The beauty and fragility of our natural world

Media release: Thursday, 23 September 2010

The National Archives in Canberra is the only venue outside Adelaide to host the top entries in the Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize – Australia's richest natural history art competition. The work of three Canberra artists is included in the winning artworks which, collectively, reflect and celebrate the beauty and fragility of our natural world.

The Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize, with a prize pool of $114,500, offers awards in the categories of painting, works on paper, sculpture and objects, with a special youth prize as well. The 2010 competition attracted 684 entries, from which 104 finalists were selected for display at the South Australian Museum which organises the competition.

The 31 prize-winning and highly commended works from each category will be on display in Canberra from 24 September to 14 November. The works of Canberra artists include the overall winning entry by Nikki Main. Tess Barker was the runner up in the Youth Prize and Gorgi Dimcevski was highly commended in the painting category.

The Waterhouse Prize commemorates the work of the South Australian Museum's first curator, Frederick George Waterhouse, one of the foremost naturalists of his era. He assembled a collection of insects, reptiles, birds, mammals and plants, and discovered 40 new species of fish off the South Australian coastline. The Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize was developed by the South Australian Museum. Professor Sasha Grishin, head of art history at the ANU was one of the 2010 judges.

The exhibition will be on at the National Archives from 24 September until 14 November. Entry to the exhibition is free.

Contact information

  • Elizabeth Masters (Media Officer)
    t (02) 6212 3957 m 0427 853 664 e elizabeth.masters@naa.gov.au
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