We are very pleased to announce that Viola Wang has been awarded the 7th annual Sebastian Walker Award for Illustration.
Viola’s illustration stood apart from a group of MA students’ work that was this year, once again, exceptional. Viola was awarded her prize at a private viewing of the exhibition in the Candid Arts Gallery in Islington.
Set up in honour of Walker’s founder, Sebastian Walker, this award is dedicated to discovering and celebrating exciting new unpublished illustration talent. The Sebastian Walker Award was created in 2011 and is partnered with Anglia Ruskin’s Cambridge School of Art and their MA course in Children’s Book Illustration. Walker Books have published more than 20 books by Cambridge School of Art graduates since Birgitta Sif’s Greenaway Medal shortlisted Oliver in 2012 and continue to work with many previous award winners and shortlistees.
About Viola Wang
“I was born and raised in Beijing, China. Having spent ten years in England, I fully embrace the multicultural environment in London, to the point where diversity and equality have become my main focus – understanding where we come from and learning about other cultures. I see diversity as an increasingly important feature of children’s literature. I want the children who read my books to experience a wide range of information and views, so that they will grow up with their own opinions about – and solutions for – the world around them.”
Deirdre McDermott, Walker Picture Book Publisher and Creative Director said:
"Viola’s fresh and original work captured our attention from the moment we opened her portfolio. Her pictures combine a contemporary sense of style with bold colour with a strong understanding of artistic composition to create artwork that is truly striking. A concern for diverse representation and an intuition for the child’s perspective are threaded through her work, and we admire how her art seeks to explore and express the rich variety of our world. We look forward to seeing her first picture book and to watching her flourish into an exciting and relevant picture book maker.
This year we also remember our dear Louise Power, who passed away last year. Louise was our Art Department Manager at Walker for more than 25 years. She was heavily involved with, and so inspired by, the Sebastian Walker Award and we have truly missed her valuable and insightful contribution this year."