Prestigious art prize on show in Canberra

Media release: Thursday, 23 August 2018

An exhibition of works of art from the esteemed Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize – hosted by the National Archives of Australia – opens today at Old Parliament House in Canberra.

The Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize, from the South Australian Museum, attracts high-calibre entries from around the world and encourages discussion about scientific and environmental issues facing the planet. On display will be 17 winning and highly commended works of art selected from this year's Prize.

National Archives Director-General David Fricker says, 'We are thrilled to host the popular Waterhouse Prize once again – the only location outside Adelaide to do so. We will be holding the exhibition at Old Parliament House this year while we wait to move back to our permanent East Block home in 2019.'

Ms Erica Seccombe was awarded winner of the Open category for her video work Metamorphosis, documenting the mysterious transformation of a pupating fly. Judges praised Seccombe for 'profoundly capturing the spirit of the Prize with a work that took as its foundation the ordinarily unseen intersection between science and art.'

Ms Hayley Lander won the Emerging artist category for her oil painting The Great Forgetting, which she describes as articulating 'the fragility of our ecosystem as species move towards their tipping point of endurance'. Lander's work impressed the judging panel with its 'highly considered, painterly sophistication [making it] a compelling choice'.

'The absorbing works of art in this year's Waterhouse are sure to provoke interest and debate among our visitors. It's especially exciting for our regular Canberra visitors to see two local artists as the winners of the Prize. With Floriade opening in a few weeks, it's the perfect time of year in Canberra to appreciate our natural environment,' says Mr Fricker.

The Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize 2018
National Archives of Australia
@ Old Parliament House
18 King George Terrace Parkes
Until 14 October

High resolution images available for download via the Archives' Media Centre.

Contact information

  • Sophia McDonald (Senior Communications Officer)
    t (02) 6212 3697 m 0417 247 157 e media@naa.gov.au

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Copyright National Archives of Australia 2019