Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize Youth Category winner Jennifer Ahrens (Lyndoch, SA) has won the People’s Choice Award, as selected by thousands of visitors to the South Australian Museum’s Waterhouse exhibition.
The announcement was made tonight at the Waterhouse People’s Choice Awards Evening at the Museum.
The Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize, which celebrates excellence in the fusion of art with science, opened on Thursday 24 July at a special Gala Launch, where Jennifer was presented with $5000 in prize money for her entry, Heartwood #7 (oil paint on glass casting its own shadow), pictured.
Jennifer Ahrens received the most votes from thousands of visitors to the Museum’s gallery of finalists and winners. She is the first Youth Category entrant to win the $5000 People’s Choice Award in the history of the Waterhouse.
“It’s pretty amazing! I just can’t believe it; I have been recognised by the judges as well as the public. I feel honoured,” she said.
“I am also very happy that so many people are enjoying my work and hopefully I am drawing attention to the importance of nature. It has been a fantastic experience. I love the fact that people have been interacting with my work, using their hands to cast their own shadows over the work to see how it was made.”
In addition, the Museum tonight awarded its Dr Wendy Wickes Memoriam Prize. The winner is chosen for effectively communicating a scientific or environmental message in their artwork.
Wendy, who also won $5,000, said “Wendy Wickes believed that we need to be supportive of the less privileged and to fight for the underdog. I think our wildlife falls into those categories. They cannot speak up or fight for themselves.
“I feel very privileged that the public has chosen my work for this award. I do hope that the friends and colleagues of Wendy Wickes can see my passion for science communication and truly thank them and the Museum for making this award possible.”
South Australian Museum Director Brian Oldman congratulated the winners. “The People’s Choice and Dr Wendy Wickes Memoriam Prizes give special emphasis to the purpose of the Waterhouse: to communicate messages about natural science.
“Congratulations to Jennifer Ahrens and Wendy Jennings, who have succeeded in both capturing the essence of what this Prize is about and connecting with our visitors to attract their support.”
The Waterhouse exhibition will be open at the South Australian Museum until Sunday 7 September 2014, before winning and highly commended works tour to the National Archives in Canberra.