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V&A Illustration Awards 2015: Published Category - Editorial Illustration

2015 Editorial Illustration Award

Simon Pemberton

Illustrations for ‘The Blackest Isles’
Author Ann Cleeves
In Financial Times Weekend, 23 August 2014.

Simon Pemberton’s oil sketches accompany an article by the crime writer Ann Cleeves, about her research journeys to the Shetland Islands, the northernmost region of Britain, 100 miles beyond Scotland.

Pemberton’s approach is traditional, beginning with pencil sketches and chromatic experiments. To create the unique textures of rugged landscapes and windswept seas, he applied acrylic paint with an unusual assortment of objects including feathers, twigs and dried seed heads. The lone ferryboat in the centre of the frame emphasises the scale and tidal ferocity of the sea and evokes the distinct sense of isolation explicit in the article.

The judges praised Simon Pemberton’s work for its “great painterly technique and wonderful colour”.

Simon Pemberton was born in the Wirral; a setting whose deserted beaches and dramatic views, he says, partly inspired his illustrations for ‘The Blackest Isle’.


‘Finding your Sixth Scent’, illustrated by Romy Blumel, published in Aura – The Rolls Royce Manchester magazine. 1 July 2014

‘Stuart Broad’, illustrated by Jordan Andrew Carter, published in Sport Magazine, 1 March 2014

View the 2014 Illustration Awards winners