Behind the scenes: The V&A Illustration Awards Ceremony 2017

The 2017 V&A Illustration Awards were held at the V&A on the 16th of May. Here is a little taste of the night, from the winners, to the Judges and the new V&A Illustration awards display; which can be seen free of charge outside the National Art Library until the 20th of August.

Guests arrived through the National Art Library straight into this year’s display of the winning artwork. (c) Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Rosie Giles from the National Children's Orchestra

Rosie Giles from the National Children’s Orchestra performed a selection of compositions for harp. (c) Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

The 2017 V&A Illustration Awards trophy.

The V&A Illustration Awards 2017 trophy. (c) Victoria and Albert Museum, London

 

Director of the V&A, Dr Tristram Hunt, hosted the award’s ceremony; introducing Jack Ledeveze from the Enid Linder Foundation to speak, before welcoming the judges to announce the winners.

Jason Brooks and John O’Reilly, judges of our student entries, took to the stage. There were special commendations for the shortlisted students, Lucy Waldman, Emily Evans and Thomas Hedger, before the Student Runner-Up was announced. Tom Spooner won for Towards an Infinite Place. The Judges comments were:

“Tom’s work displays exquisite and subtle draughtsmanship and an evocative sense of place. He also possesses an instinct for composition and displays a mastery of his chosen medium of printmaking.”

Tom Spooner receiving his trophy for Student Runner-Up 2017

Tom Spooner receiving his trophy for Student Runner-Up 2017. (c) Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Student Illustrator of the Year went to Beatriz Lostalé Seijo for her work The Odyssey as part of her MA in Children’s Book Illustration at the Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge School of Art.

Beatriz Lostalé Seijo with her V&A Illustration Awards 2017 trophy and her winning artwork.

Beatriz Lostalé Seijo with her V&A Illustration Awards 2017 trophy and her winning artwork. (c) Victoria and Albert Museum, London

The Judges said:

“Beatriz’s work stands out through the seemingly effortless control of her impressive drawing technique in service to her ideas. She also displays a confident and distinctive use of colour, a bold design sense and an impressive flair for inventive storytelling.”

Jane Scherbaum, former head of design at the V&A and one of this year’s judges, announced our winner for the Best Illustrated Book Cover. Aino-Maija Metsola couldn’t be there on the night, but the comments from the judges about her work were:

“This is a welcome departure from the use of period imagery for modern classic novels. The cover has great graphic simplicity.”

Artwork from all of this year’s shortlisted illustrators was shown during the evening. Here you can see the winner for Best Illustrated Book Cover 2017. (c) Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Jane also announced JARVIS as the Best Illustrated Book winner. There were a few remarks about how the judges all loved his alligator.

JARVIS and his winning artwork.

JARVIS and his winning artwork. (c) Victoria and Albert Museum, London

They also said:

“The book uses very bold colour giving it a strong impact. There is a clever relationship between the text and images. The story is both entertaining and witty as well as being delivered with an effective pace.”

Lastly, the award for Best Editorial Illustration and this year’s recipient of the Moira Gemmill Illustrator of the Year prize was given to A. Richard Allen for his excellent Trump Wave, which appeared in The Sunday Telegraph – Money.

A. Richard Allen with the Trump Wave

A. Richard Allen with the Trump Wave on display at the V&A (c) Victoria and Albert Museum, London

His entry was an immediate success with our judges and had the same effect with the guests on the night. Author Beryl Kingston was very pleased to had over the trophy and had this to say about our winner’s work:

“The use of Hokusai’s ‘The Great Wave off Kanagawa’ in a contemporary context is inspired. The work has been executed with an enormous amount of workmanship and care. Invoking echoes of the past reinforces the reality that history matters.”

Beryl Kingston, A.Richard Allen and Dr Tristram Hunt

Beryl Kingston, A.Richard Allen and Dr Tristram Hunt at the awards. (c) Victoria and Albert Museum, London

The ceremony concluded with a few words from our host:

“The V&A’s Illustration Awards is rooted in the V&A’s founding purpose, to celebrate and promote the highest standards of creativity. This prize shines a light on our illustration industry and supports the emerging talent of tomorrow through the Student Illustrator of the year prize.”

This year we had over 800 entries to our competition and we would like to thank all of the students, artists, agents and publishers for submitting entries. Thanks also to our judges for all of their dedicated work in choosing our winners. Finally, thanks to The Enid Linder Foundation, and Eddie Davies, The Sackler Trust, The Ruddock Foundation for the Arts and The Headley Trust, without whom these Awards would not be possible

It was a fantastic evening celebrating the best of Illustration and we hope all our guests enjoyed themselves as much as we did!

Guests at the V&A Illustration Awards 2017Guests at the V&A Illustration Awards 2017

Guests at the V&A Illustration Awards 2017. (c) Victoria and Albert Museum, London

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