Scotiabank and the National Gallery of Canada have announced the winners of the 2021 New Generation Photography Award, which is the only award dedicated to Canadian lens-based artists who are 35 years of age and under. Brampton’s Dainesha Nugent-Palache is was one of the three to receive this prestigious award and it’s no wonder she won—her work is stunning. 

“Dainesha’s powerful portraits of women have a rich, painterly quality, says Andrea Kunard, Jury Chair and Associate Curator, Photographs, the National Gallery of Canada. “She uses light in a sculptural way to mold and give presence to her subjects.”  

For Dainesha, the award affirms all the effort and time she’s put into her artistic practice. “It gives me permission to celebrate the commitment I’ve made to my practice by continuing to create intuitively in a way that feels right to me, even if it doesn’t immediately make sense to others. The response has been overwhelmingly supportive. I’m just excited to share my art with a larger audience and feel driven to make new work; I can feel the impostor syndrome dissipating a bit,” she says.

‘Angaer’, Inkjet Print, Dainesha Nugent-Palache, Private Collections

Beyond photography, Dainesha is a founding member of the plumb, described as a “DIY artist-run project dedicated to offering a surplus of space in a city where space is at a premium—particularly for artists, community organizers, and marginalized groups.” She’s also curated Venus Fest, a favourite cultural event of ours. 

The three winners will receive a cash prize of $10,000 each and will be featured in two group exhibitions: an outdoor exhibition at Ryerson University in Toronto during the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival held from April 30 – October 3, 2021; and at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa in Fall 2021 (COVID-19 restrictions permitting). Award recipients will also be mentored by the curatorial team at the National Gallery of Canada, will participate in artist talks and their work will be included in exhibition tours and educational programming. The 2020 and 2021 winners will present their work together at both group exhibitions.

Read more about Dainesha Nugent-Palache’s work, and follow her on Instagram