From the Earth

08 July 2014

Climate Change by Tim Shaw, Finalist, Sculpture & Objects, Waterhouse 2014.

Climate Change by Tim Shaw, Finalist, Sculpture & Objects, Waterhouse 2014.

Download a copy of this media release as a PDF.

Exciting new finalist works chosen in Waterhouse Prize.

Climate change, natural wonders, genetic links between animals and humans, and species loss are among the themes boldly explored by outstanding finalists in the South Australian Museum’s 2014 Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize.

This prestigious international art prize attracts exciting hundreds of submissions from all over the world in the categories of Paintings, Works on Paper, Sculpture & Objects and Youth. Entrants are competing for the overall prize of $50,000, to be awarded on Thursday 24 July 2014 at the Museum.

Judges have chosen the best 101 submissions that investigate and answer key questions in science. The Museum is pleased to release the much-anticipated list of finalists to the public.

Impressed with the finalists’ selection in his first Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize since his appointment, South Australian Museum Director Brian Oldman says:

“The South Australian Museum’s Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize is the competition that explores the artists’ relationship with science and the natural word. The prize is unique in offering emerging and well-known artists the opportunity to engage with the Museum – our collections, scientific research and galleries.

“The 2014 finalists’ selection is outstanding. It will offer an exciting experience for our local and international visitors.”

The gallery of stunning finalists’ works will open to the public on Saturday, 26 July, and all pieces of art will be for sale. The Museum invites visitors to purchase tickets for the Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize Gala Evening, to be held on Thursday 24 July, where all winners will be formally announced. Tickets can be purchased online or by calling the Museum’s Foundation on 8207 7660.

Now in its 12th year, the Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize commemorates the birth of the South Australian Museum’s first curator, Frederick George Waterhouse.

This year, candidates from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Hungary, Japan, Philippines, Singapore, Spain, the USA, the UK and Belarus entered the prize.

About the Prizes

Overall Winner                                  $50,000 (acquisitive)
Category Winners                              $12,000
Youth Art Prize Winner                      $5,000
Peoples Choice Award                       $5,000
Dr Wendy Wickes Memoriam Prize    $5,000

Inside the 2014 Finalists’ Gallery 

Queensland painter Emma Lindsay has undertaken a long-term study of extinct Australian bird specimens around the world. She describes an impactful experience in a French museum as the inspiration behind her 2014 Waterhouse entry, Extinct dwarf Kangaroo Island emu (Dromaius baudinianus):

“I visited the Paris Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle ‘extinction room’ to see their Dwarf Kangaroo Island emu specimen in person… This skeleton is so beautifully reconstructed, staged in darkness under its own individual light. It was an ambivalent and emotional experience to see it there so far from home – for me it was an encounter that had to be painted.”

'Extinct dwarf Kangaroo Island emu (Dromaius baudinianus)' by Emma Lindsay, Finalist, Paintings, Waterhouse 2014.

Extinct dwarf Kangaroo Island emu (Dromaius baudinianus) by Emma Lindsay, Finalist, Paintings, Waterhouse 2014.

Victorian artist Julia Ciccarone’s work Formaldehyde, 2012 has also been chosen as a Paintings Category finalist. Ciccarone was a finalist in the 2013 Archibald Prize for her painting of Melbourne-based sculptor Nicholas Jones. In her statement for Formaldehyde, 2012, Ciccarone says:

“Here stands artist Rick Amor. What does he see?
How do we observe, see, experience nature?
Are we looking at it through glass?
Are we part of it or outside looking in?
Art, Artefact, Natural History?”

'Formaldehyde' by Julia Ciccarone, Finalist, Paintings, Waterhouse 2014.

Formaldehyde by Julia Ciccarone, Finalist, Paintings, Waterhouse 2014.

Finalists’ works will be shown at the South Australian Museum from Saturday 26 July until Sunday 7 September 2014. An exhibition of prizewinning and highly commended works will then tour to the National Archives of Australia in Canberra, from Friday 26 September until Sunday 9 November 2014.


The South Australian Museum gratefully acknowledges the support of our sponsors.

Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize 2014 sponsor logos.

Private Donations in Support of the Prize

The Helen Hill Smith OAM Prize for Sculpture and Objects is presented by
Sam and Robert Hill Smith in memory of their mother.
The Dr Wendy Wickes Memoriam Prize is generously provided by her life’s companion.
The Paintings Prize is presented in recognition of San Remo.

Gala Launch Partners

Epicure Catering
Renniks Events
Richard Hamilton Wines
James Squire
Haigh’s Chocolates