Paper sculptor Helen Musselwhite was named overall winner at the V&A Illustration Awards last night for her Ten Myths of Creativity series, illustrating an article by author Audrey Niffenegger.
Musselwhite created a series of paper skulls for the article, which was published in the Royal Academy of Dance’s Dance Gazette in February last year and explored popular myths surrounding the creative process.
Skulls were constructed by hand using papers in various weights, and Musselwhite says the images represent the extremes of “that lightbulb moment when you know you’ve nailed it versus the crushing feeling of despair and insecurity when the creative juices aren’t flowing and you feel you’re on the edge.”
The project also won this year’s editorial award and judges Gary Cochrane, art director at the Telegraph Media Group; Peter Dyer, art director at Profile Books and Moira Gemmill, director of design at the V&A, says Musselwhite received the top prize for her skilful execution and the “light, deft way” she had used an unusual technique.
This year’s book cover award went to Anne-Marie Jones, who created a beautiful image for the Folio Society’s edition of DH Lawrence novel, Sons and Lovers (above).
The image is made up of various painted body parts assembled in a digital collage, and is designed to convey the sense of physicality and attachment in Lawrence’s text. Jones created several illustrations for the book, which is one of a series of classic novels re-issued by the publisher with original artwork throughout.
Yasmeen Ismail received the book illustration award for her debut picture book, Time for Bed, Fred!, which features a series of charming watercolour scenes:
And this year’s student award, judged by illustrator Leah Fusco and designer James Nunn, went to the University of Westminster’s Grace Russell for her abstract collages based on scenes from Robert MacFarlane’s book The Wild Places.
Russell says the artworks are inspired by the philosophy “that an environment is made up not just from its aesthetic and physical presence, but also one’s own journey, memories, experiences and physical and emotional responses.”
Kingston University’s Vivian Chan received the runner-up student prize for her illustrations of fashion show London Fashion Scout. Chan was given backstage access at the event and created 70 drawings, sometimes sketching for up to 13 hours a day.
Winners of each category receive £2000, with an additional £2000 awarded to the overall winner. Winning illustrations are on display at the National Art Library’s Landing Gallery until July 2, and you can view all of this year’s entries on the V&A’s website.