Top 2015 natural history art student announced

By AG Staff 10 April 2015
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The prestigious Australian Geographic Natural History Illustration Prize winner has been announced.

THE WINNER OF the 2015 Australian Geographic Natural History Illustration award is former orthodontic assistant Lee Dedman.

Australian Geographic has been sponsoring the $1000-prize for up-and-coming University of Newcastle illustration students since 2009.

“I was ecstatic,” says Lee, of receiving the award. “There were so many very talented students in the class so I was very honoured to receive the award.”

Lee’s illustration ambitions came late in life and she began the course after 21 years in the orthodontic industry. 

After her children had grown up, she says she went looking for something to study. “I was looking at nursing and health care, but then I came across this natural history illustration course… When I saw the drawing lab I knew that’s where I wanted to be.” 

“I call it my bus stop moment,” she says. “I went outside and I burst into tears because I thought ‘That’s where I need to be’. All through life you do what you have to do, so when you find where you’re meant to be it’s very special.” 

Lee’s current focus is medical illustration. There was nobody else on the course specialising in medical art, and when they went to a wet lab where they keep human and animal specimens, everyone shied away from it she says, “but I was really fascinated”. 

Lee has already begun working with the Hunter Medical Research Institute drawing the development of the human placenta as part of her honours thesis. We wish her the best of luck!