Thinking Room exhibition shortlisted for the World Illustration Awards

Carol Adlam 1
01 May 2018 12:23:21.927

An exhibition by Carol Adlam, artist-in residence at Nottingham Lakeside Arts, has been shortlisted for the World Illustration Awards, the most prestigious global illustration awards, respected by illustrators, agents and commissioners alike.

Now in its 42nd year, the annual competition aims to showcase up-and-coming and established illustrators from around the world, as well as highlight the latest developments in the discipline.

Thinking Room, completed during Carol’s residency from 2016-2017, places artefacts from the University of Nottingham Museum into an alternative vision of the people, animals, places and narratives of Lakeside Arts from pre-history to the present day.

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Carol, who is both an artist and writer specialising in graphic novels and reportage illustration, has been shortlisted for the Research category, which specifies that illustration must be commissioned for the purpose of undertaking research and communicating knowledge.

The outsize ink, watercolour and gouache paintings that comprised the Thinking Room exhibition, which was on display at the Angear Visitors Centre from November 2017 to February 2018, explored the crossovers between illustration, fine art, and storytelling. Carol is particularly interested in the long-standing connections between drawing and heritage work.

Carol’s brief was to execute work on any aspect of the University of Nottingham’s Museum of Archaeology which is one of Nottingham Lakeside Arts venues.

She says: “I researched the museum’s deep and rich connections with the region and the University (where it is located), as well as the history of specific artefacts.”

The outcome was an exhibition of 10 outsize paintings in graphic novel form and around 30 reference paintings which were made into a 36-page book.

The project was an experiment in using the graphic novel format as a sophisticated medium for communicating in-depth information.

Carol added: “I made two sets of paintings: outsize images telling a fantastic story about a malfunctioning Palimpsest Machine, showing many artefacts from the museum — for example a mammoth on a tower refers to a mammoth’s tooth in the museum; and then reference paintings as visual footnotes.”

The World Illustration Awards has eight categories: Advertising, Books, Children’s Books, Design, Editorial, Experimental, Research and Site Specific.

Organised by the Association of Illustrators (AOI) — which was established in 1973 to advance and protect illustrator’s rights and encourage professional standards — and in partnership with the Directory of Illustration, this year’s 200-strong shortlist has been drawn from a record of 3,300 entries from 75 countries, over 1,000 more than in 2017.

The World Illustration Awards 2017 exhibition is currently touring the UK, following its run at Somerset House in London. The exhibition will then tour the rest of the UK throughout 2018. A full list of the touring exhibition dates can be found here. The exhibition includes all category winners as well as a selection of shortlisted work. Taken together it offers a breathtaking overview of work by some of the very best illustrators in the world today.

Individual category and overall winners will be announced at an awards ceremony at Somerset House in June. The full shortlist can be found here.

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Notes to editors: 

The University of Nottingham is a research-intensive university with a proud heritage, consistently ranked among the world's top 100. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our 44,000 students - Nottingham was named University of the Year for Graduate Employment in the 2017 Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, was awarded gold in the TEF 2017 and features in the top 20 of all three major UK rankings. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement. We are ranked eighth for research power in the UK according to REF 2014. We have six beacons of research excellence helping to transform lives and change the world; we are also a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally.

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Story credits

More information is available from Olivia Robinson, Marketing and Digital Assistant, Nottingham Lakeside Arts, on +44 (0)115 748 4378,; or Liz Goodwin, Media Officer at the University of Nottingham, on +44 (0)115 951 5798,

Liz Goodwin - Media Officer

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 95 15798 Location: University Park

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Published Date
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