streamed announcement of winners (including an acceptance speech from the overall winner of category one) that was broadcast on 13 July 2020, visit Facebook

Exhibition dates: 27 June to 13 September 2020


Category One, Overall Winner
Category One, Highly Commended
Category Two, Winner
Category Three, Winner 

Illustrated catalogue of finalists

Finalist Selection Judges’ essays:
Des Cowley
Robert Heather

Terms and conditions of entry

Shortlist of finalists

3D Virtual Tour of the exhibition


Since opening its doors in 2003, the gallery has been dedicated in its exploration and support of the artists’ book medium. The Libris Awards play a significant role in showcasing the very latest and best in contemporary artists’ book practice in Australia.

2020 Award Categories

Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal National Artists’ Book Awards (acquisitive)

  • Overall winner $7,000
  • Highly Commended $3,000

Mackay Regional Council Regional Artists’ Book Award (non-acquisitive) $2,500

Artspace Mackay Foundation Tertiary Artists’ Book Award (non-acquisitive) $2,000

2020 Judges

DES COWLEY is Principal Librarian, History of the Book and Arts at State Library of Victoria, and has more than twenty years’ experience working with rare books, including the Library’s extensive artists’ book collection. Des was a judge for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards in 1998, 1999, 2003 and 2010, and a judge for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards 2016 and 2017. He is co-curator of the Library’s permanent exhibition World of the Book and co-author of The World of the Book, published by Melbourne University Press in 2007. He co-edited Creating and Collecting: Artists’ Books in Australia in 2015 and has published numerous essays on artists’ books in Imprint and other journals.

ROBERT HEATHER is a former Director of Artspace Mackay who founded the Libris Awards in 2006 to support the growth of the gallery’s artists’ books collection. He has worked in regional and public collections around Australia including positions at the Queensland Art Gallery, Cairns Regional Gallery, Regional Galleries Association of Queensland, State Library of Victoria and New England Regional Art Museum. He is a passionate supporter of printmaking and print history and has been involved in numerous exhibitions, collections, publications and conferences in the field. He is currently the Director of Advancement, Communications and Events at the University of New England

View past Libris Awards