The student shortlistees for the fifth Batsford Prize have been announced today (28th April), with 28 undergraduates and postgraduates at UK institutions contesting awards for Applied/Fine Art, Fashion, Illustration and, new for this year, Children’s Illustration. The last addition follows the success of last year’s inaugural Illustration category.
Run in association with artists’ supplies company Cass Art—which will award the overall winner £500; each category winner receives £500 from Batsford—the theme of this year’s submissions was Interpreting Nature, which entrants had to navigate either through medium or message (or both). The categories reflect indie list Batsford’s focus: it specialises in publishing titles in the fields of fashion, design and textiles. While the Applied/Fine Arts and Fashion fields have some striking submissions—notably Leeds College of Art’s Stephen Ryder, who created a layered anatomical sculpture; and Flora Nash (of the same college) and her vibrant, voluptuous motifs for clothing—the two nascent illustration categories have plenty to commend them.
The all-female Children’s category is arguably the strongest: many of the submissions (literally) draw on paper play and combine textures; collage is a theme of a number of submissions in the wider Illustration category, too. The kids’ highlights include Celina Buckley (Anglia Ruskin University) and her aquatic mash-up of sheet music, “found” typography and rough-hewn, torn paper edges; and Louise Warwick (also Anglia Ruskin), who rollered-on a rough texture using monochrome ink, before digitally recolouring and adding some of the illustrations’ smaller details—the result is a charming aesthetic for three animal tales.
Yet two Children’s submissions really stand out, raised by the adeptness of their integration of lettering, giving the overall compositions an assured look—it’s not an overstatement to say that the entries of Katie Cottle and Katie Rewse would not be out of place on a shelf of published children’s titles. They would likely put many to shame.
The standouts in the seven-strong Illustration category include a book, of sorts: Abbie Cartmell (Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design) conjured an illustrated, screenprinted concertina in a hand-made slipcase. The illustration, inspired by walks she embarked on through the Scottish Highlands, roam across the pages, completed by small aspects of gold foiling. It feels, again, fully formed. A rather different approach was taken by Arts University Bournemouth’s Harry Woodgate, whose colourful, textured tale of an office worker dreaming of escaping to nature will strike a chord with many.
The shortlists (which can be found in full below) were picked by seven judges: illustrators Adam Hargreaves and Alice Pattullo; textile artist Cas Holmes; fashion curator Gemma A Williams; photographer Vaughan Grylls; and Pavilion staffers Neil Dunnicliffe and Tina Persaud.
The winners are to be announced at an awards event, held in London, on 10th May. Aside the cash prize, the winners will receive £50 worth of Batsford titles and £500 worth for their educational institution.
Katie Cottle's Home Grown
Fine Art/Applied Art shortlist
Farah Ishaq for Mural for St James (University of East London)
Harriet Fawcett for 10 Minute Fruit Salad, Ignis Fatuus, Unsettled-Amnesia, Apis as Currency and Catch 22 (The Glasgow School of Art)
Jemima Hall for Temporality (Oxford Brookes University)
Nathan Walker for Individuality (University of Derby)
Steven Ryder for Anatomy (Leeds College of Art)
Svetlana Ochkovskaya for Body G (Southampton Solent University)
Tina Scoopa for Weeds (Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design)
Brittany Alker for Alternative Nature (University of Central Lancashire)
Emily Burnel for Untitled (Robert Gordon’s University)
Evangelina Rodriguez Gonzalo for Where the River meets Fashion (London College of Fashion)
Flora Nash for Untitled (Leeds College of Art)
Gabriella Winter for The Intricate Depth of Natural Form (University of East London)
Valeriia Kostina for Sensorium (London College of Fashion)
Youngmi Kim for shehastwosmallmoons (London College of Fashion)
Abbie Cartmell for Roaming (Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design)
Andrew Wilson for Wool Gathering (University of West England)
Cecilia Wood for Finding Nature in the City (Cambridge School of Art, Anglia Ruskin University)
Harry Woodgate for Untitled (Arts University Bournemouth)
Katherine Hillier for Fruits of Our Culture (Camberwell College of Arts)
Shih-Hsien Hsu for Untitled (Royal College of Art)
Ursula Tolliday-Bolland for Untitled (Cambridge School of Art, Anglia Ruskin University)
Anna Doherty for Forest (Cambridge School of Art, Anglia Ruskin University)
Celina Buckley for The Salmon/The Lake/The Forest (Cambridge School of Art, Anglia Ruskin University)
Hannah Mitchell for Deforestation (Arts University Bournemouth)
Katie Cottle for Home Grown (University of the West of England)
Katie Rewse for Coral Reef (Arts University Bournemouth)
Louise Warwick for Have You Heard… (Cambridge School of Art, Anglia Ruskin University)
Matilda Scott for Beaks (University of the West of England)