David McConochie has been announced the winner of the V&A's Book Cover Illustration Award and is the inaugural recipient of the Moira Gemmill Illustrator of the Year prize.
The annual V&A Illustration Awards celebrate the best illustrations published over the previous year. The judging panel for 2016 comprised author Dame Jacqueline Wilson, Patrick Burgoyne, editor of Creative Review and Annabel Judd, former head of design at the V&A.
London-based illustrator McConochie was recogniseda for his cover for The Folio Book of Ghost Stories (The Folio Society) in a ceremony held at the Museum earlier this week. He received £8,000 after his cover was drawn from over 1,000 submissions.
McConochie's award-winning cover was inspired by "the strangely beautiful but inherent eeriness" of 19th-century daguerreotypes. The judging panel said it was struck by the "boldness of the composition" and "the way in which it sets the tone for the unnerving stories within the book".
McConochie studied graphic design at the University of Teesside and has since become known for his work in photomontage, collage and assemblage and his mixed-media approach. His work also featured on a limited edition first class postage stamp to mark the 2012 London Olympics.
Kate Milner, who is enrolled on an MA in children’s book illustration at Anglia Ruskin University, meanwhile took the Student Illustrator of the Year title. She received a cheque for £3,000 for My Name Is Not ‘Refugee', a picture book about a boy’s experience of setting off on a long journey to another country. Avoiding politics, it explores what it is like to leave your own country for a different culture.
Milner’s "technical approach" was singled out for special commendation by the judges, who praised her for her combination of pencil and ink sketch-work with post-editing and colouring in Photoshop, as well as her "bold attempt" to tackle a subject far outside the prevailing conventions of commercial children’s publishing.
The £3,000 Book Illustration Award went to St Martin’s College grauate Jason Brooks for London Sketchbook, published by Laurence King, the follow-up to Brooks's successful gift book Paris Sketchbook. Brooks is also known for his fashion illustrations, which feature regularly in Vogue and Elle.
Remaining categories, the Editorial Illustration Award went to Bill Bragg for But today I am afraid, published in The Guardian; and the Student Runner-Up prize was awarded to Joan Alturo at the Arts University Bournemouth, for which she received £2,000
The award-winning artworks will be displayed outside the V&A’s National Art Library until 21st August 2016.