World Illustration Awards 2017 Exhibition

31 July – 28 August 2017
Embankment Galleries, Somerset House 
Free Admission

The World Illustration Awards Exhibition returns to Somerset House this summer

The Association of Illustrators, in partnership with the Directory of Illustration in California, announces the return of the World Illustration Awards Exhibition to Somerset House this summer.

With over 2,300 entries from 64 countries for this year’s World Illustration Awards, the exhibition will showcase 50 shortlisted projects across the eight categories, from advertising and design to books and editorial. Original exhibited works on display will include murals, posters, packaging and children’s books by artists from the UK, USA, Italy, The Netherlands, South Korea, Hong Kong and Israel.

Notable shortlisted works include Claudine O’Sullivan’s complex digital illustrations for the Apple Pencil Campaign; a characterful portrait of Bill Murray for the Washington Post by artist Tony Rodriguez; and Lizzy Stewart’s playful illustrations for children’s book ‘There’s a Tiger in the Garden’.

A particularly rich selection of socially-engaged and politically-motivated works will be displayed this year, including Jon Arne Berg’s ‘Anti-Washington’ which depicts instability in the American capital. Also of note are Marguerite Carnec’s series ‘Lieu de Vie’ which documents the artist’s time spent volunteering in The Jungle refugee camp in Calais, and A. Richard Allen’s ‘Wave’, which depicts a Hokusai-inspired tide bearing resemblance to the U.S. President’s infamous haircut.

An environmental theme also runs through this year’s exhibition, with works including Chen Winner’s educational animation made for CNN titled ‘Econundrum’ showing the consequences of buying bottled water, and the imaginative series of illustrations titled ‘Yen Town - The Last Unpolluted Territory’ by Sam Ki, depicting a unity of humanity and the natural world.

The exhibition offers an accessible introduction to illustration in its many forms, and demonstrates the importance of visual communication in everyday life. This year, The World Illustration Awards are teaming up with Walker Books, the world's leading independent publisher of English-language children's books, to offer the Walker Books Family Programme. A series of free family workshops will be available throughout August in the exhibition space. These include workshops with debut author-illustrator, Alice Tait, award-winning author-illustrator of the ‘Julius Zebra’ series Gary Northfield, upcoming artist and illustrator, Elissa Elwick, and debut graffiti illustrator, Sav Akyuz.

Coinciding with the World Illustration Awards Exhibition at Somerset House in August will be the Summer Screen Prints exhibition with Print Club London, which will showcase original screen prints depicting films from this year’s 'Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House' season.

The World Illustration Awards 2017 Exhibition will tour the UK throughout the year.

For more information please contact:
Sabine Reimer, Awards Manager at The AOI +44 20 7759 1012

Adam Roberts, Somerset House Press Office +44 20 7845 4624

Notes to the editor:

Listings information
31 July - 29 August 2017
Opening Hours: Saturday-Tuesday: 10am-6pm; Wednesday-Friday: 11am-8pm
Admission: Free
Address: Embankment Galleries, South Wing, Somerset House, London WC2R 1LA
Transport: Underground: Temple, Embankment; National Rail: Charing Cross, Waterloo
Somerset House Facebook:
Somerset House Instagram: @SomersetHouse
Somerset House Twitter: @SomersetHouse
The AOI Facebook:
The AOI Twitter: @theaoi
The AOI Instagram: @theaoi
The Directory of Illustration Facebook:
The Directory of Illustration Twitter: @DirIllustration
Exhibition Hashtag: #WIA2017
Somerset House Public Enquiries: 020 7845 4600

About Somerset House
A unique part of the London cultural scene, Somerset House is an historic building where surprising and original work comes to life. From its 18th-century origins, Somerset House has been a centre for debate and discussion – an intellectual powerhouse for the nation. Somerset House is today a key cultural destination in London in which to experience a broad range of artistic activity, engage with artists, designers and makers and be a part of a major creative forum – an environment that is relaxed, welcoming, and inspirational to visit while providing a stimulating workplace for the cultural and creative industries. 

Since its opening in 2000, Somerset House has built up a distinctive outdoor public programme including Skate, concerts, an open-air film season and a diverse range of temporary exhibitions throughout the site focusing on contemporary culture, with an extensive learning programme attached. In October 2016, Somerset House launched Somerset House Studios, a new experimental workspace connecting artists, makers and thinkers with audiences. The Studios provide a platform for new creative projects and collaboration, promoting work that pushes bold ideas, engages with urgent issues and pioneers new technologies. Somerset House is also one of the biggest community of creative organisations in London including The Courtauld Gallery and Institute of Art, King’s College London Cultural Institute and over 100 other creative businesses. It currently attracts approximately 3.4 million visitors every year.

The World Illustration Awards
The WIA are presented by The Association of Illustrators in partnership with the Directory of Illustration (USA) with Somerset House as the exhibition partner.  There are eight award categories including Advertising; Design, category sponsored by Affinity Designer; Books, category sponsored by NoBrow; Children’s Books, category sponsored by Walker Books; and Editorial. Each category has a new talent and professional winner, with two overall winners announced on the awards night in August.   The AOI has been holding an annual illustration competition for over 40 years.

The World Illustration Awards 2017 are supported by:
Design Category sponsor: Affinity Designer
Children’s Book Category sponsor: Walker Books
Books Category sponsor: No Brow Press

Supporter of WIA:
London Book Fair

Media Partners:
Computer Arts
The Dots

About The Association of Illustrators (AOI)
The Association of Illustrators (AOI) is the UK’s leading illustration body supporting and sustaining illustrators and the illustration industry.  Established in 1973 the AOI offers members professional advice, online resources and a growing programme of events.   The AOI has successfully to increase the standing of illustration as a profession and improve commercial and ethical conditions. With a membership that includes freelance illustrators, agents, students and colleges the AOI continues to support and educate future generations at every stage of their career.

About The Directory of Illustration
The Directory of Illustration is widely regarded as the world’s leading marketing program for illustrators. Their website and print resources are relied on by thousands of qualified art buyers when they need to commission illustration.

About Walker Books
Home to books for all ages, Walker Books UK publishes many award-winning authors, illustrators and brands including Anthony Horowitz, Cassandra Clare, Lucy Cousins, Anthony Browne, Polly Dunbar, Patrick Ness and Where's Wally? Walker Books UK is part of the vibrant international Walker Books Group that includes Candlewick Press in America, Walker Books Australia, the Walker Group Licencing division, and Walker Productions, developing Walker content for other media platforms, including Hank Zipzer for BBC. The Walker Books Group enjoys a unique ownership structure which includes all of its employees worldwide and more than 150 authors and illustrators. Walker is the world's leading wholly independent publisher of English-language children's books.