Talented Anglia Ruskin artists in the spotlight

Published: 13 February 2012 at 12:01

Students share Sebastian Walker Award as graduates make Waterstones shortlist

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Illustrators Heidi Deedman and Becky Palmer have been named as the inaugural winners of the Sebastian Walker Award, sponsored by leading children’s publishers Walker Books.
The prize, for the most promising Anglia Ruskin University Children’s Book Illustration student of 2012, was made at Foyles Bookshop on Charing Cross Road in London, where the MA Children’s Book Illustration Graduation Exhibition is currently being held.

The news comes as two recent Anglia Ruskin graduates have been shortlisted for the prestigious Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2012.  No! by Marta Altes and Nadia Shireen's Good Little Wolf are in the six-strong Picture Books category, with the winner announced on 28 March.

Sebastian Walker Award winners Heidi Deedman and Becky Palmer share the £500 prize and will also have their MA project considered on a first-option basis by Walker Books. The award was established last year to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Sebastian Walker’s death.

Deirdre McDermott, Walker Books’ Picture Book Publisher, said:

“The high standard of illustration from the Children’s Book Illustration MA students is recognised worldwide, and the students’ work this year is no exception. 
“Heidi Deedman is a joint prize winner because we think that her art is very original and her characters are amusingly expressive. We also chose Becky Palmer as a prize winner because we think that her draughtsmanship is simply extraordinary. Becky also writes very well, her storytelling is witty and the keen observation and characterisation of people in her art is perfect for picture book publishing.”

Professor Martin Salisbury, Course Leader for the MA in Children’s Book Illustration, said: 

“We are delighted to be working with Walker Books in this way and hope that this will be a long and mutually beneficial partnership.  We are especially pleased for Heidi and Becky, both of whom are exciting new talents.”

The MA Children’s Book Illustration Graduation Exhibition is on display at Foyles on Charing Cross Road until February 15 and will then go on show at the Ruskin Gallery on Anglia Ruskin’s Cambridge campus from 29 February until 15 March.  For examples of the students’ work, please visit www.cambridgeMAshow.com