Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize Exhibition: Lisa reviews the collection in the Adelaide City region of South Australia

The annual Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize is one of Australia's most prestigious art competitions and continues to attract record entries and crowds at the South Australian Museum. Again this year there's a diverse range of entries and time your visit right you'll get to see one of the artists at work.

Nikki Main from the ACT won the $50,000 first prize with 'Flood Stones' - a glass sculpture which captures the swirling waters of a river in flood. She's used clear glass and glass powders to create a sense of silt, sediment and running water - all natural parts of the flood cycle of a healthy waterway.

Mark Judd, SA Museum: "What is fantastic I think about this work is it's great to see a glass artist actually get up and win the main prize. And I think it's great for people who work in glass to move forward in that direction."

One hundred and four of the 680 entries in this year's competition are on show with some still for sale. The pieces range from stunning sculptures made mostly from found objects to a touch of humor like a family 'portrait with a difference' by local youth entrant, Lucy Bonnin.

Mark Judd, SA Museum: "This is a work by Danielle Rickaby who was a Youth Finalist last year in the Waterhouse. This is called Dendrochronology - it's all about trees, their growth rings etc. I think what's interesting about it is that it speaks about the environment about the problems we have of denuding our forests. It's just a beautiful work of glass. If you look at these pieces carefully you can actually see the growth rings in each of the glass works which represent the stumps of trees."

The painting category was won by West Australian indigenous artist Josie Kunoth Petyarre. Mark Judd: "The piece is called Sugarbag and is about the sourcing of honey in the bush as a food source. There are different ways of getting honey from flowers, from different kinds of trees and possibly also from honey ants."

We can all take part in the exhibition by voting in the People's Choice Award. Simply fill out one of the forms with your favourite piece and the winning artist will be announced on the 25th.

The Waterhouse natural History Art Prize Exhibition is on show on the ground floor of the South Australian Museum on North terrace until September the fifth. It's open from 10 until 5 daily.

Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize Exhibition
SA Museum
Until Sept 5
Open 10am-5pm daily

Published 15th August 2010

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