The art of science

Bioregional Rings (Central Coast), Kyoko Hashimoto and Guy Keulemans, 2022 Open Prize winner
A $40,000 biennial art prize from the South Australian Museum celebrates the intersection of art and natural science.

The Waterhouse Nature Science Art Prize has returned for 2024, with the South Australian Museum issuing an open call to visual artists to submit new works inspired by the natural world. Named after the Museum’s first curator Frederick George Waterhouse, every two years the award recognises the long-running interplay between scientific research and the creative arts, from the illustrators and sculptors who help describe and catalogue specimens, to contemporary artists who invite us to think about the world around us in new and creative ways.

After celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2022, the Waterhouse is back with a $40,000 prize pool on the table across Open Prize and Emerging categories, with winners and shortlisted finalists featured in a major exhibition at the Museum in 2024. An additional $5,000 People’s Choice prize will also be awarded by public vote.

South Australian Museum Director Dr David Gaimster said the prize was an opportunity for creatives and practitioners across the art world to reflect on and respond to the natural world, biodiversity, and human impacts.

“Great art enriches and challenges the way we understand and experience the world, and over two decades the Waterhouse Natural Science Prize has shown time and again that the natural world makes fertile subject matter for today’s artists,” Dr Gaimster said.

South Australia’s own Kyoko Hashimoto and Guy Keulemans took out the $30,000 Open Prize in 2022 for their work, Bioregional Rings (Central Coast). “We’re humbled because the standard of work in the competition is very high,” Hashimoto and Keulemans said of their win. “We suspect it must have been a hard task for the judges to choose a winner.”

Dr Gaimster, himself a former judge in the 2020 competition, said he looked forward to being surprised and moved by this year’s entries. “The Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize is an exciting opportunity for artists and audiences alike to explore the convergence between art and science, whatever their medium, experience or place in the world.”

Find out more and submit your work at:

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