After last year’s review of the once annual competition, the Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize returns in 2016 with the finalists’ exhibition beginning this month.
Now a biennial prize and exhibition, the SA Museum-run Waterhouse has been opened up to include all forms of fine art (except for photography). There are now two main prizes, the $30,000 Open Prize and the $10,000 Emerging Artists Prize (announced on Thursday, June 9), while two $5000 prizes are part of it: the People’s Choice Dr Wendy Wickes Memoriam Prize and the Scientists’ Choice Award (announced on Tuesday, June 21). Glass artist Madeline Prowd is a finalist this year for the award and exhibition that encourages artists to make a statement about the environmental and scientific issues facing the planet. Prowd, who was also a finalist in 2011, 2012 and 2014, says that the Waterhouse is a prize she has been drawn to as her work “gains inspiration from the natural environment”. “The Waterhouse prize is a great platform to gain a broader audience for my work,” Prowd says. “It was a great honour to be selected as a finalist this year. “For Waterhouse, I made a pair of sculptural glass objects drawing from the gumnut forms of Eucalyptus pauciflora, commonly known as the snow gum. Utilising traditional hot glass patterning techniques and carving the surface of the pieces once cold, I aimed to create a pair of soft forms with subtle details that are intriguing and unique. “This work draws form, colour and pattern from the natural environment and aims to reflect and highlight through scale and form the natural cycle of our flora and fauna that is continually striving for regeneration and expansion.” Influenced by Italian patterning techniques as well as a minimalist aesthetic, Prowd says these principles will influence her upcoming work. “Glass is a medium with a rich history of technical proficiency; I use traditional patterning techniques in combination with surface textures to create muted tones that are present in the Australian landscape. I’m currently working on developing this series and planning to exhibit within Adelaide next year.” Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize South Australian Museum Friday, June 10 to Sunday, July 31 waterhouse.samuseum.sa.gov.au madelineprowdglass.com Images: Madeline Prowd, Eucalyptus Pauciflora, 2016