Public Support Judges for the First Time in Waterhouse People's Choice

30 August 2013

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Shoal of Shame by Victoria Beresin, Dr Wendy Wickes Memoriam Prize Winner, Waterhouse 2013.

A record 10,842 votes have been submitted in the Waterhouse People’s Choice and Dr Wendy Wickes Memoriam Prizes as part of the Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize this year.

For the first time in the 11-year history of the Waterhouse, the public has agreed with the judges and chosen the overall winner, Judith Brown’s workFlight of Fancy, as their favourite work in the People’s Choice Award.

The final count was very close, but visitors agreed the first fashion-inspired artwork to win the Waterhouse deserved the top gong.

Last year, the South Australian Museum introduced the Dr Wendy Wickes Memoriam Prize for excellence in science communication. The Dr Wendy Wickes Memoriam Prize, named in honour of the late Adelaide scientist, is designed to formally recognise the underlying scientific and environmental messages behind the visual art displayed in the exhibition and to encourage artists to explore that philosophy. The prize is awarded to the artwork that best communicates this message as voted by visitors to the exhibition at the South Australian Museum.

This year’s winner is Victoria Beresin (Norwood, SA) for her work Shoal of Shame (sculpted and found objects), which was submitted in the Sculpture and Objects category.

Both the People’s Choice and Dr Wendy Wickes Memoriam prize winners receive $5,000 each. They will be presented with the award in a ceremony tonight at the South Australian Museum.

'Flight of Fancy' by Judith Brown, Overall Winner and People's Choice Winner, Waterhouse 2013.

‘Flight of Fancy’ by Judith Brown, Overall Winner and People's Choice Winner, Waterhouse 2013.

People’s Choice winner Judith Brown says, “When I won the overall prize, I was overwhelmed and delighted, and as time went on it became apparent that the piece struck a chord with people. Not only because it incorporated a lot of natural elements but also because of the link with fashion.

“So the fact that people have voted for it is a really positive confirmation that they’ve agreed with the connection with nature, which is what the Waterhouse is about. I’m absolutely thrilled. It’s a wonderful compliment.”

Dr Wendy Wickes Memoriam winner Victoria Beresin says, “I’m absolutely delighted to have been chosen and I’m grateful to the public for their awareness of scientific issues.

“Using recycled materials to create the rather deformed sculpted fish, I wanted to explore the potential impacts of the genetic modification of species.”

The exhibition of winners and finalists in the Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize is shown each year at the South Australian Museum. It will run from 20 July to 8 September 2013. Winning and highly commended entries tour to the National Archives of Australia from September to November. 

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