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VCWAP 2024: Congratulations to Sandra Hähle, awarded the Prize for the best Paleoart

Congratulations to Sandra Hähle,

awarded the Prize for the Best Paleoart!

The Virtual Conference for Women Archaeologists and Paleontologists (VCWAP) hosted its second Virtual Paleoart Gallery this year. Thirteen women paleoartists exhibited reconstructions that brought to life beings from the past, accompanied by a commentary explaining the combination of scientific hypotheses and artistic choices behind their works. By popular vote, the public decided to award Sandra Hähle the Prize for Best Paleoartistic Reconstruction for her artwork « Dance in the dust – Paleofauna of the Bromacker Lagerstätte I« . She received a €100 prize, offered by the Association for Early-Career Archaeologists and Paleontologists (AWAP). Congratulations Sandra!

The paleoartistic reconstruction: «Dance in the dust – Paleofauna of the Bromacker Lagerstätte I»,

by Sandra Hähle

In the Bromacker Lagerstätte, Early Permian, two Seymouria sanjuanensis engage in a dance amidst a Walchia grove, reflecting the dry period. Thuringothyris mahlendorffae, basal reptiles similar to rodents, peek from burrows. Despite harsh conditions, insects like Anthracoblattina and Myriapoda thrive, adding liveliness.

The dust that has risen from the dancing reptiliomorphs serves as camouflage for the one of the ecosystems top predators: Dimetrodon. Inspired by M. C. Escher’s “Puddle”, the artwork uses a reduced color scheme and grainy textures to depict drought and dust. The focal point is the fighting reptiliomorphs, with other animals at second sight creating a pyramid composition.

These artworks belong to Sandra Hähle.
« Dance in the dust – Paleofauna of the Bromacker Lagerstätte I »

The paleoartist: Sandra Hähle

Sandra Hähle is an illustrator and graphic designer focusing on science and education. Through the Bromacker project, she started getting involved in regional paleo fauna from the lower Permian. Rather quick, Sandra worked her way into other regional fossil records as well, which led to new projects with museums.

In the meantime, she is researching the visual communication behind Paleoart: From classical art theories to marketing strategies. The question that drives her is: « how can we get attention for the little creatures, that we excavate? » (Yes, even for the ugly ones)

To find out more, follow the news on Sandra Hähle’s work on social media:


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