When do entries open?

The competition will open 1 September 2023.

When do entries close?

Entries will close on 4 December 2023.

We strongly advise that entries are not left until the last minute, as if you have any problems with submitting we may not be able to provide as much assistance as we could for earlier submissions. Entries cannot be accepted after the closing time even in the case of technical errors.

How do I sign up to the mailing list?

You can request to be signed up to the Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize mailing list by emailing WaterhouseArtPrize@samuseum.sa.gov.au

Once signed up, you can unsubscribe from the mailing list at any time.

Eligibility of participants:

Who can enter the 2024 Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize Competition?

All artists are encouraged to enter, however staff from the South Australian Museum, South Australian Museum Foundation, and people involved in the administration and judging of the Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize are not eligible to enter the competition.

Is the prize open to artists who reside outside of Australia?


Are there any age restrictions?


What is the definition of ‘emerging artist’?

The Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize defines an emerging artist as an artist who is in the early years of professional practice, and has either never had a solo exhibition, has never been represented by a dealer or gallery, or had their first solo exhibition less than five years ago. The age of the entrant is not a factor in determining whether somebody is classified as an emerging artist. You do not have to be earning an income from your artwork to qualify as an emerging artist.

Eligibility of artwork:

How is ‘Natural Science Art’ defined for the competition?

For the Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize competition, the term ‘Natural Science’ is defined as the natural world and all the sciences associated with it. This definition encapsulates natural history art, but also includes any science that investigates the natural world, including but not limited to biology, geology, astronomy, chemistry, physics medicine, biochemistry, and molecular biology.

Does a plinth need to be provided for 3D works?

All 3D works must be supplied ready for display. If an artwork is selected for exhibition, the South Australian Museum Foundation may supply or arrange certain display furniture at its discretion. However, the artist must inform the South Australian Museum Foundation if they intend to supply a plinth, and any plinth supplied must remain within the acceptable dimensions for artworks. Works that require complex assembly prior to display will not be considered.

Can art photography be entered?


How is photography differentiated from similar forms of digital art?

Photographs can be used as part of an artwork (i.e. in a collage, animation or sculpture). However a piece of work that, in essence, is still a single frame photograph (even if digitally enhanced or modified) cannot be entered. Montages of numerous photographic images that have been digitally altered and presents as a unique work rather than a single frame counts as digital art and can be entered in the competition.

How is ‘digital art’ defined?

For the Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize, digital art is defined as any form of art that uses a computer or other form of digital technology as a core part of its production or presentation. This includes screen-based works.

How are screen-based works presented?

For screen-based works, the South Australian Museum Foundation will supply a 48” wall mounted LED screen for single screen presentations or two 32” wall mounted LED screens for dual screen presentations. The South Australian Museum Foundation will supply headphones for presentation of any accompanying soundtrack. Artists must supply any equipment for digital presentations outside the parameters above, and these must still meet the overall size allowances for all artworks. Any additional equipment must be fit for five months’ public display. Safety will be assessed by the South Australian Museum Foundation prior to display. Any artworks with electrical components must be supplied by the artist with current test and tag to verify their safety.

Submission of artwork:

How much does an entry cost?

The entry fee is AU$44 (incl GST) for each entry in the Open Prize, and AU$30 (incl GST) per entry in the Waterhouse Emerging Artists’ Prize.

How many images/works can I submit?

Each artist may submit up to three entries in one category.

Can I enter artwork into more than one category?


Can I submit artwork on behalf of somebody else?

No. Entries must be submitted under the name of the artist who created them.

How do I submit images of my artwork?

Entry is by online application only. The online entry system can be found on the competition's home page at the Enter the competition link. Follow the prompts from here to set up an account and submit files.

What formats are acceptable for the digital image of submissions?

Images of artwork must be submitted in JPEG file format with RGB colour scheme. Video and animations must be submitted in MP4 file format.

How do I generate images of my work for submission?

High-resolution images of artwork can be taken using a digital camera. When using a digital camera, consult the camera’s user manual to determine how to change image settings to provide the best quality image. We recommend placing work against a neutral background and taking the photograph without camera flash to avoid reflection or hot spots.

How do I submit a sample of my video or animation?

An MP4 file of a maximum duration of 30 seconds can be submitted to display a sample of animated or screen-based works. The file must be no larger than 20MB.

If I don’t own a computer and/or do not have internet access, how can I submit my entry?

A computer with a working internet connection is required for the online submission process. If you do not have a computer and/or internet access at home, access to public computers with internet access can be found in Public Libraries. Smartphones and tablets can also be used to submit entries, and enlisting the help of friends or family with any of these devices is also possible.

Checklist for online entry:

Before you submit an image of your work to the online entry system, please check that the files conform to the following criteria:

For Images

  • File size: Maximum 1MB in size.

  • File format:  JPEG with RGB colour scheme.

For Video

  • File size: Maximum 20MB in size.

  • File format: MP4

  • Length: Maximum 30 seconds.


How are payments made during submission?

Transactions are conducted via PayPal and require the details of either your bank account, debit card, or credit card. The South Australian Museum Foundation cannot accept cheques, direct money transfers, cash, or any other form of payment.

How will I know if my entries have been received?

The online entry system will notify you by email once your entries have been received. A payment receipt will also be sent to your email address from PayPal.

What will I see on my bank statement once I have paid the registration fee?

The transaction for Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize entries will appear on your statement as:


What happens if my submission is corrupted or unreadable?

If your submission is corrupted or unreadable by us, we will endeavour to contact you to arrange for the image to be re-sent.

Judging and exhibited works:

Which entries are eligible for the People’s Choice Award?

All shortlisted entries from both the Open Prize and the Emerging Artist Prize are eligible for the People’s Choice award, voted for by visitors to the South Australian Museum exhibition.

How is work judged?

The entries will be judged on their artistic merit. Judges will consider the artwork’s success in linking art and natural science. The judges’ decision will be final and no correspondence will be entered into. No feedback will be given on works that are not selected for display.

Do I have to sell my work?

For all work that is chosen to be exhibited, the artist must agree that the exhibited work shall be for sale to the public. The sale price indicated in the Entry Form shall apply and shall remain fixed for the duration of the exhibition. Artworks entered as a series of panels or objects will be sold as an entire work.

What is the commission on sales?

The South Australian Museum Foundation will charge 40% commission on all sales (which shall be deducted from the indicated sale price). If an artist is contracted to a gallery, the commission will be split 50-50 (20% to the Museum and 20% to the gallery) should the artwork be sold.

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