Illustrated London

Huge Exhibition Showcases London in 100 Illustrations

The Prize for Illustration 2015 received more than 1000 entries depicting the weird and wonderful sides of London, from the hidden to the very public, the real to the imaginary. London Spaces & Places is an exhibition showcasing the 100 shortlisted entries at the London Transport Museum.

Eleanor Taylor (for The Royal Observatory, Greenwich), Carly Allen-Fletcher (for Compound City) and Eliza Southwood (for Parkour At The South Bank) were awarded the Gold, Silver and Bronze awards respectively. But this sprawling exhibition goes far beyond these winning works, with a dazzling array of styles and places on display.

1200-Underground Fashion-Zara Picken
1167- A very British Pastime- John Holcroft
1172 - Meeting Place - Paul Garland
“London has inspired countless great works of art, each reflecting aspects of the City’s unique character and qualities,” says Georgia Morley the Project Curator. “The Prize for Illustration 2015 looks to continue this tradition by taking the theme of London Places and Spaces and invited submissions from illustrators throughout the world.”

The standard is, unsurprisingly, even higher than the tip of the Shard. We spoke to Georgia about curating this unique exhibition for this iconic city.

The Plus: What was the brief for the competition?
Georgia Morley:
Each city space, however large or small, has its own distinct personality and use, by all sorts of people for all sorts of activities: contemporary architecture, historic treasures and the vernacular; rivers, reservoirs and wetlands. Imaginary or real, past or present, the only essential element is London.

The aim of The Prize for Illustration 2015 competition was to attract artwork for display that was colourful, inspiring and celebrates a vibrant, multi-layered London. Entrants were invited to visually capture an iconic or lesser known place in a single image.

In the brief we wanted to see the quiet and contemplative to the crowded and loud. Any place or space that is part of this amazing city and how we use it was welcome. The artists’ imagination was the limit. As you can see, the results were exceptional.

Piccadilly shines for you
TP: How did you curate such a large number of works into a coherent exhibition?
An expert panel of judges from the art and design world whittled down over 1,000 entries to 100 to be displayed in the Exterion Media Gallery at London Transport Museum in London’s Covent Garden. The judges were conscious that they wanted to ensure a lively and varied display of work for the show.
The exhibition presents a collection of illustrations that capture the wonderful variety to be found in the city; from grand scale architecture to wildlife oasis, and from internationally famous to more local and secret.

TP: What’s your personal favourite “hidden space” in London?
My personal favourite hidden place is the Bookartbookshop in Hoxton, which holds a whole world of unexpected books. It sells artists’ books, many of which are screen-printed or hand-painted and only exist as a single copy. My other favourite London place is Hampstead Heath, where I go to relax by the swimming ponds.

TP: What do you think is so unique about London that has inspired all these works?
There is always something new to do in London, from parkour at the South Bank to juggling at Covent Garden, Swimming at Brockwell Lido to cycling in Trafalgar Square; London’s many activities inspired these illustrators, from all over the world, to produce the collection of illuminating snapshots of London Life.

Tate Modern 635x1016 Flattened
1518 - The Royal Observatory - Eleanor Taylor
1377 - Parkour at the South Bank - Eliza Southwood
1364- compound city- Carly Allen-Fletcher
1297 - Roof Garden - Anna Steinberg
1066 - 191 Garden - Amael Isnard

The Prize for Illustration 2015: London Places & Spaces is at the London Transport Museum until 6 September 2015.