A painting of a mangrove landscape which seeks to highlight the vulnerability of precious ecosystems has won the $50,000 top gong in the 2014 Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize announced today.
Judges in the South Australian Museum competition said Carole King’s High Tide, Wynnum was a standout among the prize’s 101 finalists.
The painting incorporates a collage of cut and torn papers, which seek to depict the encroachment of urban elements in the natural environment.
“This painting works on many levels with aesthetic, scientific and conservation messages,” the judges said. “The beautiful mangrove landscape looks perfect from afar, but on closer inspection there is more happening.”
Queensland-based King, who has been painting natural habitats for the past 15 years, praised the Waterhouse Prize for encouraging artists world-wide to explore ecosystems and understand “how precious and vulnerable these special areas are”.
The art prize is named after the museum’s first curator, Frederick George Waterhouse, with entrants encouraged to explore the natural world, including scientific and environment issues.
It attracts entries from around the world across three open categories (Paintings, Works on Paper, Sculpture and Objects), each offering $12,000 in prize money, plus a Youth Prize for artists aged 16-25.
The winners were announced this morning by SA Museum director Brian Oldman and a gala launch event will be held tonight, before the finalists in the prize go on public display from Saturday.
2014 category winners:
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