Artists Vying for Top Prize in New-look Waterhouse

26 June 2013


Microcosm Series - Blue by Zoe Woods, Finalist, Sculpture & Objects, Waterhouse 2013.

The South Australian Museum is pleased to present the 102 new finalist artworks selected for the 2013 Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize Exhibition.

Top judges from the art and science worlds have chosen the finalists from a record 859 entries, submitted from across the globe in the Paintings, Works on Paper, Sculpture and Youth Categories.

Finalists will be vying for the top $50,000 prize, which will be announced at a press conference at the Museum on Friday, 19 July at 10.30am.

One of Australia’s most prestigious art competitions, the Waterhouse is unique in its mission to encourage exploration of the sciences through high-calibre art. Artists are invited to use their chosen media to generate scientific debate, examine environmental issues or simply celebrate the beauty of the natural world.

Prize founder and Head of Special Projects at the South Australian Museum, Mark Judd, says the name of the competition has been changed from the Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize to better reflect the scientific message of the event: “the Waterhouse goes beyond science illustration – we invite artists to engage with scientific research-based ideas such as biodiversity, habitat depletion, climate change, physics, chemistry, palaeontology and others – and use their imagination to inspire and delight our visitors.”

'Hand, Scale, Claw... Galapagos Iguana' by Bernard O'Grady.

Hand, Scale, Claw... Galapagos Iguana by Bernard O'Grady, Finalist, Works on Paper, Waterhouse 2013.

In his work on paper Hand.. scale.. claw.. Galapagos iguana, NSW finalist Bernard O’Grady presents the Galapagos Islands as a hotspot for understanding evolution.

“The pattern, texture and lines that make up the iguana's skin, mirror the complexity of evolution, reflecting the diversity of life born out of the immense timescale where claw becomes hand, scale, skin,” he says in his statement.

The Waterhouse broke three new records in 2012: the first Aboriginal Australian artwork to win the overall prize in the event’s ten-year history, a record number of entries and record attendance of more than 13,200 visitors.


About the Competition

The Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize is open to all artists from Australia and overseas. It is an acquisitive prize: South Australian Museum retains the overall winning piece. Winners receive the following prize money:

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

The exhibition of winners and finalists in the Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize is shown each year at the South Australian Museum. It will run from 20 July to 8 September 2013. Winning and highly commended entries tour to the National Archives of Australia from September to November.


2013 Judges

  • James Darling, Artist, farmer and conservationist
  • Professor Andy Austin, Adelaide University Centre for Evolutionary Biology and Biodiversity
  • Dr Petra Kayser, Curator, Prints and Drawings, National Gallery of Victoria
  • David O’Connor, Manager, Exhibitions and Public Programs, Art Gallery of South Australia
  • Melinda Rankin, Director, Murray Bridge Regional Gallery
  • Peter Walker, Director, Peter Walker Fine Art
  • Ken Orchard, Artist
  • Dr Richard Dunlop, Artist
  • Silvio Apponyi, Artist
  • Rita Hall, Artist