Top young illustrators get chance to shine

Published: 26 February 2015 at 12:08

Anglia Ruskin’s MA Children’s Book Illustration exhibition opens in Cambridge

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The work of some the UK’s most talented young illustrators has gone on show in Cambridge today, with the launch of the MA Children’s Book Illustration graduation exhibition.

Following a successful run at the Candid Arts Trust Gallery in London, the work of the Anglia Ruskin University students is on display at the Ruskin Gallery on East Road, Cambridge until Saturday, 14 March.

The strength of the MA Children’s Book Illustration course was highlighted earlier this month when three graduates – Suzanne Barton, Steve Antony and Victoria Turnbull – were named on the six person shortlist for the 2015 Waterstones Children’s Book Prize.

The current exhibition includes work by Dave Barrow, who recently won the 2015 Sebastian Walker Award.  Set up in honour of Walker Book’s founder, the prize aims to discover and celebrate promising new illustration talent.

Since publishing Birgitta Sif’s debut picture book, Oliver, just two and a half years ago, Walker Books has gone on to work with eight Anglia Ruskin graduates who have collectively sold 135,000 copies.  

Deirdre McDermott, Walker Picture Book Publisher, said:

“Illustration brings picture books to life.  Without great art, there would be no great picture books."

“Dave [Barrow] has a variety of styles and genres in his show but we were particularly compelled by his storytelling for younger children – his illustrations are so witty and lively and his wonderful characters are drawn with verve and brio.  We are sure that he has a long and successful picture book career ahead of him!”

Professor Martin Salisbury, course leader of the MA in Children’s Book Illustration at Anglia Ruskin University, said:

“Our collaboration with Walker Books has been and continues to be a major inspiration for our students."

“Seeing the work of so many recent graduates published by Walker [including Jenni Desmond, Nikalas Catlow, Katie May Green, Daisy Hirst, Valentina Mendicino, Gemma O’Callaghan and Birgitta Sif] is an indication of our close connection over recent years.”

The exhibition is free to attend and will be on show at the Ruskin Gallery, on Anglia Ruskin’s East Road campus, until 14 March. The gallery is open Monday-Saturday, 10am-4.30pm, and click here to see examples of the work on display.