David McConochie has won the fifth annual Book Illustration Competition, beating nearly 400 other entries.
The Book Illustration Competition is a partnership between The Folio Society and the House of Illustration gallery in London. McConochie was presented with his prize, a commission worth £5,000 to illustrate The Folio Book of Ghost Stories, at a ceremony held at House of Illustration HQ.
Joe Whitlock Blundell, The Folio Society Limited Editions director, said: “Selecting the shortlist from a strong longlist is always difficult and singling out the eventual winner even more so. This year was no exception however I feel that David is a wonderful choice. His rich and atmospheric illustrations leave just enough room for the reader's imagination, which is essential when illustrating ghost stories.”
Mandy Kirkby, editor of The Folio Book of Ghost Stories and a judging panellist, added: “David’s illustrations are beautiful and chilling. I think they work so well with the stories which often, as so many ghost stories do, leave a great deal to the imagination. He has closed the gap for the reader, but still leaves a little left over for us to think about.”
McConochie came to London from Durham in 2005 to complete an MA in Illustration at Central Saint Martins. His work, created in his studio in East London, has been applied across various printed media from book covers to a limited edition postage stamp for the Royal Mail.
Jamie Clarke and Carrie May were runners-up for the prize, as were student entrants Emma Buckley, Imogen Clifton and Charlie Dixon.
Colin McKenzie, director of House of illustration, said: “Judging this year’s Book Illustration Competition has been an absolute pleasure. What’s really exciting about the 2015 competition is the amount of talent we’re seeing from students.”
Author Susan Hill, who joined the panel in their deliberations and commented on the finalists’ work, echoed his comments, saying: “I am so impressed with the standard of entries, the future of the industry looks very bright indeed.”
The Folio Society will publish The Folio Book of Ghost Stories, illustrated by David McConochie, in September
Last year’s winner was student Sean McSorley, who was a member of the 2015 judging panel.