New prestige for revamped Waterhouse Prize

Media release: Thursday, 15 September 2016

After a two-year absence, the Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize has burst onto the exhibition stage again, with a new and refreshed format, a wider range of art forms and a prize panel of international stature.

The changes to the prize have resulted in two main award categories: an open prize of $30,000 and an emerging artist prize of $10,000. A further $5,000 is presented for the People's Choice and for a newly created Scientist's Choice Award.

One of the most popular exhibitions to visit Canberra each year, it will open at the National Archives of Australia on 16 September, with the winning and highly commended entries on show.

'As the only location outside of Adelaide to host the winning works, the National Archives sees visitors returning year after year to view the winners,' said David Fricker, Director-General of the National Archives. 'This is certainly one of the most popular exhibitions we host, encouraging artists to portray the scientific and environmental issues facing our planet. It also complements the Canberra event of Floriade as both highlight the natural beauty around us.'

The Canberra 2016 exhibition presents the 25 winning and highly commended works of the competition. Organised by the South Australian Museum, the Waterhouse offers artists a valuable platform for them to contribute to the environmental debate.

The winner of the Open Category is Julie deVille of Melbourne with her work, Neapolitan Bonbonaparte, which she described as 'a comment on industrialised animal agriculture'.

'Most people purchase free-range eggs, but there are products containing factory-farmed eggs, including ice-cream (the inspiration for this work), that are not required to be labelled.'

Dan Power from Canberra, whose work G[RAZED] features pen and ink on a bull skull, won the Emerging Category. He said 'overgrazing and agricultural land clearing erode habitat complexity and with it, species diversity. G[RAZED] features endangered native species clinging to existence at the hands of outdated land use and agricultural practices.'

Ulan Murray from Bega won both the people's choice and scientist's choice categories for his work Arbor Sole, which he said 'reflects the environmental system that relies on a delicate balance between carbon dioxide and oxygen. It evokes a sense of power coupled with fragility.'

The exhibition is on show at the National Archives of Australia, Queen Victoria Terrace, Parkes, ACT from 16 September until 13 November 2016.

NOTE TO ED: High-resolution images are available at

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