The World Illustration Awards have been going for 40 years strong now – indeed, an exhibition of the artworks shortlisted for potential victory has been held at Somerset House in the heart of the UK capital every year for the past 12 years.
And this year’s no exception, giving you the chance to check out up to 50 of the very best contemporary artworks from across 66 different countries, grouped together at the venue in categories including advertising, editorial and public art and children’s books. Every discipline of animation’s represented too – everything from animations to posters, book illustrations to GIFS and textiles to sculptural pieces.
Deliberately put on during the UK summer holidays, this year’s exhibition is all about engaging, enthusing, delighting and catching the imagination of the young; revealing to them the magic, vibrancy and diversity of illustration. To wit, the organisers have been mindful to include a children’s trail and kid-friendly events, along with the displays to enable little ones to explore what illustration’s all about.
Yet, if you’re planning to be in London at the end of August but not with your family (and if you’re looking to make your base a centrally-located hotel like the Shaftesbury Metropolis London Hyde Park), why should you come along? After all, nowadays the media seem to throw at us awards ceremony after awards ceremony – with very little regard for why we should care or whether they’re worth our time at all. Not so with the London World Illustration Awards 2016, though. Being the only independent and jury-selected competition for illustration you’ll find anywhere, they’re judged by 24 esteemed professionals in the industry, comprising the likes of artists, publishers and commissioners hailing from every corner of the globe.
Once the site of a celebrated Tudor-era royal palace, Somerset House went on to be used as a civil servant-housing Governmental building, until its transformation into a public culture space. In addition to hosting seasonal exhibits, it permanently features a gallery dedicated to 18th Century fine art – showcasing beautiful works from the Courtauld Institute Gallery – and the Embankment Galleries. So, there’s so much to see and do in the venue when you’re done with the exhibition – or before you even pop in!
Dates: 1st-29th August
Address: Somerset House, Strand WC2R 1LA
Open: 10am-6pm daily