Nature and art collide in the Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize

Jenna Lee, Grass Tree - Growing TogetherBringing together artists from different disciplines as they turn their focus to the natural world, the National Archives of Australia presents the Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize exhibition.

Acting Director-General Brooke Anderson says National Archives is proud to once again partner with the South Australian Museum to exhibit a range of thought-provoking works. “We are thrilled to bring this amazing exhibition back to National Archives,” said Anderson.

“From textile works to sculptures to paintings, the diverse array of works on display are a fascinating look at the ongoing dialogue between art and science. This exhibition is the only opportunity to view these incredible artworks outside of South Australia.”

David Gaimster, Chief Executive Officer of the South Australian Museum, said the prize has been highlighting the interplay between scientific research and creative arts for over 20 years.

“Art can turn complex ideas and systems into moving experiences and give us new vocabularies to have the most important conversations of our time,” said Mr Gaimster.

“Since 2003, the Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize has provided an important contemporary platform for creatives and practitioners across the art world to reflect on and respond to the natural world, biodiversity, and humanity’s impact.”

Jenna Lee, Gulumerridjin (Larrakia), Wardaman and KarraJarri Saltwater artist, was awarded this year’s Open Prize. Her work Grass tree – Growing together reclaims the pages of a flawed, decades-old dictionary of ‘Aboriginal words and place names’ and transforms them into striking paper sculptures of grass trees, resilient native plants which thrive after bushfire.

Andrew Gall, Pakana artist, wins this year’s Emerging Prize for his work Coming Together, featuring 3D-printed porcelain shells strung into a traditional kanalaritja shell necklace, speaking to the resilience of culture in the face of colonisation and climate change.

Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize
National Archives of Australia, Kings Avenue, Parkes (Canberra)
Exhibition continues to 27 October 2024
Free entry

For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Jenna Lee, Grass Tree – Growing Together, Pages of Aboriginal Words and Place Names, book binding thread, book cover board, florist wire, 550 x 300 x 250mm (supplied)