The V&A’s 2020 shortlist offers up an eclectic range of styles and subject matter, particularly in the student category – where artists have tackled everything from life in a refugee camp to imaginary museum collections and the discovery of the Lascaux cave paintings.
Over in the Book Cover category there’s work by the likes of Kusta Saksi, Eleanor Taylor and Eva Eland, while the Illustrated Journalism section serves as a reminder of what a powerful contribution illustration can make to a story.
The winner for each category will be announced on 2 June, with a £3k prize and trophy for each of them, and an extra £5k for the artist crowned Illustrator of the Year. The Student Runner-Up will also receive £2k and a trophy.
The full shortlist is below and can also be browsed at vam.ac.uk.
The 2020 shortlist:
Night Theatre by Vikram Paralkar. Illustrated by Eleanor Taylor, published by Serpent’s tail
When Sadness Comes To Call. Illustrated by Eva Eland, published by Andersen Press
The Baron in the Trees by Italo Calvino. Illustrated by Kustaa Saksi, published by Vintage Classics
Hansel & Gretel: A nightmare in Eight Scenes by Simon Armitage. Illustrated by Clive Hicks-Jenkins, published by Design for Today. Art direction by Laurence Beck
Kindred by Octavia E Butler. Illustrated by James E Ransome, published by The Folio Society
Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder. Illustrated by Sandra Rivola, published by The Folio Society
‘How Twitter is gagging Arabic users and acting as morality police’ by Wael Eskandar. Illustrated by Ann Kiernan, published by Open Democracy
The History Behind 1984 by Dorian Lynskey. Illustrated by Ben Jones, published by BBC World Histories
All Change by Elizabeth Nicholas. Illustrated by Gabriel Mussurakis, published by Soho Magazine
Student Illustrator of the Year:
Lascaux by Kate Winter, Anglian Ruskin University (Cambridge School of Art)
The Catmolean Museum by Laura Winstone, Anglian Ruskin University (Cambridge School of Art)
Starring Night by Ruo Hsin Wu, Royal College of Art
Home in the Kakuma Refugee Camp by Sally Dunne, Anglian Ruskin University (Cambridge School of Art)
The Wave by Vyara Boyadjieva, Anglian Ruskin University (Cambridge School of Art)