Illustrator and painter Richard Allen has been announced as the winner of the Moira Gemmill Illustrator of the Year prize at the Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum’s 2017 Illustration Awards.
The Bournemouth-based illustrator was awarded the top prize – as well as winning the best editorial illustration award for Trump Wave; his satirical homage to Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai’s Great Wave off Kanagawa, which appeared in the Sunday Telegraph Money section.
The judging panel – comprising former V&A head of design Jane Scherbaum, gastronome Loyd Grossman and author Beryl Kingston – praised Allen’s submission for using Hokusai’s work in a contemporary context to “invoke echoes of the past to reinforce the reality that history matters”.
Allen was chosen as the overall winner from over 800 submissions, and has been awarded £8,000 prize money.
He was joined by three other winners across individual categories, who were awarded £3,000 prize money. These include Jarvis for Alan’s Big Scary Teeth in the best illustrated book category; Aino-Maija Metsola’s Virginia Woolf series for best book cover design; and Anglia Ruskin University student Beatriz Lostalé Seijo for The Odyssey as the overall winner of the student illustrator of the year category.
Royal College of Art Visual Communication student Tom Spooner was also named runner-up in the student category, and has been awarded £2,000.
Allen joins previous winners of the competition – which has been running since 1972 – including Quentin Blake, Ralph Steadman, Posy Simmonds, Sara Fanelli, and Yasmeen Ismail.
All of the winning illustrations will be displayed from 17 May – 20 August 2017 on the landing outside the National Art Library at the V&A Museum, Cromwell Road, Knightsbridge, London SW7 2RL.
The Illustration Award is named in memory of the late Moira Gemmill, the V&A’s former director of design.