Talented young illustrators, Pippa Curnick, Sian Jenkins and Holly Sterling have won Seven Stories’ Over the Hills and Far Away illustration competition, each for illustrating one of three sets of rhymes. Their winning artwork will be included in a new nursery rhyme collection of the same title to be published by Frances Lincoln in 2014.
Pippa Curnick, graduate of the University of Derby, won for her illustration for a set of four counting out rhymes which the judges described as, ‘… a riot of colour, life and fun which shows a very careful and clever use of elements in the rhymes to create an imaginative world that captures aspects of the different cultures’. Pippa was a clear winner and her work reminded one judge of Richard Scarry's earliest work.
Sian Jenkins, a student at the Metropolitan University of Swansea, interpreted the toe/finger counting rhyme, This Little Pig and it was an outright favourite. Sian’s take on the rhymes, is modern, dramatic, funny and absolutely distinctive in the subtle but simple way it marries the narrative and detail of the rhymes with the counting toe play of them - a real original.
Holly Sterling, currently at Edinburgh College of Art, won for a double spread of an African American and a Maori lullaby. The judges were delighted by her subtle and distinctive weaving together of the two verses which she captures in a warm blue night that, like the father's embrace, is immersive, cosy and comforting. The father and child are both specific to these rhymes but absolutely universal too. Holly’s drawing is fresh and the use of mixed media is carefully and effectively worked out.
The winners’ artwork will be included in the nursery rhyme book, Over the Hills and Far Away, a fresh and inclusive collection of that most traditional form of literature for children - the nursery rhyme - gathered together from cultures across the English speaking world. Here it will sit alongside that of over 70 illustrators from across the English speaking world including: Michael Foreman, Robert Ingpen, Bob Graham, Eric Carle, Mo Willems, Jerry Pinkney, John Lawrence, Shirley Hughes, Pat Hutchins, Nicola Bayley, Jane Ray, Emma Chichester Clark, Nick Sharatt, Axel Scheffler, Emily Gravett, Mini Grey, Jessica Ahlberg, Meshack Asare, Shaun Tan, and Lucy Cousins. Their original artwork competition entries will also be entered into a special collection at Seven Stories' archive.
The judges were picture-book creators Brita Granstrom and Mick Manning, The Art Director at Frances Lincoln Ltd, Judith Escreet, and Co -Founder of Seven Stories, National Centre for Children’s Books and compiler of the collection Elizabeth Hammill.
The competition attracted 32 entries from some 20 art institutions across the UK. The four judges were impressed by the artistic skill and imagination displayed which made for fascinating viewing and debate.
Lullabies by Holly Stirling
Abna Babner by Pippa Curnick
This Little Pig by Sian Jenkins
Abna Babna by Charity Russell
Hush-a-bye by Nele Anders