Walker Books has awarded student Viola Wang this year’s Sebastian Walker Award for Illustration.
Wang is a graduate of the MA in Children’s Book Illustration course at the Cambridge School of Art. Born and raised in Beijing, China, she has spent the last ten years living in the UK.
Deirdre McDermott, Walker picture book publisher and creative director, said: “Viola’s fresh and original work captured our attention from the moment we opened her portfolio. Her pictures combine a contemporary sense of style with bold colour with a strong understanding of artistic composition to create artwork that is truly striking.
“A concern for diverse representation and an intuition for the child’s perspective are threaded through her work, and we admire how her art seeks to explore and express the rich variety of our world. We look forward to seeing her first picture book and to watching her flourish into an exciting and relevant picture book maker.”
This year Walker is remembering Art department manager Louise Power, who passed away last year. Power was heavily involved with the prize, said McDermott.
The publisher launched the prize in 2011 to honour the company’s founder, Sebastian Walker, in partnership with Anglia Ruskin’s Cambridge School of Art. The first winner was Birgitta Sif, whose picture book Oliver was shortlisted for the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal in 2012.
Wang received the prize at an exhibition in London today (15th February).
Deirdre McDermott, Mirabelle Walker, Viola Wang and Martin Salisbury