Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize Finalist

23 July 2014

A month or so ago I was absolutely thrilled to learn that I am a finalist in the Waterhouse Prize, run by the South Australian Museum.

Initial disbelief has morphed into acceptance now that I have dealt with paperwork, had my entry framed and safely delivered to the Museum all ready for the Gala Opening and prize winner announcements on 24 July.

My entry is the latest in the ongoing Vita Nuova series, Thoughts on the Frailty of Life #2. I started this year’s entry last year with the intention of entering then. However, with little time to finish in the aftermath of Capriccio I soon realised that I would never finish in time. So the work was duly put aside and I came back to it in April this year, giving myself only just enough time to finish. My online entry was submitted just two hours short of the deadline.

The medium is scraperboard and the artist statement accompanying the work in the exhibition states:

Inspired by Dante’s Vita Nuova, this work utilises medieval symbols and motifs to reflect on the fragility of life. Here the peacock (symbol of immortality) is set above the skeletonised remains of a baby blackbird and surrounded by text and nature-based ornamentation in emulation of an illuminated manuscript folio.

Thoughts on the Frailty of Life #2, 2014

Thoughts on the Frailty of Life #2, 2014

Vita Nuova

vita-nuova-exhibitionDecorative responses in illustration and jewellery to Dante Alighieri’s Vita Nuova: the book of the new life, the book of Beatrice, the book of youth, the book of love, the book of memory.

Most people are familiar with Dante’s great work, the Divine Comedy, in which Beatrice also features. Many great artists have made illustrations for it – Botticelli, Blake, and Dali, for example. But Vita Nuova has been somewhat neglected in terms of visual responses. William Morris and Charles Ricketts both espoused the “book beautiful” and asserted that great literature should be decorated, and thus given a beautiful and permanent form. This exhibition represents our attempt to decorate and commemorate Dante’s Vita Nuova.

Held at Red Poles, McMurtie Road, McLaren Vale, SA 5171 on 3 October – 22 November 2009.

View a selection of Maureen’s exhibited work below:


Image 1 of 16